Nutrient Utilization from Composted Swine Manure and Bedding in a Hoop Structure

Terry L. Steinhart, Field Specialist/Swine, Eastern Iowa


According to a recent survey conducted in the 2001 Iowa State University Swine Research Report by Mark Honeyman, associate professor at Iowa State University (ISU), animal science, it is estimated that there are 2,100 hoop structures used for swine production in Iowa.  Approximately 90% of the hoops are used for feeding market pigs and the remaining 10% are used for housing gestating sows.  It was estimated there were 768 producers in Iowa with hoops for swine.  Approximately 50% of the producers use composting of manure and 40% composted swine mortalities.

There is potential for over-application of nutrients in composted swine manure, because the nutrients are concentrated as the manure/biomass is composted.  In many cases, these producers are not large enough to require a manure nutrient management plan, thus the need for educational demonstrations.  This project demonstrated how to effectively utilize composted swine manure and reduce nutrient loss.


The manure was tested for nutrient content monthly as it was composted.  This was used to determine how much, if any, nutrients are lost in the composting process.  The soil was tested for NPK content.  Late spring Nitrogen test and late season N test for corn was taken.  Two rates of compost were then applied and a check with three replications.  There was a check plot, one rate following Nitrogen recommendations and a 2X rate.  Because of the organic material in compost, two subplots had additional N to see if there was a crop yield response.

A field day was held to discuss preliminary results and demonstrate how to properly apply dry manure.


This is the conclusion of the study:

March 17, 2005
103 -- Nutrient Management


Page last updated: July 8, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,