Composting is an old technology. It can add value
to manure and provide benefits to soil. Compost is preferred by
many over raw manure for several reasons, including reduced odor,
increased residence time in the soil, and increased microorganisms.
Reducing odor of manure is important to applicators, especially
those near urban areas.
Organic matter, such as manure, improves soil health.
It can increase the soil's capacity to retain nutrients and water.
It can also increase the ability of water to infiltrate the soil
surface. Because compost has increased residence time in the soil
and increased microorganisms over raw manure, its benefits to soil
health are greater.
However, the composting process takes time, water,
and manpower. These requirements, of course, increase the cost.
Therefore, it is not a strategy for everyone.
E. Application of Animal Manure/Compost in an Irrigated
Oat/Corn Rotation (6
slides/page PDF file, 497KB); Full
sized PDF file, 2.2MB; Accompanying
Paper, 387KB 2003 ASAE Annual International Meeting, Las Vegas,
Nevada. July 30, 2003
E. and K.A. Tanksley Application of Animal Manure/Compost
in an Irrigated Alfalfa Production System (6
slides/page PDF file, 657KB); Full
sized PDF file, 1.8MB; Accompanying
Paper, 127KB 2003 ASAE Annual International Meeting, Las Vegas,
Nevada. July 30, 2003
The links and contacts below are starting points
for anyone interested in starting a compost program.
Farming Connection - links on composting
Compost Education and
Resources for Western Agriculture this site is part of an ongoing
project designed to provide agricultural professionals with the
latest information on composting and compost use. (University of
Manure Used Along Roadways Controls Erosion - used in Connecticut
and Texas (NRCS/USDA)
from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences
Dairy Manure for the Commercial Markets - producer written Core
Council - USCC is a non profit (501.c.6) national organization
(society for composters)
2001 Innovative Uses of Animal Manure & Biosolids Symposium Proceedings
- (not-for-profit alliance of the Association of Metropolitan
Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and
On Farm Composting
Project - (Agua Fria - New River Natural Resource Conservation
Composting Dead Poultry - Virginia Cooperative Extension