Manure Odor and Fly Management, by James C. Silverthorne

Odor-Fly, AcresUSAJune14_Silverthorne

EXPANDED Ideal Manure Odor-Fly Prevention (Acres U.S.A. June 2014)

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.