Most times, farmers mix up the identity and roles of compost, cure manured, dried manure and fresh manure. We try to prevent this common mistake by considering differences among them;
1. Compost: is often a mixture of livestock faeces and carbon materials (such as crop residues, biomass waste, plant trimmings, sawdust, wood shavings, biochar etc.) allowed to decompose aerobically or anaerobically. It has an earthy smell. Compost is safe to apply closely to crop plant anytime, contains no pathogen, holds and readily releases nutrients, stay longer and builds the soil. It is best used in/for nursery trays, potted seedlings, potting soil, direct soil bed application, container/grow bags, etc.
2. Cured Manure is often a heap of livestock faeces allowed to stay for a period of time before use. Most cured manure undergoes anaerobic partial decomposition which helps to lower ammonia-heat generation that could damage the crop plant on application. Cured manure is not completely free from pathogens hence it should be treated or inoculated with biocontrol agents such as Trichoderma viride, Pseudomonas fluorescens, etc. Nutrient release is also protracted and temporarily builds the soil. It is used for open field annual & biennial crop plants, in soil bed application and greenhouses.
3. Dried Manure is dehydrated undecomposed manure. During drying, pathogens get destroyed, while ammonia gas escaped hence giving no foul odour. Dried manure should not be applied close to crop plants esp. young plants. There is a tendency for an ammonia-heat generation when they come in contact with moisture/water. Some nutrients are not readily available on application. Though high in nutrients, most nutrients are leached out with no controlled release. Dried manure can easily be stored or transported. It is best used during land preparation, open field biennial and perennial crop plants and in silage.
4. Fresh Manure: is a fresh faecal material from livestock such as cattle, poultry and pig. It harbours lots of pathogens and gives off a foul odour. It is best utilized for fermented manure tea, in BSF larvae production, etc.