Environment

 Industry Partners


Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan


Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:



Author(s): Manitoba Pork Council
Publication Date: January 1, 2000
Reference: Manitoba Pork Council
Country: Canada

Summary:

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic materials under controlled conditions. Microbes will consume oxygen and organic matter to produce heat, carbon dioxide, water vapour and stabilized organic matter. The Livestock Manure and Mortalities Regulation requires mortalities to be kept in a secure storage location and disposed of within 48 hours after death. Otherwise, mortalities must be continually frozen or refrigerated. No person shall dispose of mortalities except by burial or incineration, composting, or delivery to a rendering plant. The benefits of composting are: sound biosecurity, discreet method for year-round carcass and after-birth disposal, easy disposal of materials (weanlings, afterbirth, even feeder pigs and sows), carcasses can be disposed of immediately, composted materials can be recycled onto farm fields as a value-added soil conditioner. Compost bins should be built on an elevated site that has 24-hour year round access. The site should be able to control any leaching or run-off. When locating a composter consideration should be given to traffic patterns required for moving dead pigs, the required ingredients, and removing the finished compost from the composter. While offensive odours are not usually generated in the composting process, the handling of dead pigs on a daily basis may not be aesthetically pleasing. It is a good idea to build the composter surrounded by trees. The bins may vary in size depending on the type and size of the operation. A 350-500 sow farrow-to-finish operation would require 3 piles, each approximately 15 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Larger operations may choose a more customized system or larger bins in similar proportions (i.e., 25 x 50 ft). It is recommended that the base should be a concrete pad with a 4-6 inch curb or lip to prevent leaching and run-off. A buffer of crushed rock around the compost bin will discourage rodents. It should be noted that using sawdust will control nearly all run-off and leaching. While bin configuration is not critical, bins are often laid out as three-sided enclosures. The open side should be wide enough (at least two feet wider than bucket width) so that the bin contents are easily accessible with a front end or skid-steer loader. A roof is recommended to help control moisture levels. An open compost bin may receive too much rainfall in a given period or too much snow accumulation in winter. Properly finished compost should appear as a dark, nearly black granular material resembling humus or potting soil. It may have a slight musty odor. The pile temperature will have dropped to the ambient (outside air) temperature. Some resistant bones (skull parts, teeth) may be visible, but they should be soft and easily crumbled by hand. The material is now ready for spreading onto an existing land base.

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