Livestock produce high protein sources of food, but they also produce manure. When used effectively, manure can provide a sustainable source of fertilizers, energy, and other valuable products. However, when not managed effectively, manure components including nutrients, organic matter, and pathogens can be lost to the environment causing negative environmental impacts.
Manure processing and management approaches can be integrated into livestock systems to reduce environmental burdens, but investment in these systems has been limited. Lack of investment in manure processing systems has developed because of high capital costs, limited knowledge of performance and payback periods, limited or lack of confidence in incentives, and lack of a market to facilitate the commercialization of manure-derived products.
Assessing livestock manure using a systems modeling approach can aid in developing a market that supports the investment of a processing system that can reduce environmental impacts and increase revenues to rural communities. This fact sheet details the development and use of markets for manure-based products to incentivize and increase manure processing systems that support environmental and economic sustainability.