Skip to Main Content

Virtual Series Shares Practices for Safe Fertilizer and Manure Use

Indiana produces about 9.5 million tons of animal manure annually. Manure contains rich nutrients and can be used as organic fertilizers and to produce renewable energy via anaerobic digestion. However, inappropriate management of manure may cause water, soil, and air pollution and result in safety and health risks for farm workers.

Purdue Extension provided a five-session virtual series, Manure Management and Utilization Technologies. Purdue Extension collaborated to deliver this series with university, industry and agency partners: University of Missouri, University of Georgia, University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Penn State University, Bio Town Ag, Curtis Creek Dairy/ Prairie, A&L Great Lakes Laboratories, EcoEngineers, BioWorks Energy (BioWorks) LLC, CleanFuture, Inc., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, Canada.

Session topics included 1) applications and safety, 2) new approaches, 3) testing, mitigation, application, and opportunity, 4) anaerobic digestion topics part 1 (anaerobic digestion, renewable natural gas on farms, treating industrial organic waste, techno-economic and life-cycle analysis of a commercial anaerobic digestion plant), and 5) anaerobic digestion topics part 2 (economics, systems on small-and medium-sized farms, carbon credits, and co-digestion). Afterward, session recordings and/or slides were posted on the website: MM.htm.

There were 511 youth and adult participants for the five[1]session series. More than one third (38.6%) were from Indiana; others were from 37 states and five countries. Participant input was collected with a post-survey after sessions three, four and five; 344 individuals participated, representing two-thirds (65.3%) of all session attendees. Of the 344 attendees for three sessions, 47 completed the post-survey (14% response rate). Survey participants reported attending this virtual series to earn professional credits: Certified Crop Advisor/Continuing Education Units 71 (20.6%) and Continuing Certification Hours 32 (9.3%). As a result of sessions three, four and five, three[1]fourths of participants (76.6%) “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they learned something they didn’t know before. Nearly half of respondents (44.7%) indicated that the recommended practices did not apply to them. As a result of the sessions, remaining participants indicated they plan to adopt recommended fertilizer/manure practices (38.3%), management practices (34.0%), and technologies for agronomic crops (23.4%). The Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) is a measure of customer loyalty that helps inform decision-makers of the experiences they are providing. The calculated NPS® was +63 (on a scale from -100 to +100) and is considered an excellent rating. Primary reasons for their score reported by promoters (rating of 9-10) were:

  • good topics, and the information was great/ excellent, new or up to date, practical and relevant.
  • great, knowledgeable speakers/presentations.
  • well done and well organized.

Purdue Extension’s Manure Management and Utilization Technologies virtual series contributed to new knowledge and intention to apply recommended practices for safe fertilizer/manure use. Resources are available online: What We Need to Know about Additive Products for Manure Treatment: extmedia/ABE/ABE-161-w.pdf. Manure Characteristics, Testing, and Sampling: extmedia/ABE/ABE-166-W.pdf. Three Indiana anaerobic digestion systems:, http://www.extension., and https:// pdf.

To Top