Manure Management & Compost Technique


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Topics presented include: Manure management plans, containment & storage, pasture & paddock management, and manure management options – land application & composting.

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Manure Management & Compost Technique

  1. 1. Manure Management & Compost Technique<br />Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.<br />
  2. 2. Thanks to the <br />Lydia B. Stokes Foundation <br />for funding this workshop and the copying of the CD Resource Toolkit.<br />
  3. 3. Animal Waste Management Dilemma<br />Water pollution concerns (“nonpoint source”).<br />Decreasing land base.<br />Encroaching suburbia.<br />Increased environmental awareness.<br />Increasing animal density.<br />Inappropriate manure management.<br />East Shore of Alburg<br />On Lake Champlain<br />
  4. 4. Manure Happens<br />Valuable resource—if well managed. <br />If Improperly managed—<br />Source of water pollution. <br />Can contaminate drinking water.<br />Odor issues.<br />Flies, parasites, & other nuisances.<br />Can harm livestock & wildlife. <br />
  5. 5. Manure Really Happens!<br />4 horses in stalls = 160,000 pounds of <br />manure & wet bedding <br />per year.<br />
  6. 6. Goals of Manure Management<br />Utilize manure nutrients for enhancing soil.<br />Protect health and safety of the public and livestock.<br />Prevent surface and ground water contamination.<br />Practical. Cost effective. Easy to implement. <br />
  7. 7. Manure Management Plan Basics<br />Farm/Operation Specifics <br />Number & type of animals (A.U.). <br />Period of confinement.<br />Estimated manure production.<br />Special Environmental Factors<br />List sensitive areas, including wells, wetlands, streams, sand/gravel aquifer, soil type, etc. <br />
  8. 8. Manure Management Plan, Cont.<br />Farm Sketch.<br />Buildings, wells, surface water, <br /> pastures, etc.<br />Drainage paths.<br />Manure storage type.<br />Volume and length of planned storage.<br />Manure utilization description.<br />
  9. 9. Manure Management Plan, Cont.<br />Other records (as applicable):<br />Grazing rotation.<br />Land application records & nutrient management plan.<br />Soil & manure test results; crop nutrient needs.<br />Calculations of how much manure to apply.<br />Dates of manure application(s) & incorporation.<br />Rate (amount of manure) applied.<br />Weather & field conditions during application. <br />Compost monitoring & application records.<br />
  10. 10. Best Management Practices<br />
  11. 11. Bedding Considerations<br />Use less bedding.<br />Enough to soak up urine and ensure the health of livestock while minimizing waste.<br />Clean stalls carefully, removing only manure and soiled bedding.<br />Consider rubber mats.<br />Alternative bedding products.<br />Newspaper bedding, shredded paper, & wood pellets. <br />
  12. 12. Smart Grazing<br />Subdivide pasture into two or more areas. <br />Square is best.<br />Rotate livestock so that grass is left standing at about 2 inches.<br />Allow grass to grow to <br /> about 8 inches before <br /> grazing animals on it again.<br />
  13. 13. Rotational Grazing<br />
  14. 14. More Smart Grazing<br />Multiple watering & feeding stations. <br />Moving stations will reduce erosion & manure buildup. <br />Do not allow manure to build up in pastures. <br />Spread manure thinly & uniformly.<br />Remove manure daily to every 3 days from heavily deposited locations.<br />Reduces parasite problems.<br />Reduces fly problems.<br />
  15. 15. Drag or Harrow to Spread & Dry<br />
  16. 16. More Smart Grazing<br />Sacrifice paddock (pen, run, corral…). <br />Allows better control of where & when livestock graze.<br />High ground.<br />Cover w/ hog fuel, gravel, or sand<br />Fence off or limit access to waterways.<br />Try not to graze livestock on pastures during rainy periods. <br />Grass buffers, filter strips, & riparian areas.<br />
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  19. 19. Graze the adult horses in mini paddocks (30’ x 60’). 10 acres are grazed.<br />Graze at night—1-3 nights in a mini-paddock.<br />Horses spend days in barn or working.<br />Chickens follow the horses in the rotation to reduce flies & parasites.<br />Sheep also follow horses in rotation.<br />Multi-Species Grazing Case Study – Fair Winds Farm<br />
  20. 20. Pasture Layout<br />Design with flexibility in mind.<br />Design the rotational system on paper first.<br />Optimize your space.<br />Use larger “permanent” grazing areas & subdivide using portable fencing, as necessary.<br />Use inexpensive and electric fencing.<br />Perimeter fencing vs. internal divisions.<br />Depends on livestock types.<br />
  21. 21. Pasture Layout, continued<br />Consider slopes & hills.<br />South facing.<br />Graze livestock on contour.<br />Each pasture should contain enough land to provide about the same amount of forage.<br />Establish runs or walkways on higher, drier soils.<br />
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  26. 26. Bedded Pens and Packs<br />Work well for sheep & goats.<br />Does not require daily handling.<br />Regular supply of bedding is required.<br />Daily removal of fresh manure deposited on pack extends pack life.<br />Place feed & water adjacent to bedded pack on hard surface.<br />
  27. 27. Problem Pastures<br />Don’t let your pastures <br />look like this!<br />
  28. 28. Manure Storage: Size & Location<br />Hold all the manure and bedding generated until it can be utilized. <br />Long-term winter storage of 180 or more days will be necessary.<br />December 15 to April 1 – no land application.<br />Near the manure source.<br />Equipment type, access, and maneuverability.<br />
  29. 29. Manure Storage: Size & Location, cont.<br />Setbacks.<br />100 feet from wells, wetlands, and surface water bodies (streams, ponds).<br />200 feet away from residences.<br />100 feet from property lines. <br />Downwind from stables/barns and neighbors’ residences. <br />Use shrubbery or fencing to screen.<br />
  30. 30. Manure Storage: Structures<br />Pile contained on a pad or in a small shed.<br />Wooden or masonry “bucking wall” behind the pile. <br />Three bucking walls contains manure and leachate more effectively and makes handling easier.<br />Structures for storing larger quantities of manure (e.g., more than a five horses, or AU equivalents).<br />Wooden or concrete storage sheds are options. <br />Grassy or vegetated filter/buffer around storage.<br />
  31. 31. Manure Storage: Pad & Covering<br />Compacted earth or stone dust.<br />Packed gravel, road base material, or crushed limestone base.<br />Farms with horses or larger numbers of animals. <br />A rough-surfaced ramp.<br />Cover to prevent run-off from the pile which can lead to water contamination. <br />Tarp<br />Permanent roof<br />
  32. 32. Manure Storage<br />
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  39. 39. Field Stacking<br />
  40. 40. Other Storage Options<br />Plastic garbage cans with lids, wood or metal bins, or carts.<br />Manure spreader<br />Supplemental storage will be necessary in winter.<br />Dumpsters<br />Contract with a hauler.<br />
  41. 41. 3 Steps to Land Application<br />Step 1: Start by getting to know your soil. <br />Soil test for the field or crop area where the manure is to be spread.<br />Every 3-5 years.<br />Step 2: Know your manure.<br />See the ToolKit.<br />Get a nutrient analysis for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (“N-P-K”).<br />Must be uniform sample.<br />
  42. 42. 3 Steps to Land Application, cont.<br />Step 3: Consider crop needs<br />Use fertilizer or production guide to determine the nutrient needs.<br />Do not apply manure (and other fertilizers) at rates that exceed the amount necessary to meet crop nutrient needs in a growing season. <br />
  43. 43. Which Manure Where?<br />Apply manure with the highest N content in the spring or fall and with the lowest in the summer.<br />Match manure value to crop yield potential.<br />High N manure to high N requirement crops.<br />High P manure to soils with lowest P levels.<br />If manure is spread on pastures grazed by livestock remember that pastures can be infected with parasites. <br />
  44. 44. What’s in Manure?<br />Yearly phosphorus needs for one acre of forage pasture can be met by spreading manure from: <br />One, 1,000-lb. horse<br />1,000-lb. beef cow<br />Three, 150-lb. pigs<br />Twelve, 100-lb. sheep<br />Six, 100-lb. goats; or <br />Four, 300 lb. llamas.<br />
  45. 45. Manure/Compost Spreaders<br />Mighty Spreader<br /><br />NewerSpreader<br /><br />
  46. 46. More Land Application Tips<br />The nutrients in fresh manure readily leach into the air, soil, and water. <br />To get the most value from the nutrients, apply it as close as possible to planting time. <br />If nutrient loss is not a concern, apply it in the fall and plant cover crops on it, such as rye or oats. <br />
  47. 47. More Land Application Tips, cont.<br />Harrow or incorporate into the soil (a rake will do) within 72 hours of application.<br />Reduces the potential for run-off contamination and preserves nutrients.<br />Reduces odor issues.<br />A no-till cropping regime can be practiced by spreading manure onto cover crops. <br />Cover crops absorb soluble nutrients from the manure and prevent them from leaching.<br />
  48. 48. More Land Application Tips, cont.<br />The field should be firm enough to prevent spreaders from packing the soil and dry enough so that manure does not run off. <br />Do not apply manure if a storm is on the way.<br />Heavy rain will wash away manure.<br />Applications on cultivated fields typically are limited to pre-planting and post-harvest.<br />
  49. 49. Marketing Manure: A valuable resource!<br />Marketing manure may require some education.<br />Poultry manure will sell well as a “natural fertilizer.” <br />Other types of manures can be advertised as “soil amendment.” <br />Aged or composted manure is easier to market.<br />Advertise on agricultural websites, Craig’s List, FreeCycle, and similar listservs. <br />Stop in local or regional farmers.<br />Make a sellable product.<br />Form a manure cooperative. <br />
  50. 50. Plowing Manure or Compost<br />
  51. 51. Off-Farm Manure Utilization<br />Buy or rent more land.<br />Off-site land application of manure.<br />Off-site compost operation.<br />“Free garden fertilizer.”<br />Blended soil producers, organic farmers, home gardeners, mushroom growers, others.<br />
  52. 52. Marketing Manure: A Valuable Resource!<br />Marketing manure may require some education.<br />Poultry manure will sell well as a “natural fertilizer.” <br />Other types of manures can be advertised as “soil amendment.” <br />Aged or composted manure is easier to market.<br />Advertise on agricultural websites, Craig’s List, FreeCycle, and similar listservs. Facebook!<br />Stop in local or regional farmers.<br />Make a sellable product.<br />Form a manure cooperative. <br />
  53. 53. Composting—Is it for you?<br />Labor & time.<br />Pitchfork & wheelbarrow.<br />Front loader.<br />Manure spreader.<br />Thermometer.<br />
  54. 54. What is Compost?<br />Value-added product: converts waste material to easy-to-handle, useful product.<br />Soil-like material, rich in organic matter & organisms.<br />It is not: mulch, fertilizer, manure, peat moss, topsoil.<br />
  55. 55. Benefits of Compost on Soil<br />Improves Physical Properties: Increases water retention; improves soil aeration and structural stability; resistance to water and wind erosion; root penetration; soil temperature stabilization.<br />Enhances Chemical Properties: Increases macro- and micronutrient content; availability of beneficial minerals; pH stability; converts nutrients to a more stable form, reducing fertilizer requirements.<br />Improves Biological Properties: Increases the activity of beneficial micro-organisms; promotes root development; can increase agricultural crop yields; suppresses certain plant diseases; acts as biofilter, bonding heavy metals.<br />
  56. 56. Advantages<br />Typically can be done with existing farm equipment and available farm land.<br />Improves manure handling.<br />Reduces volume.<br />Reduces moisture content.<br />Reduces odor.<br />Reduces fly & parasite problems.<br />More uniform & easier to handle or spread.<br />
  57. 57. Advantages, continued<br />Improved land application.<br />Nitrogen is more stable & released more slowly.<br />Weed seeds & pathogens destroyed.<br />Soil conditioner.<br />Can be used as a bedding for poultry litter & other livestock.<br />Saleable product.<br />Cost share money may be available from NRCS.<br />
  58. 58. Organic Matter on the Farm<br />Manure<br />Bedding material<br />Waste silage<br />Produce<br />Garden waste<br />
  59. 59. Elements of Composting<br />Aeration – Oxygen concentrations - 10-14+%.<br />Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) Ratio – 20:1-60:1 (preferred 30:1-50:1)<br />Moisture -- 40 to 65 percent (preferred 50 – 60%) — like a damp sponge.<br />Optimum pH range - 5.5 to 8 (preferred 6.5 – 8.0)<br />Temperature – 120 and 160F.<br />131F for 15 days to kill weed seeds & parasites.<br />
  60. 60. Elements of Composting, cont.<br />Bulk density < 1000 lbs. per cubic yard.<br />Particle size (diameter in mm) – 3-13 (preferred depends on end market).<br />Porosity, structure, texture - particle size, shape & consistency influence aeration.<br />Adjust with bulking agents – raw materials.<br />Compost recipe. <br />Grinding or mixing.<br />
  61. 61. Its Like Baking a Cake…<br />One part manure.<br />Two parts bedding or carbon source.<br />Moisture.<br />Aeration.<br />Containment & cover.<br />
  62. 62. Compost System<br />Recycled Organics University,<br />
  63. 63. The Process<br />Decomposers: bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes.<br />Heat is released by microorganisms during the aerobic metabolism of an organic substrate (e.g. glucose).<br />Temperature influences microbial population.<br />Initial stage: Mesophilic bacteria <br />As the temperature rises, mesophilic organisms begin to die off and thermophilic organisms begin to thrive.<br />
  64. 64. The Recipe<br />Know the compost process.<br />What’s the primary ingredient—what must be managed? <br />What feedstock(s) do you have readily available (e.g., manure & bedding)?<br />What are the characteristics of the primary ingredient?<br />Nutrient content, C:N ratio, moisture content, bulk density, pH, potential for odors.<br />
  65. 65. The Recipe, cont.<br />What are the complementary or secondary ingredients available? What are the characteristics of these? How can they be mixed together to properly compost with the primary ingredient.<br />Balance C:N ratio, moisture, bulk density, etc.<br />Observation, feel of compost, temperature, trial and error.<br />Calculations.<br />
  66. 66. Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.<br />Getting the Right Mix<br />Compost Mix Calculator: Solves for the total carbon to nitrogen ratio of up 4 materials (or less) in a mix <br /><br />Green Mountain Technologies<br /><br />Highfields Recipe & Pad Size Calculation Worksheets<br /><br />
  67. 67. Feedstock Considerations<br />Is the feedstock difficult to handle?<br />Does it fit into your recipe<br />Will it blend with other materials at the site? Is the texture right? Proper moisture? Color?<br />Is the particle size right? Does it need grinding? Color<br />Is it relatively free of contaminants? What’s the pathogen potential?<br />Is it generated regularly in volumes your site can handle?<br />Are the generators willing to pay a “tip fee.”<br />
  68. 68. Controlling Odors<br />Cover piles/windrows – layer of finished compost<br />Direct process air through a biofilter to remove odors.<br />Vessel containing mature compost.<br />Suction-type aeration system<br />In-vessel systems or an aerated static pile.<br />
  69. 69. Aeration<br />Turned windrows<br />Front loader.<br />Windrow turner.<br />Modified turners.<br />Forced air system.<br />Aerated static pile.<br />In-vessel system.<br />Aerated Static Pile (ROI)<br />
  70. 70. Compost Pile<br />
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  72. 72. Windrows<br />
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  75. 75. Size of Piles & Windrows<br />Minimum of about 4-6 feet high. <br />No more than 6’ high & 12’ wide to ensure sufficient air movement through the pile. <br />A windrow should be 10-15 feet wide by 3-5 feet high. <br />
  76. 76. Compost Bins<br />Wood, pallets, or concrete blocks.<br />Nine pallets with make a 3-bin set.<br />Landscape timbers can also be used. <br />3-5 feet high.<br />Enough capacity to hold about 4 cubic yards of material (16 wheelbarrows worth of material).<br />Widths can range from 5-8 feet.<br />
  77. 77. Bins, continued<br />Pile manure and bedding wastes into the first bin until it is full.<br />When the first bin is full, begin filling the second bin. <br />Use the third bin to turn the compost from the first bin into for aeration. <br />Water materials as added.<br />Add additional bins if necessary.<br />
  78. 78. Compost Bins<br />
  79. 79. Compost Bin System<br />
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  81. 81. Bin/Shed System<br />
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  84. 84. Inexpensive Shed System<br />
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  86. 86. <ul><li>Impermeable base
  87. 87. Vegetative filter to control leachate and storm water runoff</li></li></ul><li>Aeration Systems<br />
  88. 88. Aeration System<br />
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  91. 91. More Specifics<br />6-8 inch layer of wood chips under your bins, pile, or windrow to help airflow.<br />To begin the compost process, materials will need to be stacked at least 3-5 feet high.<br />Take compost temperature every 5-10 days.<br />Turn when it goes below 120F. <br />Several months to 1 year or more to complete the process. <br />
  92. 92. EZ Stack Composting System<br /><br />
  93. 93. In-Vessel Compost Unit<br />
  94. 94. Quality Assurance<br />Know & meet the quality requirements for your end market.<br />Observe, monitor, sample, analyze, test.<br />Track and keep accurate compost records.<br />Feedstock sources, problems<br />Materials, lot numbers, problems<br />Turning frequency<br />Temperature<br />Train your staff.<br />
  95. 95. Contact Information <br />Athena Lee Bradley, Project Manager<br />Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.<br />139 Main Street, Suite 401<br />Brattleboro, Vermont 05301<br /><br />Tel: 802-254-3636, Fax: 802-254-5870<br /><br />