I was wondering what folks are paying for compost or aged manure. We have a cattle farmer that is willing to sell some aged manure. Yay! He wants me to tell him what it's worth.
Currently, I pay 75$/yard (plus trucking) for a fairly well-finished fish compost.
Where do you get that compost from @ThreeForksFarms ?
And, off topic, how difficult is it to find/connect with your clientele up there on Manitoulin?
We get fish compost from Meekers Aquaculture. It’s a certified organic rainbow trout farm that is just 15 minutes away. They use all the fish waste from their farm and some from Purvis Fisheries and mix it with sawdust from local sawmills to make the compost.
Manitoulin so far seems like a great place to connect with customers. The island has a fairly large population of retired people that are craving what we have to offer. In the summer months the population of the island explodes with tourist that are hungry for things to do and food to eat. That being said, we still drive to Sudbury, to do a delivery run and do a farmers market once a week.
Last year I put Schlegel Composted Turkey Litter (TLC) down over 40 acres. It worked well, was a little damp for spreading. 2021 prices are $104.5/ tonne incl. deliv to my address, $92/ tonne before delivery. The product comes with an guaranteed analysis (which is partly reflected in the higher price, that and the composting) and is 1-2-1. I think they work in some spent muchroom substrate too for organic matter.
I believe low end for uncomposted ‘aged’ manure is about $25/tonne and up, but there is no analysis. Who knows what has leached out in that time. If its only been sitting a little while you might be ok.
I’ve also used Schlegel’s turkey litter for a few years now. Last year I paid $90 / MT + freight.
Similar to “deanorr”, I’ve found it is a little on the damp and therefore heavy side, especially as we spread it over our one acre market garden by hand with wheelbarrows.
I’ve also found it to be quite rich, to the point where we have to be mindful of how much we put on and when it is applied. As such, for the past few years we’ve spread it in the fall and left it uncovered in the garden over the winter and found it to be a much more workable texture and more mellow the following spring.
I would love to hear about other sources of organic compost, as I’ve had little success in finding any alternative of comparable quality. We are looking specifically for a compost with higher organic matter that we would be able to spread more liberally (ie. as a mulch of 2" - 3"), as this cannot be accomplished with Schlegel’s (too rich = toxic at higher rates). I know of another farm who mixes their turkey compost with wood-chips to increase OM, but unfortunately we do not have the equipment to do so currently.
Another alternative to consider is SureSource Hen Manure Compost. It’s produced in a controlled environment, so has a very consistent texture (no sticks or stones) and relatively low moisture (25-30%, compared to 50%+ for most other composts). The analysis is high (5-3-2), so the cost per ton is more, but the cost per lb of actual nutrients is competitive. It’s available in bulk loads or totes, and also in pelleted format.
It’s definitely not mulching material - for that I would look into mushroom compost, or if you’re in Eastern Ontario, Spread-X compost.