Application Rates of Manure as a Nutrient Source Vary by Crop

Dan Environment, Fertilizer, Fertilizer, USDA-ERS

Image by Wolfgang Ehrecke from Pixabay

Data from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) shows the use of manure as a nutrient varies by type of crop. Between 2013 and 2019, producers of seven major crops in the U.S. who used manure were asked how much manure they applied per acre, allowing ERS to estimate crop nutrient application rates.

Corn received the highest application rate of nitrogen from a manure source—92 pounds per acre—followed by cotton, wheat, barley, oats, soybeans, and peanuts. Cotton led phosphorus application at 37 pounds per acre, and corn led potassium application at 59 pounds per acre. Soybeans and peanuts require less nitrogen fertilization, and they were applied with the lowest manure nitrogen application rates.


Manure applied to soybeans and peanuts is valued primarily for its phosphorus and potassium. In 2020, manure was applied to about eight percent of the 240.9 million acres planted to seven major U.S. field crops.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)