Off-Farm Manure Disposal

When a farm has more manure than can be properly applied to acreage that they own or rent, other options need to be considered.

Hire a Certified Manure Hauler

Some producers may contract with a hauler to remove the manure. The hauler may take the manure to a centralized composting facility or spread the manure on farmland. In some states a manure hauler must be certified to haul manure off the farm and on to the highways. Be sure your hauler is certified to avoid potential legal liability if there is an accidental spill by the hauler.

Even if you contract with a hauler, manure will need to be stored in between visits. For information on selecting a site and building an appropriate structure, see Storing Manure on Small Farms : Options for Storage.


For small farms, dumpsters may be used to store manure until it is removed. Dumpsters are placed near the stable and are replaced with an empty dumpster when full. The dumpster should be placed on a concrete pad or other impervious surface that allows for the collection of any liquids that leach out. Although expensive, dumpsters may be a viable option when there is inadequate land for spreading and the circumstances do not lend to composting.

Marketing the Manure or Compost

Farmers may also sell or give their manure away, composted or noncomposted, for off-farm use. Gardeners are frequently willing to take (or even buy) composted horse manure. Crop farmers may be willing to let you spread manure on their land during certain times of year.

Photo courtesy Chris Henry, University of Nebraska

Additional Information

Author: Michael Westendorf, Department of Animal Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey