horse manure managementDescription and Benefits

Proper horse manure management involves a combination of barn and paddock drainage planning, manure collection, and manure storage for removal or composting. It creates a healthier environment for horses and other livestock, a cleaner and safer work area, and safely composted manure that can be used as a soil amendment. By keeping manure separate from ponds and drainage areas, it helps protect streams and groundwater quality, and reduces odors and insect breeding opportunities.

Things to Consider with a Horse Manure Management Plan

Horse facility owners should develop a waste management plan that considers chore efficiency, visual impact, odor, health and safety implications, as well as economic costs and benefits in developing and implementing the waste management plan. A sound manure management plan needs careful attention to detail. It uses principles from engineering, animal science, economics and crop and soil science to maximize the value of using animal waste and turning it into a soil amendment and to minimize the potential for environmental damage during the process. Also, anyone keeping a horse should be aware of zoning, health and water quality regulations. Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of California Cooperative Extension and private consultants offer assistance in the development of these plans. A successful manure management plan involves collection, storage, processing and disposal or utilization.

The OME (Organic Materials Exchange) is a local web-based service to list your raw, aged or composted manure. Interested gardeners and landscapers in the community can then contact you directly with their interest in your product. Hauling off manure can be expensive, but may be the only alternative on many sites. Neighbors, landscapers, gardeners and nurseries may want your composted or aged manure.

Related Practices