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Manure Odor and Fly Management by James C. Silverthorne

January 20, 2017

About Manure Odor

Rudolf Steiner: “… if we just leave the pile of compost as I described it hitherto, it may easily come about that it will scatter its astral content on all sides. … We must try to bring the compost-heap into such a condition that it smells as little as possible. … That which would otherwise evaporate and scatter its scent abroad, is thereby held together. The nitrogen, in fact, is that which strongly tends to seek the wide expanse – in manifold forms and compounds. Now it is held together.” Agriculture, p. 71. Emphasis added.

Our Comment: Raw manure at livestock shelter areas, before its composting, is best managed so that it does not emit its nitrogen noticeable as odorous compounds (ammonia, etc.). Odors/volatiles commonly produced by fresh and decaying manure and urine (1) indicate loss of natural nitrogen from the farm, then become atmospheric pollutants (2) on inhalation, threaten animal health (3) readily attract pest flies to the area of odor-producing materials. The same materials not producing odors appear to not attract flies.

Please see Pfeiffer Compost Starter and the Maria Thun BC (Biodynamic Compound) as options to prevent production of odors from accumulations of uncomposted manure. Compost Starter may be applied again while building the heap. As usual, the individual compost preparations are applied to the completed compost heap.

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Manure Odor/Fly Management: Engaging the Farm's Ecological Advantage by James C. Silverthorne. Reprinted from Acres USA, June 2014, Vol. 43, No. 6.

Ideal Manure Odor-Fly Prevention at Livestock Shelters by James C. Silverthorne (Expanded)

Associative Contract deadline has been extended to April 31st!

We will be extending the deadline for applying for an Associative Contract with JPI. We have heard from our biodynamic community that during this crisis,  more time is needed for this service. Click this popup to continue to our Associative Contract page.