Kapil Arora1, Kelvin Leibold1, Daniel Andersen1

1Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, Ames

Corresponding Author: Kelvin Leibold,



Manure application costs were evaluated for tank wagon applicators (TWA) and drag line applicators (DLA) for transport distance increments of 1.6, 3.2, 4.8, 6.4, and 8.0 km. Certain fixed and variable costs were analyzed for three application rates of 37,416, 46,770, and 56,124 liters per hectare to calculate the total operating costs. Increase in transport distance caused the variable cost to increase for both transport methods leading to increase in total operating costs, although the increase was stair-stepped in case of DLA system mainly due to addition of booster pump, fuel, and an employee at 3.2 km and 6.4 km transport distance. Increase in application rate caused the TWA system cost to drop more than the DLA system at any given distance mainly due to the variable cost being higher for the TWA system. Overall, the total operating costs were lower for the DLA system when compared to the TWA system for the three corresponding manure application rates. Data presented in this paper is a partial analysis of the total costs as it only considers transport and application costs, and does not include several additional incidental costs.


Kapil Arora is a Field Agricultural Engineer for over 15 years and Kelvin Leibold is a Farm Management Field Specialist for over 30 years with Iowa State University in the Department of Extension and Outreach. Kapil Arora holds a Master and a Ph. D. in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University and has worked on various issues on manure management including manure distribution. Kelvin Leibold holds a Masters in Farm Management from Iowa State University. Kelvin has authored various papers and articles on farm management topics and is part of the Ag Decision Maker Website at Iowa State University. He has previously authored cost analysis of manure value in the past years. Both presenters will be available at the meeting to make the presentation.