Composting Dung??

I can borrow a decent sized 360, good thinking! What about paper crumble as a constituent part? I can get hold of as much of that as I want, from virgin pulp and has a surprisingly low C:N ratio when I worked it out from the analysis supplied ~85:1

Paper crumble would work as long as you balance the C:N ratios, but be careful as you would be composting industrial waste materials and then you are in the realms of permits and planning, bio-aerosol risk assessments, odour management plans etc etc, oh and concrete and lots of it.

At a previous company we used to compost sewage sludge and woodchip and to blend it we used a rear discharge muck spreader with composting doors on which did a very creditable job. The doors were set at right angles and with a very slow forward speed saw a very nice windrow developing. Temperature increases were large and quick.
 

The Ruminant

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Hertfordshire
Everything I've read about making compost emphasises how much green material is required to make good compost - from memory something like 70% green matter. My gut feeling is that, where people are having problems with, say, shavings-rich horse bedding, it's probably because it requires huge amounts of soft green, non-woody material adding.
 

Jason

Member
Location
South West
Good and valid points from both @360farmsupport and @The Ruminant , thanks.

Definite thought required on how to comply with a deployment if taking paper and then balancing it all up with enough higher N inputs. Not easy but interesting - best part of 400t of cattle dung arrived today, same again tomorrow. To be honest it will be a god send on this ground spread as it is if it comes to it.
 

cosmagedon

Member
Location
North Wales
Everything I've read about making compost emphasises how much green material is required to make good compost - from memory something like 70% green matter. My gut feeling is that, where people are having problems with, say, shavings-rich horse bedding, it's probably because it requires huge amounts of soft green, non-woody material adding.

I was thinking about this the other day, if you had grass in your rotation would you then be able to zero graze it and add it to the compost?
 

Jason

Member
Location
South West
Don't see why not but unsure regarding the economics of the process and perhaps a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul in terms of nutrient removal from the grass fields if then spreading compost onto arable ground?

I know you would still have OM and structure value of being down to grass and be helping the other arable land through compost but still quite an involved process... green manure cover or break crop on the arable likely just as good or better perhaps?
 

james7230

New Member
BASE UK Member
Location
East
I’ve been looking at this for a while. I would be composting pig manure and adding extra straw to dry it out and increase the carbon.


A conversation I had today with someone who has lots of experience with composting suggested that turning once a week (as seems to be suggested in some literature) is not as necessary as first thought, if you have a well structured pile.


What concerns me is the amount of work required turning it, and as @martian said second hand compost turners are very rare. I have been looking at an Aerated Static Pile system where you blow air down a pipe in the bottom of the windrow.


I’m also concerned about the smell produced, @Simon C does yours produce much odour/ obviously pig muck would be worse than cattle or horse, and how often do your turn yours?
 

Raynard

Member
Location
South
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They are out there..... Just takes a while to find them. We compost a fair lick of FYM. No smell, takes a while (composting not the turning process) due to high straw content.
 

Raynard

Member
Location
South
Everything I've read about making compost emphasises how much green material is required to make good compost - from memory something like 70% green matter. My gut feeling is that, where people are having problems with, say, shavings-rich horse bedding, it's probably because it requires huge amounts of soft green, non-woody material adding.

Broadcast mustard / green manure on top?! Keep meaning to try it....
 

Jason

Member
Location
South West
Green cover sown on top isn't going to 'produce' any extra N though only try and suck up what little is already there - unless a legume of course, a compost heap is a closed system in this sense.
 

james7230

New Member
BASE UK Member
Location
East
Ive been thinking about putting some seed ontop of the bales i intend to mix into the compost. The straw is to increase the C:N and dry it out, but the green material will also support bacterial growth whereas the high lignin straw will support a more fungal dominated system.
 

Raynard

Member
Location
South
@Raynard how often do you turn your compost? and have you got any suggestions where the turners might be sold?

Bought mine on ebay off a chap in west wales who runs a scrap yard. Been hunting a menart for a while. Was ex council so done nothing - paint still on the drum & pulleys. Think it was around £4k. Turning is dependant on what you are composting; high carbon straw takes maybe a month between turns, compared to green material which reduces this dramtically.

Now I have stock I will add ready made compost to fym to speed up process with muck produced this winter for top dressing in the spring.

My ultimate pleasure (worryingly sad) is seeing the blended fym & layer muck composted and then top dressed by bunning spinning deck!

Must leave compound more often.
 
We've been making compost throughout the summer - aim to make tea. on third muck/green/wood - we cut the grass, baled it and spent days unrolling the stuff. All organic couldnt use recycled board due to the glue content. We've watered it and turned it with excavators. Its on massive piles around the yard. Throughout the summer taking temperature and panicking.

Husband got the microscope but struggled to find much but this may be due to inexperience. Went to Lavestock but not impressed - the place is going through lots of changes. The results were apparently the same as many places not really what we expected. Think this was a few hundred pounds. Was told after not to bother with the Laverstoke you have to do it yourself.

Have to wait and see whether all this was successful.

All the info you need to read up on is by Elaine Ingham, Symbio
 
I'll let you know the details when I can find them. The place is sort of disorganised its a mess outside most of Laverstoke has been subbed out now and at the time we felt it was in turmoil. The compost areas have been sold out. We went with gaining more info and to purchase some compost and some additives but the polytunnel was just a disaster and nothing was available. We travelled a long way to get there expected to be wowed by case studies and at least some growing.
 

ED.D

Member
Location
Cheshire
Not sure if any of you guys are still looking but was past prees Heath auction yard today and think there's a Compost turner there if anyone's looking. Might be worth a call to Malcolm Harrison?
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
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