One of the most frequent challenges with manure management in the swine industry is floating crusts on top of storage pits. Crusts are composed of many different compounds that are not easily digestible by animals and manure. With the increased inclusion of distiller's grains (DDGS), as by-products from the ethanol industry, more undigested fiber passes through pigs and ends up in pits. Many of these fibrous materials-celluloses, pectins and xylans float, making crusts worse and more prevalent.

Once crusts form, they can be very difficult to get rid of and become a breeding ground for insects. Crusts are also hiding places for disease causing rodents. One of the main complaints from producers is flies inside buildings that are a consistent nuisance for workers. Flies are not only present inside buildings, but leave confinement sites and become problems at other homes in the community. We have heard complaints from people living up to a mile away from sites that have experienced issues with flies.

Crust Buster is a unique, proprietary and stabilized formulation of bacterial and fungal enzymes designed to actively degrade not only manure, but also plant fibers. What sets Crust Buster apart from other products in the industry is a breakthrough technology from the cellulosic ethanol industry that specifically decomposes fiber. Also, the formulation is stabilized so the protein digesting enzymes don't attack the other enzymes in the mixture that are composed of proteins.

Crust Buster can be applied several different ways. The recommended method to apply the product is through the soaker system at close-out, after the building has been washed. This insures that the product comes in contact with the crust, across the entire surface of the building. Other ways include walking through the pens with a five-gallon bucket splashing water and Crust Buster through the slats. The product has also been applied with a garden sprayer, attached to a hose. The critical factor with any application method is to get enzymes in contact with the entire surface of a pre-moistened crust. It is important, however, not to atomize the product, as enzymes are respiratory irritants (similar to pollen).

Results vary with Crust Buster, but the product frequently works within one week of application. Crust Buster is packaged in 2.5 gallon containers and the minimum order is one case (5 gallons).

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