Source: National Pork Board, A 50 Year Comparison of the Carbon Footprint and Resources Use of the U.S. Swine Herd: 1959-2009, Camco 2012. less water 41% 41% less land 78% 78% carbon footprint 35% 35% COMPARED WITH 50 YEARS AGO, FARMERS ARE USING  LESS LAND & WATER TO PRODUCE PORK & THEY ARE  DOING IT WITH A SMALLER CARBON FOOTPRINT PER UNIT BASIS, SUCH AS POUND OF PORK PRODUCED LIVESTOCK MANURE SUPPLIES CROP NUTRIENTS AND BUILDS SOIL HEALTH Manure supplies a crop with Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). In addition, manure improves soil quality and builds soil health by increasing: water holding capacity, organic matter, and micro-nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, iron, manganese, and copper.18 With those characteristics, manure is an ideal material for soils with low to moderate soil fertility. The impact of manure on soil health characteristics has been studied by many different groups. One such group, the Soil Health Nexus, was initiated in 2015 with funding from the North Central Region Water Network. Representatives from 12 land- grant universities, including the University of Illinois Extension, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE), InterTribal Ag Council, National Soil Health Partnership, and NRCS, are working together to increase access to soil health-related research and educational programs. As part of this effort, a study titled “Manure Land Application and Soil Health Indicators” was initiated to correlate important soil health variables and land application of manure. The collaborating team included agricultural engineers, soil scientists, and personnel from the University of Missouri Soil Health Assessment Center. The team assembled and analyzed data of soil health related variables and manure land application details collected under the Missouri Cover Crop Cost-Share Program. The study compared field plots that received full commercial fertilizer, no fertilizer, and manure application. The results found that the manure application resulted in higher soil organic carbon, active carbon, Phosphorus, and water stable aggregate, and lowered the soil bulk density.19 These findings confirm that the benefits of manure application, in adding soil organic materials and improving soil aggregate stability, can easily be seen from fields that were consistently treated with manure. The findings regarding manure use and soil health indicators are important for managing the soil and for increasing food production on a limited land base. Manure also reduces erosion potential. When manure is applied to fields at appropriate agronomic rates, it will also act like field residue and reduce the risk of soil erosion occurring in that field.20 16