In-vessel composting of lagoon solid fractions

Project: MLMMI 2009-09


The objective of this project is to determine the effectiveness of the Ag-Bag in-vessel composting method, originally developed to ensilage forages, in handling the solid fraction remaining in manure storage lagoons. Settling is a low energy input of separating the solid and liquid fractions of hog manure. If proven successful for transforming the solid fraction settled to the bottom of a traditional lagoon, a subsequent application method may be possible. This type of manure handling system has the possibility of significantly reducing the existing lagoons and increased flexibility in timing land applications.

Keywords: hog manure, solid liquid separation, in-vessel composting, aerobic, Ag-Bag, nitrogen, phosphorus


Lorne Grieger
Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI)


Status: Completed
Started: 2010-02-15
Completed: 2011-02-15

Funding Partners: who have contributed to MLMMI in support of this project:
This project is funded by the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI) under the Canada-Manitoba Growing Forward Initiative - $71,000

Amount Funded: $71,000.00
Performer Funded: $0.00
Total Cost: $71,000.00


Progress report #1 due May 15, 2010.
Received May 14, 2010.
Progress report #2 due August 15, 2010.
Received August 12, 2010.
Progress report #3 due November 15, 2010.
Received November 15, 2010.
Final report due February 15, 2011.


Note to Reader concerning Phosphorous Redistribution Projects

In order to comply with current provincial manure management regulations, livestock producers in phosphorus surplus areas of Manitoba have to implement ways to redistribute nutrients to phosphorus deficient areas. The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative (MLMMI) is undertaking a series of projects to find effective affordable solutions for producers. This report is one of these projects.

All options available to producers in phosphorus surplus areas are under consideration. These include but are not limited to manure separation, manure handling and storage, and liquid manure transportation. This report is only one of many options that are under consideration.

Separating solid and liquid manure has the potential to reduce liquid application costs. Separation allows more liquid manure to be applied to a smaller land area while still meeting phosphorus requirements. Composting the remaining solids can reduce the volume of solids to be handled by 25%, adds value to the manure while retaining its nutrients.

This project assessed the effectiveness of the Ag-Bag in-vessel composting method for use in liquid manure storage applications. The project found that the finished compost did not meet the CCME Guildelines for Compost Quality as there were pathogens with elevated levels of fecal coliforms. Salmonella was also detected in one sample.

In vessel composting has advantages in that environmental influences on the composting process are minimized. A disadvantage to in-vessel composting can be the inability to modify the compost mixture whether through moisture addition or mixing of the compost to break up moisture stratification.


Final Report
Progress Report #2 - August 2010
Progress Report #3 - November 2010

Manitoba Pork represents 614 Manitoba hog farms