The Conclusion of the Horse Manure Project

The horse bedding overall was not very beneficial to our compost formula. It did encourage an increase in K, however the increase brought the K levels out of the suggested range. Otherwise, the additional horse bedding and manure in the 50/50 mixture decreased the C:N ratio. However, the 100% horse bedding increased the C:N ratio to 33% greater than the other two piles. This increase is most likely due to the lack of aerobic decomposition in comparison to the other two piles. The Carbon that normally would have been used as a food source for the bacteria remained within the piles because the bacterial colonies went dormant after the weather brought about by Hurricane Sandy.

Ultimately the 100% horse bedding is not an efficient way to compost. It is not reliable in outdoor facilities, and the lack of nitrogen does not bode well for amending soil. The 50/50 mixture returned data supporting an increase in K and a consistent N level. With the addition of a P heavy fertilizer, the HB50 compost could be a good product. Nonetheless the increase in K is not a great enough benefit to validate the time and energy required to obtain the horse bedding.

Due to the low levels of phosphorus in our final compost product, exploration of alternative combinations may improve the compost quality. For instance, if we added pure manure there is a possibility that we could raise the phosphorus levels to a more desirable level.

The chart above shows the accepted range of each nutrient as well as the actual data points from our study. As you can, see the only nutrient consistently within its accepted range was Nitrogen.

The chart above shows the accepted range of each nutrient as well as the actual data points from our study. As you can, see the only nutrient consistently within its accepted range was Nitrogen.

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Categories: Compost Testing, Project Work, We've got the goods! | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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