Efficient Utilization of Equine Manure

Animal Manure Management November 14, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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Abstract

South Carolina is home to an estimated 18,000 horse owners, many of which own or house less than ten horses on their property.  Owners of such small facilities regularly obtain assistance from the Clemson Extension service concerning soil fertility, forage options, and in some cases nutrient testing, but there is very little information available concerning efficient utilization of the manure produced from their facility. In many cases the manure and bedding removed from stalls is viewed as something to be disposed of rather than a possible nutrient source than can be utilized with proper management.  This presentation provides an overview of horse manure production and nutrient content for the small horse facility owner, and addresses the best management techniques to utilize produced manure, including the benefits of composting the manure before utilization.

Purpose

South Carolina is home to an estimated 18,000 horse owners, many of which own or house less than ten horses on their property.  Owners of such small facilities regularly obtain assistance from the Clemson Extension service concerning soil fertility, forage options, and in some cases nutrient testing, but there is very little information available concerning efficient utilization of the manure produced from their facility. In many cases the manure and bedding removed from stalls is viewed as something to be disposed of rather than a possible nutrient source than can be utilized with proper management. 

What Did We Do?

Several County Extension agents offer multi-week Equine Management seminars covering a range of topics primarily for the horse owner with a small number of horses.  We added a segment on horse manure production and utilization, developing a presentation detailing the manure production amounts and nutrient content of typical horse manure, and best management strategies for utilizing that manure.  

What Have We Learned?

This presentation has been provided to four Equine Management Seminars to date.  In each case the horse owners were surprised in the lack of immediate availability of nitrogen in the manure, and were glad to learn of methods that provide sustainable uses for their horse manure while also helping to minimize potential disease issues and other impacts.  They also mentioned that they now view the manure as a resource, not as “something to be dealt with.”

Future Plans

We plan to offer this training during future Equine Management seminars and as a single-event program.

Authors

W. Bryan Smith, M.S., Area Extension Agent – Agricultural Engineer, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, wsmth@clemson.edu

John P. Chastain, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer, Clemson University
Gary L. Heusner, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Georgia

Additional Information

The South Carolina Confined Animal Manure Manager website – http://www.clemson.edu/camm

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.   

Efficient utilization of equine manure from LPE Learning Center

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.