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Heightened Biosecurity Increases Custom Swine Manure Application Costs

By Bruce Cochrane

A Morris based custom swine manure applicator says the extra time and effort required to clean and disinfect manure application equipment to reduce the risk of spreading PED has dramatically increased the cost of custom manure application.
Biosecurity considerations for commercial applicators was discussed last week as part of a Nutrient and Water Management Field Day at the University of Manitoba's Glenlea Research Station.

Merv Kornelsen, the owner of Morris based BMG Nutrient Management, says measures to reduce the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus have dramatically increased the cost of applying swine manure.

Merv Kornelsen-BMG Nutrient Management:
The cost is more down time, so a loss of revenue.
Procedures, our company hasn't changed that much.
What we have changed is cleaning a little bit better, make sure we have good soap, make sure we have hot water to wash, take an extra two to three hours, maybe sometimes four hours to do a good wash.
We're starting to charge for washes and obviously it doesn't recuperate the loss of revenue but it's a compensation somewhat.

Rough numbers, loss of revenue can be $6,000 very easy where as a wash, I charge $2,000.

Is that the number we're going to stick at, I doubt it, but at this point we charge $2,000 just for a wash to recuperate a little bit.
The other side of it is we have to invest a lot more money in washing equipment.

We had a washer, a decent washer, hot water and everything but because of the down time we will have to invest a lot more money.

We're looking at pressure washers that's upward of $15,000 per washer and a guy probably will have two because of the down time so those are some serious costs that we have to consider adding now.

Kornelsen acknowledges there has been some resistance to the increased costs but the more progressive producers have recognized the value of the heighted biosecurity.

Source: Farmscape


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