Producers know the importance of what goes into their pigs, but what comes out the other end is taking on an increasing value.
The fertiliser value of slurry has long been recognised but, the way prices are going, that value is increasing dramatically.
BPEX Pig Technologist Nigel Penlington has done some calculations which show the fertiliser value of one finishing pig place over a year is almost £20.
Nigel said: "Producers have always known the value of slurry however, that economic value is heading for three times what it has been for the last 10 years.
"Basically, fertiliser was cheap and now it is very, very expensive. For example ammonium nitrate was less than £110 a tonne for years but now it is the other side of £330 a tonne at the same time phosphate is now going through the roof.
"This means the value of pig slurry has increased in proportion. On top of that fertiliser is in short supply and payment is required quicker than it was in the past.
"This in turn means the working capital requirement of arable and grassland farmers has risen quite a bit. Put all those factors together and it has to be good news for producers.
"Obviously it is not a cure for all the ills of the industry but in these difficult times it is yet another small step on the road back towards profitability."
Nigel said his figures were based on the NPK values for July 2008 and on the optimal use of the slurry on the land.
For comparative purposes he said one laying hen produced manure with an equivalent value of nearly 98p and for a dairy cow, over six months, the figure was £67.
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