Statewide Manure Share

April 13, 2009 07:00 PM

Anne Rippke, Farm Journal Editorial Projects Editor

Do you have more manure than you know what to do with? Is there not enough room to have a compost pile on your property? Are your fields and pastures too small to use all of your manure?

Horse owners and small livestock operators in Illinois are dealing with the same problem. The University of Illinois Extension created a manure share program to address the situation. The program connects operators who have extra manure to share with landscapers and gardeners who want manure for composting and fertilizing purposes.

"A thousand-pound horse can produce fifty-five pounds of manure a day and many stable owners do not have the property to accommodate the waste,” says Randy Fonner, extension certified livestock manager program specialist. The extension first found a need for the program when stable owners wanted to know how to manage their manure better. "Fields they used to haul their manure to, gradually moved further away from their operations,” said Fonner.

The program launched a month ago and is intended to operate year-round. Currently, there are 14 entries that have manure or compost available and 17 entries that are looking for manure or compost. Fonner predicts operations such as garden clubs, townships, county and road crews and golf courses would be interested in the program.

Twenty different states have implemented similar programs. Illinois' boarder states of Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin can also request manure through the program.

The Web site also provides information on composting practices and manure application. Details as to what kind of animal manure, bedding, and delivery options are specified by users. In the future, Fonner hopes to create a parallel website that discusses manure management for small farms and demonstrates how they can begin the composting process on their property.

For More Information:  University of Illinois Extension Manure Share

You can e-mail Anne Rippke at

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