Composting is the controlled aerobic decomposition of raw organic material such as manure, processing wastes, straw or stalks into a soil-like substance called compost. Compost makes an excellent soil amendment. If done properly, composting produces enough heat to destroy any pathogens and weed seeds in the raw organic material.
Pull-type compost turner mixing and aerating a compost of manure and crop residue. Photo by Karl Hakanson.
Covered composting facility.
Photo by Karl Hakanson
Composting is most effective when used together with feedlot/barnyard runoff controls to collect manure and with short-term manure/ag waste storage and handling facilities to better manage composting operations. Another, similar practice covered in this Conservation Funding Guide is dead animal composting.
Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District