Trade your Horse Manure

One thing all horse people can agree upon is that “manure happens” the average horse produces approximately 50 pounds of manure a day. Add that to soiled bedding and wasted hay and it is easy to understand why manure piles can quickly get out of control.

But there is hope. Without realizing what you consider a growing eyesore could be a source of additional revenue for your farm.  Instead of having the manure hauled away or spreading it on your own fields, you could offer your ‘soil amendment’ to local gardeners large and small.

Two very good examples of just how to do this come from out West in Washington and Northern California where ‘manure exchanges’ have been established. These online lists of potential suppliers of manure or compost help to connect the gardener looking for soil amendments with farmers/ ranchers looking to cut their manure piles down to size.

The lists are community services and offer no guarantees of the purity of the amendment provided and are somewhat dependent on each side of the transaction being courteous to the other. But just as Air BnB and Uber have discovered people in general behave pretty well when dealing with others in a face to face  situation.

Below are links to two of the programs. Contact your local extension agent or soil conservation district to see if you have an exchange in your area. I plan to get one going here in Montgomery County soon and you may be able to start one where you are if an exchange is not already in place.

http://www.ncrcd.org/index.php/resources-and-links/agriculture/manure-exchange-program/

http://www.clarkcd.org/manure-exchange/

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Shelly Ingram

I am a third generation horsewoman; My father operated a 50 horse boarding and training facility in northern California, where he specialized in re-training spoiled horses. I was his demonstration rider and general assistant in all aspects of running the ranch. I went on to work for several major show and race horse trainers, eventually opening my own barn where I focused on Junior and Amateur riders. I have trained numerous champion horses and riders on all levels and in variety of disciplines. I have also worked as a journalist and have more than a decade of experience in land use planning.

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