when to spread horse manure on pasture

Asked March 1, 2016, 10:59 AM EST

I moved from Western Washington to Eastern Washington and was wondering when to spread horse manure on the pasture. I do rotate pastures. On the westside it took forever for manure to compost plus it never got cold enough or hot enough to kill many parasites. So, do I need to completely compost the manure before spreading it over here or can I spread it uncomposted? This would be on an irrigated pasture so there would be water to wash it in all growing seasons, unlike the westside.

Okanogan County Washington

2 Responses

It is best to completely compost (correct temperature and length of time) in order for parasites, weed seeds, and herbicides to not cause a problem. You do want to spread it thinly over the pasture when the grass is not too long or the manure can smother the grass. Harrowing after application can help spread any clumps. I would not provide manure for gardens and landscaping unless you are 100% sure that no herbicides are present. Manure should not be spread within 100 feet of any surface water or well.

If you choose to spread noncomposted manure on your pastures, make sure that you veterinarian runs routine fecal egg counts on your animals. If you already know you are having difficulty controlling parasites, disposing of manure instead of spreading it would be a good idea until parasites are under control. Spread manure as thinly as possible during dry weather when plants are actively growing. Keep animals off of pasture for at least three weeks to decrease the chance of parasite reinfection.

thanks. that is just the info I need