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Do I need to have concrete under the compost pile?

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  • Do I need to have concrete under the compost pile?

    Okay, you've convinced me to try to compost! Do you have to have concrete under the pile?
    www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

  • #2
    If you are talking a manure pile that you are composting there may be state laws regarding the requirement.

    One of the people I housesit for was told by the PA Dept of Ag that her manure pile for her 2 horses was supposed to be on a concrete pad.

    I only know of one barn that I have been to in PA that had a concrete pad for their manure pile.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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    • #3
      http://www.compostinfo.com/

      An online, interactive website to learn how to compost in Florida. The site has tutorials, designs, and instructions specific to composting in your state.

      You can also contact your extension agent for free advice and assistance, or for information specific to composting livestock waste versus yard/kitchen waste.

      However, the principles are the same.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        JSwan, this website is just what I need. Thanks so much! I've been wading through stuff on google all morning!
        www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

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        • #5
          Check with the NRCS/Soil and Water office in your area also. Ours offers costshare money to build manure composting bins.
          "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

          Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Hate to sound stupid, but what do those letters stand for and I'[ll see if we have one in our area.
            www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

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            • #7
              Victory Haven in Lexington does a manure composting program where it is collected in concrete bins, but the actual composting is done in windrows out in the field. Really nice stuff. I think it totally depends on the groundwater regulations in your state as to whether you need to have a pad.
              Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
              Incredible Invisible

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              • #8
                Originally posted by florida foxhunter View Post
                Hate to sound stupid, but what do those letters stand for and I'[ll see if we have one in our area.
                Every state does.

                It's your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Check your county website - it may provide a link to the local office.

                If money is available - they may help pay for you to build a proper composting facility. Yes, they give you money. There are tax ramifications but those are very easily addressed - just keep it in mind. If they don't offer cost-share - look into any possible tax credits. That's a credit - not a deduction.

                Here's a link to Florida's SWCD's - you can find your local district this way too.
                http://afcd.us/main.shtml
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by florida foxhunter View Post
                  Hate to sound stupid, but what do those letters stand for
                  http://lmgtfy.com/?q=NRCS

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                  • #10
                    If you plan on turning your compost pile with an end loader, a concrete pad (and walls) is very useful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We don't have concrete under ours, and it's a cesspool every winter since every time I mound the pile with the tractor, I dig into the ground. It was fine for about 5 years, but now it's a problem.

                      This summer, we are building a manure bunker. It will be 12x36 on a concrete pad, divided into 3 12x12 sections, three-sided walls with one side open for the tractor. We have 5 horses currently and think this will be sufficient for their waste. You fill one section and then start another. As you fill a new section, you turn and empty the older ones. I've found that people on Craigslist will literally give you their first-born child in exchange for good compost.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                        I've found that people on Craigslist will literally give you their first-born child in exchange for good compost.


                        Someone needs to notify CPS (Child Protective Services)!

                        Or the PAMWL (People Against the Misuse of the Word "Literally")

                        ----------------------------------------
                        PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum
                        http://pssm.xanthoria.com/
                        ----------------------------------------

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                        • #13
                          we have a manure "pile" onthe ground and its a mess! everytime it gets spread the ground underneath gets deeper and deeper, we are going to put in a concrete pad and 3 walls to help contain it and the surrounding area

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by apcohrs View Post
                            If you plan on turning your compost pile with an end loader, a concrete pad (and walls) is very useful.
                            Agreed, this is why we built ours like this. So for practical purposes, you don't *need* concrete or walls, but they do make it easier. If your area has water/conservation requirements, that's a separate issue, I think. Definitely check, but if you can do concrete, it's very helpful. Our pad was laid by two 16 year old boys, and a few bags of concrete mixed in a wheelbarrow. Nothing fancy but does a nice job.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by apcohrs View Post
                              If you plan on turning your compost pile with an end loader, a concrete pad (and walls) is very useful.
                              Yep! We learned from experience- the former owners of our property left us a giant random pile of poo....and although it had composted, it was a pain to manage during rainy weather. I ended up having to haul most of it to Pacific Topsoil- they had bedded their stalls with cedar shavings, which doesn't compost well, and isn't a great garden amendment. No one wanted the stuff.

                              Now we have a concrete compost pit with walls, and I have no problems getting rid of compost- in fact I just got done loading pick-ups for three different neighbors this morning! It's very easy to manage with our John Deere tractor and loader- I turn the compost every other week or so to keep things breaking down quickly. In the spring and fall, I have more demand for compost than I have supply, and in this climate, people will pick up compost year-round. We do make sure that we use a bedding product that's free of cedar and designed to compost. There is a bit more cost to that, but if it means that we can actually get rid of the compost, it's well worth it.

                              We went to the expense of putting up concrete walls (Mr. Molliwog had some definite ideas about how he wanted the structure to look and function), but I have seen systems with plywood walls that work just fine. You just have to be a little more careful with the tractor when you turn the pile.

                              I've seen some other really unique set-ups for compost bins in this area. I know of one local farm who used a couple of surplus, slightly damaged shipping containters that they got for free, and the system works great. They don't have a giant tractor, and the enlarged the opening at the end of the containers so that the loader fits thorugh easily.

                              The fact that we manage our manure has also been super-helpful for neighborhood relations. Right now, our county doesn't require that we have a pit with a concrete floor for an operation our size, but some of the neighboring counties in our area do. Unfortunately there are a couple of stables in our county that don't manage well, and there have been some unfortunate environmental issues as a result.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post


                                Someone needs to notify CPS (Child Protective Services)!

                                Or the PAMWL (People Against the Misuse of the Word "Literally")

                                LOL, if the kid is fed and watered and has shelter, CPS can't touch it!

                                Just make sure the turnout blanket fits and is water proof.

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