Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 25, 1993, Image 190

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Page 6—Poultry Notes Supplement to Lancaster Farming, Saturday, Sept. 25,1993
Manure Marketing
(Continued from Page 5) there and it’s such a cheap sour
indicated he wants to move grace of fertility,” said Stauffer,
dually into local retail markets “A lot of fanners have told me
and do some advertizing locally that it’s a good service and
to see what the demand for the they’re pleased with what
product will be. we’re doing.”
It’s not a bad idea, according Stauffer, with part-time
to the poultry farmer, consider- assistance from Chris Kaley,
ing the demand for poultry utilize old potato trucks that
manure as fertilizer rarely gets have been specially converted
above $4O a ion. Anything to spread the dry manure.
below that, and the farmer
couldn’t make money on the
Wolgemuth’s intent is to
market as much of the product
to fertilizer companies as he
can during times of peak
demand (January through
June). Despite ’supply and
demand challenges that occur
occasionally, Wolgemuth is
able to locate additional buyers
at nonpeak times if necessary.
Also, Wolgemuth is testing
how the composted manure
performs with his own 130-acre
com crop at the farm.
Wolgemuth has birds under
contract from Heritage PMS,
Inc. (140,000 birds) in addition
to the birds he owns (70,000
birds). He farms with his wife,
Karen, and son, Jason, 20.
Manure Applied
At Half
The Cost
While many fanners pay as
much as $4O-$5O per acre for
commercial fertilizer, one Lan
caster County farmer said his
fertilizer business can spread
the nutrient-rich manure for
about half the cost per acre.
Jay Stauffer, who operates a
90-acre Holstein beef farm near
Columbia, began custom
hauling dry layer house manure
about five years ago. Since that
time he has built up a customer
base of farmers in Lancaster
and surrounding counties.
Stauffer said there is a strong
demand for layer houses to
remove the product and for far
mers to utilize it for their crops.
“There’s such a demand
This manure spreading truck has a capacity of 17 tons (compared to con
ventional spreaders of about 5-6 tons) and has been modified with front flota
tion tires In front and back tandem axles. It can spread manure 12 feet to either
Using skid loaders, Stauffer
and Kaley load manure from
local layer houses, such as
Esbenshade’s Farm, into the
truck. Stauffer charges the cus
tomer for tonnage and mileage
the closer the farm is to the
house, the less expensive to
apply it.
The truck, with a debridging
bar, has a capacity of 16-17 tons
(compared to conventional
spreaders of about 5-6 tons) and
has been modified with front
flotation tires in front and back
tandem axles. The bed has a
special web that moves the
manure through an adjustable
hydraulic door in the rear. The
door spacing determines deliv
ery rate, which depends on soil
fertility conditions and how
much the farmer wants applied.
The web moves the manure
through the door, where it
encounters an agitator that
breaks up the manure. The
manure particles fall through
the agitator to a broadcast spin
ner. which ejects the manure in
a 12-foot swath on either side of
the truck.
The hydraulic doors can be
opened in one-ton per acre
increments from two tons to
eight tons' per acre, according to
Stauffer. Ground speed of the
truck is also adjusted to fine
tune the rate.
Stauffer said he takes regular
tests of the manure contents at
the house before loading the
manure to the truck.
There are two trucks in ser
vice in his application business.
Another truck will be fitted
with other flotation equipment
to reduce the chances of soil
“I’m definitely concerned
about compaction,” said Stauf- _T\ Lancaster Varmint I v r~w
Lnomiiw Imotll
wet and apply manure when the * »U UVA u IJ LI
fields are in shape. We can do
compaction damage, but with
correct management —waiting
until it dries or putting manure
on in the fall has helped a
great deal with compaction.”
Many of his customers are
also concerned, which led
Stauffer to ensure his trucks are
equipped with anticompaction
Stauffer said farmers should
obtain soil analyses before
determining the rate at which
he should apply the poultry
But the manure, which is
much less expensive than com
mercial fertilizer, is readily
“I didn’t know there was
such a demand for a spreader
truck,” said Stauffer. But the
customers confirm the need for
the fertilizer and someone to
apply it.
Stauffer said farmers can see
direct benefits of the fertilizer,
in increased yields.
“A number of people have
gotten the manure last year and
called and ordered it again, and
have told me you can see right
where you spread it the pas
ture is green.
“So we’re getting good
feedback like that I’d like to
hear from the fanners what’s
going on,” he said.
During the summer, Stauffer
travels to visit customers to see
what his business can do to
upgrade the service.
Stauffer has been using the
manure himself for a number of
years, and noticed the demand
for layer manure spreading
almost right away. ‘ ‘I saw there
is a missing link there. We’re
looking to fill that missing
link,” he said.
Stauffer farms with his wife
Trena and sons Jay Donald
Stauffer, Jr. (J.D.), 7 and Jeffer
son, 3 near Columbia, Pa.
The location of farm number 2 at Coffee Street
housea about 135,000 birdsfrom which Clugston, with
help by full-time worker Jay Neff, pictured here, col
lects manure. In a typical chicken house, manure is
normally removed at about 50-55 percent moisture,
according to Clugston. But the special drying process
dries manure here to about 30 percent moisture.
Layer Manure
Dried And Sold
Poultry manure may prove to
be a marketable product, but it
must first be dried to the point
where it is useful.
At the 48-acre Coffee Street
Farm near Letort, Lancaster
County, under the supervision
of farm manager Randy Clug
ston, layer cages are specially
designed to allow circulated au
to blow-dry the manure. A con
veyor moves the dried down
manure outside to a loading
dock, where it is scooped up
and shipped to several
mushroom farms in Chester
Clugston said he ships about
two loads of chicken manure a
week, for more than 100 loads
every year.
The farmer operates a
180,000-bird layer operation
for Doir Hershey. Farm one
houses about 45,000 birds. The
location of farm number 2 at
Coffee Street houses about
135,000 birds from which
Clugston, with help by lull
time worker Jay Neff, collects
Chicken manure is normally
removed at about 50-55 percent
moisture, according to Clug
ston. But the special drying pro
cess at Coffee Street Farm is
dried to about 30 percent.
* ‘With manure at 30 percent,
you can sell it for a little bit
more,” he said. “You can get a
little bit more for a ton of it.
because the customer’s not
buying moisture.”
Air used to dry the manure is
used for the ventilation of the
chicken house. Plus, the man
ure tests higher for nitrogen
(about 3 percent nitrogen over
all) than broiler manure.
Gugston is careful to keep
the manure in a range no lower
than 3 percent nitrogen and no
higher than 5 percent.
“If I start to get out of those
balances, which I do not, they
would be concerned,” he said.
Layer manure, according to
Gugston, doesn’t have the
other material that mushroom
soil operations don’t need, such
as wood shavings or other bed
ding products.
“They know what I have,”
said Gugston. “I have no other
product other than pure,
straight chicken manure. And
they like that. It has a higher
percentage of nitrogen in it
they also like that.”
Gugston equates the ingre
dients in manure on the same
level as feed for the chickens.
To make the right mushroom
soil, the right ingredients,
including the correct type of
manure, are necessary.
“For the mushroom people,
my chicken manure is just like
the feed ingredients when I feed
my chickens,’ ’ he said. “It’s
not just a crude thing, where
they throw so much chicken
manure with so muchiiay. It’s
so organized, analysed. They
(Turn to Pag* 11)