|Abstract or Summary
- A feedlot cannot retain its manure byproduct indefinitely.
Eventually some method of disposal must be used. A case study
approach to this problem confronting a cattle feeding operation
representative of those in the area was used to determine volume
relationship among different product forms in order to maximize
net revenue or minimize costs.
The study feedlot of 14,000 capacity, occupied 40 acres of
which 3.5 acres were used for manure storage and processing.
Geographically it was in the western half of the high desert region
of Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County, California. The area
had an abundance of sunshine, generally dry weather conditions;
warm in summer and moderate in winter.
The processing plant personnel handled 32,782 cubic yards of
the stockpiled manure. Of this amount 46 percent was sold in the
unprocessed product form, 35 percent sold in the processed bulk
form and 19 percent as the processed package form. Some of the
original 60,000 cubic yards stockpiled were removed by out-of-area
buyers using their own equipment and doing their own processing.
Allocating costs by product form and volume revealed that
the per cubic yard costs were 11 cents for the unprocessed product,
65 cents for the processed bulk form and $1.89 for the processed
packaged form, Additional costs were incurred when loading and
delivery were made.
Net revenue per cubic yard, based on an average weighted
price for each product form, averaged $1.29 for the unprocessed
product, $1.75 for the processed bulk, and $1.91 for the processed
packaged form. The total net revenue by volume was greatest for
the processed bulk product.
Through increased efficiencies the volume processed could be
increased and the per cubic yard costs reduced. Application of plant
operational harmony could increase plant capacity from 14 to 21
cubic yards per hour. This would eliminate 416 hours of operation
and reduce processing costs by seven cents per cubic yard.
While no firm expressions were ascertained as to the future
demand potential of the manure product a general agreement prevailed
that the addition of adequate storage facilities, an inventory
and better loading facilities should be considered by the management
to increase sales of the processed products. Additional observations will be required to validate generalization
as to scale of operations. However, those made during the
course of this study would suffice for any generalization as to operational
costs for a manure handling enterprise equivalent to that
in the study.