Where is manure produced?

Animal manure is a mixture of faeces and urine excreted by the animals. Depending on the housing technology, it may also include bedding materials and cleaning waters.

Slurry (liquid manure) is produced when all cleaning waters of the anima house are mixed with feaces and urine and little bedding is used. Farmyard manure and deep litter contain a high amount of bedding and all urine is absorbed to it, The difference between these two is mainly the manure removal frequency which is more frequent with farmyard manure. In separate collection of dung and urine feaces is mixed into bedding to produce dung and urine is mostly collected separately. Some of it may also be absorbed into bedding.

Grazing animals excrete part of their faeces and urine to pastures and this share is not included into the traditional manure management chain of removal from housing, storing and application on fields.

Typical uses of manure

Manure is used as a fertilizer and organic amendment on fields. It can also be processed to produce e.g. biogas and more concentrated fertiliser products. Even in biogas plants, manure nutrients are not “lost”, but the digestate is applied on fields as such or after post-processing.

Manure management and use is regulated by EU Nitrates Directive and related national legislation.

Potential uses

In principle, different valuable components can be separated from manure e.g. to be used in chemical industry. The potential to reach more environmentally and economically sound manure use via different processing technologies is being intensively studied. At the moment, most effort is put into enhancing manure energy and nutrient reuse. In 2017, 5% of Finnish manure is being processed.

Photo: Tapio Tuomela, Luke’s Archive.

Manure quality

Manure quality depends on animal feed, growth and metabolism as most of the surplus materials are excreted as faeces and urine. Manure contains a lot of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, but also carbon-rich compounds. Animal species affects manure: e.g. manure of poultry and fur animals is rather concentrated in nutrients. Manure quality is also affected by bedding materials and other choices made in manure management and potential processing.

Additional information

The manure quantities in Biomassa-atlas are based on the calculated manure data from the Finnish Normative Manure System. The system calculated manure quantities from the basis of animal statistics and animal-specific excretion and manure management data.

Biomassa-atlas contains manure quantities for dairy cattle, beef cattle, fattening pigs, sows and piglets, laying hen, other poultry, sheep and goats, and horses and ponies. For cattle and pigs, slurry, solid manure (a sum of farmyard manure, deep litter and dung) and urine are presented. To other animal categories, solid manure is presented. Manure data is given for manure directly from housing (ex housing) and manure after storage (ex storage) as their quantity differs due to e.g. losses of nitrogen and carbon during storage. The share of manure left on pasture is already withdrawn with the animal categories grazing.

Picture on top of the page: Tapio Tuomela, Luke’s archive.