How to Make Dairy Compost

Overview

If you have a dairy farm, then you already know that the cows produce more than just milk. Every day, these cows create quite a bit of manure as well. Sadly, most people just allow this resource to go to waste. But with a bit of work, you can use the energy rich cow manure in your compost bins to help make sure that you are getting the most out of your compost.

Step 1

Set up your compost bin. Generally it is best to do this somewhere near the area where the dairy cows are being kept. Not only will this save you a lot of time and effort hauling the manure around, but the odor of the dairy cows will easily mask the odor of the compost bin.

Step 2

Load your bulking agents into the compost bin. Bulking agents include materials such as sawdust, hay, straw, wood chips and even corn stalks. The bulking agents will serve to pull moisture out of the organic materials that will be added as well as helping to aerate the compost pile. As a general rule, you will want to use roughly twice the amount of bulking agents as energy material, or manure.

Step 3

Load your energy materials into the compost bin. In this case your primary energy material is going to be dairy cow manure. You can also supplement this with coffee grounds and vegetable matter kitchen waste products. Even though these materials are high in moisture, the bulking material you have laid down will help to dry them out and keep down the growth or microbes and the production of odor.

Step 4

Load raw materials into the compost bin. These can include various yard clippings and tree refuse. Make sure to cut anything that is to be added to the refuse pile into small pieces, no larger that half an inch in diameter. This will help accelerate the composting process.

Step 5

Load any new materials into the center of the compost bin. Use a pitchfork to clear a section in the center of the pile, so that the newly added materials are in the middle of the bin. Once the material is added, use the pitchfork to pull the surrounding compost over the freshly added material. This will ensure a quick and steady composting process.

Step 6

Turn your compost once per week. The microbes that power the composting process need oxygen to perform their tasks properly. Using a pitchfork to turn the compost pile once a week ensure that all of the areas are getting the proper amount of oxygen in order to do their jobs.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Organic matter
  • Pitch fork

References

  • Composting dairy manure
  • Composting
  • Composting the easy way
Keywords: dairy compost, composting, manure composting

About this Author

Lucinda Gunnin is a trained and experienced print reporter with almost two decades of experience in the media business. She holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and undergraduate degrees from Adams State College in Colorado. Gunnin has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines and has her fiction published in the anthology "Elements of the Soul."