Manure Management & Compost Technique
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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.

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 Manure Management & Compost Technique Presentation Transcript

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