Composting can reduce antimicrobial resistance in manure

A brief summary of the manuscript, Dissipation of Antimicrobial Resistance Determinants in Composted and Stockpiled Beef Cattle Manure by Xu et al. (2016)

Key Points:

  • Composting manure can reduce pathogen presence and antimicrobial residues in manure.
  • Composting efficacy in reducing antimicrobial residues in manure is associated with elevated temperatures within the composting process.
  • Stockpiling manure marginally reduce pathogen presence and antimicrobial residues in manure when compared to composting.

Continue reading “Composting can reduce antimicrobial resistance in manure”

Low Cost Aerated Static Composting Systems for Small Acreage Equine Operations

Why Study Low-Cost Composting?

The equine industry in Massachusetts, estimated to be over 50,000 animals, is of a size to make significant impact on non-point source pollution. An average horse generates about 45 lb. of manure per day, almost 10 tons per year as well as bedding. Thus, in Massachusetts approximately 500,000 tons of manure plus associated stall bedding are produced each year. Management of manure and mud on horse farms is a challenge for horse owners and equine facility managers. This is of particular concern at farms where horses are kept in stalls and land availability for manure spreading is limited. The growing number and size of unmanaged piles of manure seen on many properties is becoming an increasing concern due to greater public awareness and pressures in an increasingly urban society. Runoff from stables, manure piles and over grazed pastures has the potential to increase risks of non-point source pollution from nutrients, organic particles, fecal coliform bacteria, and other pathogens. Related: Small Farm Stewardship

What did we do?

aerated trash bins system

Figure 1: Aerated trash bins system

Perforated wood to be installed at the bottom of the bins for air flow

Figure 2: Perforated wood to be installed at the bottom of the bins for air flow

Composting pile with cover

Figure 3: Composting pile with cover

automated air blower connected to perforated PVC pipe

Figure 4: Automated air blower connected to perforated PVC pipe

Through a 319s grant funded by Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection, two Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting systems, also known as forced aeration were installed to manage livestock manure and bedding produced on Blue Star Equiculture Farm in Palmer, Massachusetts. A community-based 501c3 non-profit organization, Blue Star Equiculture was established to provide retired and homeless working horses a sanctuary and the opportunity to improve their lives and be purposeful. The organization also offers equine and environmental awareness to the public through educational and healing opportunities.

Blue Star Equiculture currently manages their manure by hauling it to a nearby field. The Blue Star Equiculture has 30-40 horses at any time and expects an increase in number of animals. Considering an average of 45 lbs/day of raw manure, 35 horses generate a yearly mass of 575,000 lbs (287 tons) of raw manure that affects the Lower Ware River and Chicopee main stem. The current loading of nutrients by the Blue Star Equiculture herd is roughly 4000 lbs/year of nitrogen and 1200 lbs/year of phosphorus. This has implication on macrophyte growth and eutrophication of the Chicopee River.

The 30 herd horses in Blue Star Equiculture can contribute to 4.6 x 10¹² organisms/year of fecal coliform, and can lead to water quality impairment in the Chicopee and Connecticut rivers. The first system consisted of three plastic trash bins, each holding roughly 750 pounds of waste (Figures 1 and 2). The bins are connected to an air compressor/air blower which automatically turns on for roughly one minute every hour. The exact duration and frequency of the aeration varies and is controlled by a low cost credit card sized microcomputer with temperature sensors. It is calculated based on ambient and manure temperature and the composting phase. The automated adaptability increases the composting success and sustains the processes into the colder seasons. Furthermore an optional WIFI internet connection provides remote process monitoring and alerting. Finished compost is ready in 7-8 weeks including curing time. A layer of finished compost added to the top of the waste facilitates the process.

The wheels under the bins make collection of waste in the stall much easier. This simple and cost efficient system is especially applicable in facilities with 1-3 horses.

The second system consisted of one or more composting piles about 35 ft long (Figure 3). Each pile can be subdivided into three 10 ft section for frequent addition of fresh materials and/or removing finished compost. The composting materials are piled on a wood chip base with perforated PVC pipe running through the base and a 1 HP air pump which works for 1-2 minutes every hour. The pile is covered with a fabric which is impermeable to water. The compost in each subdivision is finished in 8-10 weeks including curing and finishing time. The same blower control and manure sensory system used for the bins was also utilized with the large pile setup.

What have we learned?

Both composting systems worked efficiently and compost was ready in eight weeks. Composting of horse waste at the Blue Star Equiculture significantly reduced pollution related to nutrients and pathogens. Aerated composting systems were used for hands on training workshops where over 400 horse owners learned about these systems and some of them implemented on their farm.

Future Plans

Similar system will be installed at University of Massachusetts Horse Farm to educate students of equine management as well as hundreds of visitors coming to the farm annually.

Authors

Masoud Hashemi, Extension Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts masoud@umass.edu

Atakan Kadi

Additional information

https://ag.umass.edu/crops-dairy-livestock-equine/fact-sheets/low-cost-aerated-static-composting-systems-for-small

Acknowledgements

This project has been financed partially with federal funds from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) under a s319 Competitive Grant. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or of the Deparment, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Antibiotic Losses during Thermophilic Composting

Purpose

Residual antibiotics in land-applied manure and biosolids present a potential threat to public and ecological health, so it is important to determine antibiotic removal efficiencies for manure and biosolids waste management practices and to identify conditions that enhance antibiotic degradation.

What we did

Loss of the antibiotics florfenicol, sulfadimethoxine, sulfamethazine, and tylosin was studied during pilot-scale static pile thermophilic composting and the effects of temperature and feedstock particles on antibiotic removal rates were tested. The antibiotics were spiked into dairy manure solids and wastewater biosolids, and treatments included aerated and non-aerated manure and biosolids/wood-product (1:3 v/v) composting.

Figure 1. Applying antibiotic solution to biosolids

Figure 1. Applying antibiotic solution to biosolids

What have we learned

Results showed no significant differences between aerated and non-aerated treatments; on average ≥85%, ≥93%, and ≥95% antibiotic reduction was observed after 7, 14, and 21 d of composting. Greater antibiotic reduction was observed in manure compost compared to biosolids compost for florfenicol (7, 14, 21, 28 d) and tylosin (7, 14, 28 d); however, there was no significant difference for sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine. Peak temperatures were 66-73°C, and ≥55°C was maintained for 6-7 d in the biosolids compost and 17-20 d in the manure compost.

Bench-scale experiments conducted at 25, 55, and 60°C showed that lower temperature decreased removal of the sulfonamides and tylosin in both feedstocks and florfenicol in the biosolids. The presence of compost particles increased antibiotic loss, with time to 50% dissipation ≤ 2 d in the presence of solids (60°C), compared to no degradation in their absence. These results indicate that thermophilic composting effectively reduces residual antibiotics in manure and biosolids.

Figure 2. Mixing biosolids and wood shavings

Figure 2. Mixing biosolids and wood shavings

Figure 3. Mixing biosolids and wood shavings

Figure 3. Mixing biosolids and wood shavings.

 

Authors

A. Bary*, S.M. Mitchell*, J.L. Ullman**, C.G. Cogger*, A.L. Teel*, R.J. Watts*

Washington State University*, University of Florida**.

Andy Bary, bary@wsu.edu

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Figure 4. Compost bins

Figure 4. Compost bins

Markets for Composted Agricultural Waste

Why Consider Composting Manure?

Enforcement of nutrient management regulation has forced Maryland farms and agricultural facilities to adopt new waste management practices. Few options exist that are financially sustainable. Regulatory agencies witnessed the unexpected consequence of closing small and mid-sized farms who could not afford to institute new waste management technologies. To counter that consequence, Maryland Department of Agriculture offered grants to subsidize the development of innovative technology and business practices. These new systems and business models had to offer both financial and environmental sustainability.

What Did We Do?

The first step in this project (supported by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, 2014) was to identify the biological make up and characteristics of the stable waste both before and after processing. We measured nutrient content and form (N, P, K), porosity, moisture absorption and C: N ratio. By understanding what the material consisted of pre-processing, we were able to determine what effects different controls during processing would have on the end product. As an example, when using stable waste for bedding re-use the material is run through the composting system as quickly as possible. A shorter composting period with auger mixing technology allowed the biological activity to breakdown the manure balls, support the transformation of the waste nutrients and yet protect the integrity of the shavings for second use. Related: Managing Manure on Horse Farms

Next, the local markets were studied:

  • Soil types and needs: compost to add porosity, water retention, nutrients to soil
  • Weather patterns and created needs: compost added for water retention, binding material to diminish run off
  • Population centers for urban market: compost for landscape needs, potting medium
  • Rural character for on farm market: compost for nutrient replacement, bedding re-use
  • Cost of operations on local farms: cost of bedding, cost of disposal, cost of landscape material, cost of synthetic or imported fertilizer
  • Wholesale market needs: compost for distribution centers (Scotts products), soil specialty companies, land reclamation sites, Department of Transportation needs, green house growers

Identifiable, viable market channels to move the processed stable waste were necessary components of a business model.  Uses for the processed waste were identified both on site and off site.

On site uses were identified as:

  • Land application: field enhancement
  • Bedding re-use
  • Landscape use
  • Improved footing arenas
  • Land reclamation
  • Pelletized for heat systems

Off site uses were identified as:

  • Soil amendment
  • Land reclamation
  • Potting Medium
  • Food Waste Bulking agent
  • Whole sale distribution centers
  • Soil Specialty companies

What Did We Learn?

Data was gathered and studied from equine facilities with existing composting operations to illustrate what the benefits and challenges can be. IOS Ranch on Bainbridge Island Washington is a sustainably designed 7.5 acre property that supports 20-25 stalled horses. The design concentrates the structures, indoor arena, stall, office and supporting buildings, so there could be surrounding pasture turn out and an outdoor arena. The facility was paying high waste disposal fees. Their decision to bring composting technology to the farm was an effort to eliminate disposal fees and diminish their bedding cost through bedding re-use. However, once the system was installed a local landscaper visited the site and saw value in the compost. The material is now sold for $30/yard wholesale and $45/yard retail to local landscapers and gardeners. With the price of shavings for bedding delivered at $7.50/yard the business decision to sell the compost was an obvious one. The property was formerly a gravel pit with large areas of exposed pit run. Once realizing the value of the compost for land application, the owner spread on the exposed areas greatly improving grass performance in the turnout fields. This farm was saving $100-$140/day producing compost because of the reduced disposal fees plus profits from marketing, allowing for a breakeven on investment in 3 years.

manure composting operation on horse farm manure composting operation on horse farm manure composting operation on horse farm

Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall hosted a pilot project for composting of food waste on remote contingency bases. On this base the Army’s Caisson horses are housed in a 50+ stall barn. After the pilot was completed the in vessel composting system will revert to the base for processing the stable waste. The base has the choice of bedding re-use or using the compost for landscape needs on base and/or in the adjacent Arlington National Cemetery. Outside contractors were supplying the base with compost at nearly $400,000 per year. The project could pay for itself in the first year. Thorough lab analysis showed the compost to be consistently of high quality, pathogen free, and weed seed free.

army base horse manure composting photos

Currently two sites in Maryland are being studied; one an equine rescue facility housing 50-80 horses, and the other a dairy with 240 head. The use of composted stable waste as a peat moss replacement will bring value to the equine and dairy farms and to the large, local greenhouse industry. Currently 80% of the peat moss used in Maryland is imported from Canada. The farms selected are large enough that they can produce enough material for bedding re-use (savings of nearly 20% of operating budget) and/or sell the material to wholesale buyers. The composting material from both sites show the favorable attributes of peat moss, porosity and moisture retention. Blending can alter the nutrient levels to what the market needs by using the more nutrient rich dairy waste. The collection of compost and blending can be done on on site or at an off site location in cooperation with other local farms, this may help meet larger volume needs of wholesale buyers. 

horse manure composting operation in Maryland horse manure composting operation in Maryland horse manure composting operation in Maryland

Future Plans

The Maryland projects are both two years in duration with continual data gathering and recording. The next step is the location and operation of a collection yard for multiple local farms to send their processed stable waste. Such a yard allows for mixing to meet differing market needs and the creation of large quantities of homogenous product for local greenhouse growers.

Authors

Mollie Bogardus, owner, Aveterra and representative of Green Mountain Technologies, Inc. mollie@compostingtechnology.com

Additional Information

http://news.maryland.gov/mda/press-release/2014/08/15/mda-awards-1-million-for-innovative-manure-management-technologies-demonstration-projects-in-howard-frederick-and-worcester-counties-recognized/

Acknowledgements

Dr. Pat Millner, USDA Beltsville, Research Microbiologist is lead researcher and mentor on these projects in Maryland.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Efficient Utilization of Equine Manure

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Abstract

South Carolina is home to an estimated 18,000 horse owners, many of which own or house less than ten horses on their property.  Owners of such small facilities regularly obtain assistance from the Clemson Extension service concerning soil fertility, forage options, and in some cases nutrient testing, but there is very little information available concerning efficient utilization of the manure produced from their facility. In many cases the manure and bedding removed from stalls is viewed as something to be disposed of rather than a possible nutrient source than can be utilized with proper management.  This presentation provides an overview of horse manure production and nutrient content for the small horse facility owner, and addresses the best management techniques to utilize produced manure, including the benefits of composting the manure before utilization.

Purpose

South Carolina is home to an estimated 18,000 horse owners, many of which own or house less than ten horses on their property.  Owners of such small facilities regularly obtain assistance from the Clemson Extension service concerning soil fertility, forage options, and in some cases nutrient testing, but there is very little information available concerning efficient utilization of the manure produced from their facility. In many cases the manure and bedding removed from stalls is viewed as something to be disposed of rather than a possible nutrient source than can be utilized with proper management.

What Did We Do?

Several County Extension agents offer multi-week Equine Management seminars covering a range of topics primarily for the horse owner with a small number of horses.  We added a segment on horse manure production and utilization, developing a presentation detailing the manure production amounts and nutrient content of typical horse manure, and best management strategies for utilizing that manure.

What Have We Learned?

This presentation has been provided to four Equine Management Seminars to date.  In each case the horse owners were surprised in the lack of immediate availability of nitrogen in the manure, and were glad to learn of methods that provide sustainable uses for their horse manure while also helping to minimize potential disease issues and other impacts.  They also mentioned that they now view the manure as a resource, not as “something to be dealt with.”

Future Plans

We plan to offer this training during future Equine Management seminars and as a single-event program.

Authors

W. Bryan Smith, M.S., Area Extension Agent – Agricultural Engineer, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, wsmth@clemson.edu

John P. Chastain, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer, Clemson University
Gary L. Heusner, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Georgia

Additional Information

The South Carolina Confined Animal Manure Manager website – http://www.clemson.edu/camm

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.   

Effect of Manure Handling and Incorporation on Steroid Movement In Agricultural Fields Fertilized With Beef Cattle Manure

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Why Study Manure Land Application and Steroids?

Manure generated from concentrated animal feeding operations may serve as a source of steroids in surface water and adversely impact the development of aquatic ecosystems. The objectives of this research were to determine the amount of steroids and metabolites in manure from beef cattle production pens, and runoff from crop production fields.

What Did We Do?

Heifers were treated with zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and 17b-estradiol implants and fed melengestrol acetate, while a second group was not treated with growth promoters. Manure was sampled in the pens during feeding, run-off was collected during rainfall events, after feeding manure was collected, and either composted or stockpiled overwinter. In the  following summer both composted and stockpiled manure was spread on a field, with plots subjected three tillage practices. Following application, two rainfall simulation events were conducted: one day (1 DAT) and one month later (30 DAT) to determine the effects of rainfall timing, manure handling (treated compost, untreated compost, treated stockpile and untreated stockpile) and tillage (no-till, moldboard plow+disk and disk) on the runoff losses of steroids.

What Have We Learned?

Simulated rainfall apparatus.

Results from the manure composting showed reduction in steroid concentrations over stockpiling for some compounds in manure samples such as 4-androstenedione, a-zearalenol, and progesterone, though not for all steroids. Very low concentrations of steroids were found in most runoff samples, approaching or below detection limits. Considering only detection frequency, fewer runoff samples showed traces of steroids on the 1 DAT in comparison to the 30 DAT simulations.  The amount of  rainfall  before runoff was initiated was affected by tillage, and was different for the 1 DAT and 30 DAT events. A second year’s study with a smaller set of treatments, and use of a surrogate estrogen applied at known mass showed that disking significantly reduced runoff losses of the steroids. Runoff risk is affected by the storm event needed to initiate runoff, and also the time since manure application.

Soil during rain simulation and tube to take runoff to collection point.

Future Plans

From both the steroid runoff and general manure applications risk perspectives, how the soil receives rainfall changes during the first month after tillage. Therefore, this process needs to be investigated more closely and models predicting runoff have to take these changes into account.

Authors

Charles A. Shapiro, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Haskell Agricultural Laboratory, Concord, NE cshapiro@unl.edu

Sigor Biswas, Research Assistant, William L. Kranz, Associate Professor, David P. Shelton, Professor, Simon J. van Donk, Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering; Daniel D. Snow, Associate Professor, Schol of Natural Resources; Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt, Assistant Professor, Tian C. Zhang, Professor, Civil Engineering; Terry L. Mader, Professor, Animal Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; David D. Tarkalson, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, Kimberly-ID. 

Additional Information

Bartelt-Hunt, S., D. Snow, W. Kranz, T. Mader, C. Shapiro, S. van Donk, D. Shelton, D. Tarkelson, and T.C. Zhang. 2012. Effect of growth promotants on the occurrence of steroid hormones on feedlot soils and in runoff from beef cattle feeding operations. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46(3): 1352-1360.

Biswas, S., C. A. Shapiro, W. L. Kranz, T. L. Mader, D. P. Shelton, D.D. Snow, S. L. Bartell-Hunt, D. D. Tarkalson, S. J. van Donk, T. C. Zhang, S. Enslay. Current knowledge on the environmental fate, potential impact and management of growth promoting steroids used in the US beef cattle industry. J. of Soil and Water Cons. (In press, July 2013 issue).

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by US-EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant R833423.

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Vermicomposting Animal Manure

Worm Composting

Vermicomposting is a process that relies on earthworms and microorganisms to help stabilize active organic materials and convert them to a valuable soil amendment and source of plant nutrients. Earthworms will consume most organic materials, including animal manure, agricultural crop residues, organic byproducts from industries, yard trimmings, food preparation scraps and leftovers, scrap paper, and sewage sludge.

Of the more than 4,000 species of earthworms, only half a dozen are used for vermicomposting worldwide. The earthworm species most frequently used for vermicomposting is Eisenia fetida, which is commonly called Red Wiggler.

The red wiggler worm is frequently used for vermicomposting.

 

How To Choose A Vermicomposting System

A variety of methods may be used to process large volumes of organic residuals with earthworms, ranging from land and labor-intensive techniques to fully automated high-tech systems. Types of systems include windrows, beds, bins, and automated raised bioreactors. Choosing which vermicomposting system to use will depend upon:

  • Amount of feedstock to be processed
  • Funding available
  • Site and space restrictions
  • Climate and weather
  • State and local regulatory restrictions
  • Facilities and equipment on hand
  • Availability of low-cost labor

Swine Manure Vermicomposting, Vermicycle Organics, Tarboro, NC

 

Dairy Manure Vermicomposting, Worm Power, Geneseo, NY

 

What Are the Advantages In Using Vermicompost?

Earthworm casts are covered with mucus from their intestinal tract; this layer provides a readily available carbon source for soil microbes and leads to a flush of microbial activity in fresh casts. Vermicompost improves soil structure, reduces erosion, and improves and stabilizes soil pH. In addition, vermicompost increases moisture infiltration in soils and improves its moisture holding capacity.

Plant growth is significantly increased by vermicompost, whether it is used as a soil additive, a vermicompost tea, or as a component of horticultural soilless container media. Vermicompost causes seeds to germinate more quickly, seedlings to grow faster, leaves grow bigger, and more flowers, fruits or vegetables are produced. These effects are greatest when a smaller amount of vermicompost is used—just 10-40 percent of the total volume of the plant growth medium in which it is incorporated. Vermicompost also decreases attacks by plant pathogens, parasitic nematodes and arthropod pests.

Turnips: 0%, 10%, 20% vermicompost by volume added to field plots, Biological & Agricultural Engineering, NC State University

 

Recommended Reading About Vermicomposting

Author: Rhonda Sherman, North Carolina State University

Passive Composting of Manure

Passive Composting

Passive composting is probably the most common method used today because it involves simply stacking feedstocks and leaving them to compost over a long period of time. Very little, if any activity is performed on the pile once it has been constructed. Initial composting parameters can be controlled but are not usually maintained during the entire process. This process relies on mother nature to draw cool air and oxygen into the pile as the warm air is released. This process is commonly referred to as the chimney effect.

“Chimney effect” within an active composting pile

 

Passive/static yard waste composting

 

In Vessel Composting of Manure

In-Vessel Composting

In-vessel composting refers to any type of composting that takes place inside a structure, container or vessel. Each type of system relies upon mechanical aeration and turning to enhance and decrease the duration of the composting process. The goal of in-vessel composting systems is to combine various composting techniques into one controlled environment, which utilizes the strength and minimizes the weakness inherent to other forms of composting.

Farmers Automatic composting system – mechanically aerated in-vessel. CC 2.5 Jason Governo

 

In-vessel composting system used for poultry manure. CC 2.5 Jason Governo.

 

Composting Manure in Windrows

Windrow composting

Windrow composting is similar to passive composting although the piles of materials are turned or aerated by mechanical equipment to maintain optimum conditions. Materials are placed in long rows where the actual size and shape of the windrow are dependent upon the feedstocks and type of turning equipment. Dimensions of the windrow normally range from three feet to twelve feet high and anywhere between eight to twenty feet wide. Mechanical turning is usually done with a front-end loader or a machine specifically designed for turning windrows

Windrow composting using a front end mounted two pass turner