Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2011
Publication Date: 1/15/2012
Citation: Ritchey, E., Cook, K.L., Loughrin, J.H., Sistani, K.R. 2012. Turning schedules effect nutrient content of composted swine manure. American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting. Abstract. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) generate large amounts of manure per area basis. This manure must be removed and disposed of or utilized in an environmentally sound manner. Land application to crop land is the most common method of waste disposal. For much of the year, land application is not possible due to cropping cycles and alternatives are necessary. One alternative is to compost animal manure during the growing season to produce a stable product that can be stored on-farm until land application is feasible, while reducing the volume. An experiment was designed to determine the optimal turning frequency of swine manure with wood chip based bedding material to produce a “finished” compost. The experiment consisted of three treatments that were turned once weekly, three times weekly, or when the temperature reached 150 F. These piles were compared to the same material that was piled and not disturbed during the same time frame. Nutrient values changed over time, with the biggest change occurring with N. Both NH4-N and NO3-N decreased over time with all managed treatments. However the static pile has greater NH4-N than any other treatment. Potassium was lower in the static pile compared to the managed piles regardless of turning frequency; however P values did not differ. Utilization of composting during the growing season is a viable option to land application.