How much does it costs to transport 1 Ton of manure and/or compost on a per mile basis?
The cost of transport and application of solid or semi-solid manure and compost varies greatly within the different states and between countries. Custom haulers usually charge by load regardless of tonnage. A common practice is to charge by load up to one or two miles radius and from there charge on a per-mile basis.
When hauling solid stockpiled manure or semi-solid manure the moisture content will have a great variation between dairies according to their manure handling system, bedding material used, meteorological conditions, storage type, how long that manure has been stored, etc. In most cases trucks will be hauling a considerable amount of water.
When custom haulers or farm owners haul compost their major limiting factor is volume so haulers usually charge by cubic yard of compost regardless of tonnage.
Since fuel prices vary by time and location, the best way to put a dollar value to a manure spreading operation is to call local custom hauler companies and ask for a quote. Inquire about their trucks' tonnage and volume capacities. Ask about their base price and distance and how much they charge for each extra mile. As an example, if a custom hauler charges $28 per load within a mile distance and their truck capacity is eleven tons, the cost will be 28/11= $2.54 per ton for the first mile. Extra miles may have different value (e.g. $2.0/mile). Those are real values for manure from one custom hauler in Southern Idaho as of June 2008.
eXtension “Cost of Manure Application and Transport” gives an idea on the factors related to solid and liquid manure transport and application. http://www.extension.org/pages/Costs_of_Manure_Application_and_Transport
The link “Contracting certified manure haulers” in that document offers an in-depth cost comparison between contracting custom haulers and using your own equipment.