What do you do with piles of horse poop? What used to be a problem- accumulated manure from a horse boarding business in Carmel Valley in central California – has become a green side business. In 2008 the Bancroft Ranch, an equine boarding facility with 30 plus horses, installed a sophisticated manure composting system with grant funding through the Livestock and Land program The program is a collaboration of local Resource Conservation Districts (RCD’s) and Ecology Action, a non-profit based in Santa Cruz, CA. Additional assistance was provided through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Livestock and Land programs works with livestock owners and facility managers to solve soil and water quality concerns that can arise from livestock keeping. Bancroft Ranch is now a “Watershed Steward Demonstration Site” and share their success with other horse facility operators.
Horse manure is collected and composted in a state-of-the-art (yes, there is a state-of-the-art in composting) where the process is shortened using aerated bays, which not only eliminates the need for turning, but creates a more consistent end product than ordinary composting in a static pile. Owner/operator and chief pooper-scooper Susan Bancroft has been delighted in the results, both in the quality of the finished product, but also the very tangible side effects of a cleaner (less mud and muck), neater and nearly fly-free property.
The resultant high-quality compost is offered for sale either in recycled feed bags or in bulk and also supplies the local garden club. Susan is a periodic speaker at local garden club gatherings and has a devoted clientele that have bought out her supply the past 5 springs.
To learn more about how Livestock and Land can help your facility, visit www.livestockandland.org.