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Author Topic: Manure
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  rancho el milagro
  Rancho Viejo
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Manure    (Posted Sat, Aug 18 '07 at 06:42 UTC)

We are just getting started in farming, me after some 50 years away from it. The whole idea of organic is interesting but I recall my Dad's farm many years ago. It was organic since we couldn't afford much fertilzer or spraying. Now I am wondering how to get the best bang for my hours of labor. We have horses that produce a lot of manure. I am reluctant to use that directly on row crops because of the e coli scares. How should I treat the manure before using it? Will it make a good soil amendment with proper treatment?

Re: Manure    (Posted Sat, Aug 18 '07 at 08:30 UTC)

I have had good luck just letting horse manure sit in a pile for a year, but it was partially decomposed when I got it from my neighbors. My current project is with fresh horse manure that I got from a stable, with very little sawdust. I layered it up with hay (6-7 layers) and water it along with my usual irrigation rounds (20 stations -10 day cycle). I will either let it sit until next spring or have my neighbor move it onto my fields with his tractor and let is finish composting where it lays. General rule is to let it sit for a year before use. Red worms are supposed to be the best for digesting animal manures.

Catering to the unique Ferndale perspective.
Re: Manure    (Posted Wed, Aug 22 '07 at 09:29 UTC)

Here's an article with an interesting way of using manure:

Apparently, when manure is burned as a heating fuel, and the resultant ash used as a fertilizer, it has a cumulative effect, dramatically increasing crop yield and soil health every year that its used. Plus, you don't have to worry about it contaminating your crops with e coli or parasites.

This is one of the keys to Asia's soil fertility, even though many farms there have been heavily used for over 4000 years.

 navarre ohio
Re: Manure    (Posted Tue, Dec 29 '09 at 06:49 UTC)

You cannot get e-coil from horse manure.

Mud Run Farms
 San Ramon
Re: Manure    (Posted Sat, Jan 2 '10 at 08:10 UTC)

While you wouldn't want to apply horse manure directly to plants (it'll burn them), letting it compost first works great! You could make a huge compost pile out of it by taking turns layering the manure (nitrogen) with carbon such as wood shavings or straw, etc. It'll take some months depending on the zone you live in and which season you begin your project.

I also have good luck using a thick layer on top of an existing bed (or a new one, for that matter) at the end of summer after harvest and letting it sit for several months. The earthworms do their work and it's ready for planting like magic come spring.

Chris McLaughlin - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting (Alpha/Penguin) April 2010
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