Is horse manure from Evangeline Downs ok for a vegetable garden?

Asked April 9, 2013, 11:18 AM EDT

I recently purchased soil called "poohyai" that has horse manure from Evangeline Downs in it. Didn't realize this until after I bought it. Now I question whether this is ok for my garden because of the steroids, antibodies that race horses are subjected to. I still have time not to put it in my garden. Please let me know. Thank you!

Lafayette Parish Louisiana

1 Response

I am not familiar with the specific product. As far as nutrients go, horse manure is relatively poorer than other sources of organic fertilizers like chicken litter and dairy manure. If the product has not been adjust for nutrient content, it's value may be only in improving organic matter in the soil, that is a little better than mulch. Your concern with steroids and antibiotics (particularly as it relates to drug resistance) may be legitimate. Depending on the processes applied to that horse manure (composting, for example) at least some of those products may have been degraded, but there are always concerns about homogeneity of the treatment. On the other hand, vegetables thorough cleaning to minimize the risk of contamination is always recommendable when using animal wastes, regardless of their source. Finally, if you have second thoughts about using this product on your vegetable garden, you may still use it in your flower beds. I would also suggest you contact or visit your local AgCenter Parish Extension Office. Your local agents may be more familiar with the processes used in the making of this poohyai.