The rising cost of natural gas is the main reason farmers across the country are expected to pay as much as three billion dollars more for fertilizer in the upcoming year. Natural gas is the key raw ingredient used in fertilizers.
A report from the California-based National Dairy Environmental Stewardship Council, recommends farmers substitute cow manure for manufactured fertilizer.
Council spokeswoman Kristen Hughes says the biggest challenge is stateside distribution, because cows are concentrated in the Central Valley.
"If we could get that manure to all of our eight and a half million harvested acres we would have enough to supply the nutrients for all of the plants that we're harvesting."
Farmers say cow manure is certainly worth considering as an alternative. There's certainly plenty of it, and farmers are going to have to absorb the rising cost of fertilizer.