For the past 5-10 years, Hollywood feeders has found their manure application to be inefficient, and we have now found a solution. Bedpack and pen scraped manure from our feedlot facility supplies us with a very large amount of nutrients for our crops, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Instead of applying our wet manure to our fields and driving numerous miles with our tractors, we have opened the door to composting, which allows us to make our manure go much further. For example, we intend to apply 1 ton per acre of compost to get the same level of nutrients we would if we had applied 3-5 tons per acre of wet manure. Our compost turner aerates the manure by allowing oxygen into the windrows, thus continuing microbial activity, and it also allows the water content to evaporate. Once we have our finished compost, we have roughly figured a 40% shrink factor. This becomes very beneficial for handling purposes, as we won’t have as much volume of product to spread or handle.
Our journey thus far has been a success, and as we move towards next year, we will continue to learn and make the best product possible. Our next endeavor will be to make humus compost. Humus compost will have clay added to each windrow, and will require a 12 week process. By adding the clay to our compost, the clay particles will bind to our soil and make an abundance of more nutrients available to our crops. Humus compost applications will allow us to gradually decrease our fertilizer costs over the course of a few years by releasing tied-up nutrients in our soil.
We will have on-farm yield data trials and run soil tests on our trial areas to see our yield and nutrient differences from different application rates. Applying humus compost every year may not be feasible, but we want to test the waters with our trials and compare the results. We have theorized that a humus compost application once every 3 years will make the most economic sense, after we have figured the value per ton of our product.
We may have some humus compost available for the 2021 year, so if you are interested in the product, please give us a call! We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our project!
Kurt Dagel – 507-530-3574 or Trent Johnson – 507-828-9178