Manure is one of the best amendments you can put into your garden soil. A small backyard garden of a few hundred square feet can use a garden tiller to incorporate the manure into the soil, but a plot of several acres might be better off with a manure spreader. Manure spreaders distribute the manure evenly on top of the ground where you can leave it or harrow it in later.
Factors that influence the price of farm manure spreaders are durability, size and accuracy. No one likes to fix a broken manure spreader, so having one that will work for years with only basic maintenance is important to a farmer. The larger the hopper, or bin that carries the manure, the larger the machine itself. A top-line manure spreader can range up to $150,000 as of the date of publication.
Accuracy is extremely important to a large, working farm that uses manure as fertilizer. Government regulations mandate that precise records be kept of how much manure is spread, and that it is only spread in certain areas. Many farmers often are willing to pay for greater accuracy to keep them out of trouble. Smaller farms that have a mixture of animals usually do not fall under the regulations and can buy manure spreaders with much less accuracy at a less expensive price. The local office of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service can give a definitive ruling on any one particular farm.
Farm implement stores that sell professional manure spreaders do not generally have sales on the equipment. A large market for used manure spreaders does not exist because many farmers consider it to be buying someone else's problem.
Small, hobby or truck farms of several acres can use manure spreader attachments that hook to an ATV or a garden tractor. These can range from a simple one spreading several bushels at under $100 to one that can handle 40 bushels for more than $2,000. They are designed to have a universal hookup to fit almost any type of tractor.
Wide Price Spread
Smaller, hobby manure spreaders are more likely to have a wider price spread for the identical equipment than their professional cousins. They are sold in larger home and garden stores, farm implement stores and over the Internet. Knowing the correct size for your garden, and doing some comparison shopping should bring you the best price.