"Practical and economical applications
of composting technology are now available to farmers in Illinois,"
said Paul Walker, a professor of animal science at ISU.
Reports from several studies in the
C-FAR initiative were presented at the University of
Illinois Pork Industry Conference in Champaign recently.
Walker noted that composting manure is
a practical, economical and environmentally safe way for pork
producers to co-exist with increasing urban sprawl.
"Composting is an age-old practice of
manure management, whereby organic components of various waste
streams are biologically decomposed under controlled conditions to
form a stabilized state in which they can be safely handled, stored
or applied to land as a soil amendment," he explained.
He said that a brand-name compost has
been developed that can be used by Illinois producers for
value-added marketing of compost. An in-depth compost market
analysis has been conducted for Illinois and is available to
producers interested in developing a compost operation and marketing
compost as a value-added product.
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"Cost to compost depends on several
factors," he explained. "The cost of production can range between
$10 and $32 per ton. Prices for compost range between $10 per ton
and $200 per ton, depending on quality."
Walker's research indicated that solid
and liquid swine manure can be composted with success and that
composting can be used as a manure-management practice by small,
medium and large-scale operations. Corn and soybeans grown on soils
amended with compost yield similarly to crops grown with inorganic
composted manure, there are a variety of consumer-market
opportunities," he said. "This product could be aimed at home
gardeners, landscapers, vegetable farmers, turf growers, golf
courses and ornamental growers."
of Illinois news release]