EAST LANSING (AP) Manure has gone high-tech.

The Michigan Manure Resources Network, a Web site operated by Michigan State University, allows farmers to buy or sell manure from cattle, horses, pigs, poultry even rabbits. Entries can be posted for free.

Farmers from 13 counties now have entries on the two-year-old site. Entries include information on the manure as well as prices and whether the farmer agrees to haul it. Prices range up to $50 per ton.

James Cox, general manager of the West Michigan Turkey Co. in Allendale, has 8,000 tons of manure available.

Cox says the site allows farmers to move manure more efficiently.

Cox said he hasn”t had much luck with the site yet, but expects interest will grow once word spreads.

“I think it will become useful, but like any technology, it”ll take time,” Cox said yesterday. “The next generation of farmers will embrace it more fully.”

M. Charles Gould, the site”s manager, said using the site could increase farmers” profits. Gould said he doesn”t know how much traffic the site is getting, but plans to study that soon.

Some areas of Michigan have fewer nutrients in their soil, Gould said. As a result, farmers often drive long distances to pick up manure for fertilizing.

“There is a gentleman that drives all the way from Copper Harbor down to Allegan County to pick it up,” Gould said.

Gould expects the site would get more use if Michigan changed its laws regarding farm waste. The state has a zero-tolerance law that penalizes farmers for any discharge that runs into state waters.

That makes many farmers reluctant to spread manure on their fields, he said.

Anne Swink, a horse breeder in Eaton County, recently found the site and placed an entry offering to haul gallons of manure for no charge. Although she hasn”t received any offers, Swink said she”s not worried because she has enough acreage on her farm to spread out her manure.

Another horse breeder from Benton Harbor, Penny DePree, said she also hasn”t been able to sell manure through the site. DePree is charging $50 per ton.

DePree said she thinks the site will be more useful once more people sign up.

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