Kentucky Horse Farms Go Green with Composting

With the economy in a downfall and the horse industry taking a big hit, farm owners are looking for ways to save money, and perhaps even earn a little extra, in an unconventional way.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, at least 50 Kentucky farms are using a process called aerobic hot composting that turns horse manure into fertilizer that can be used in pastures and flower beds.

With the rising cost of commercial fertilizer, farms are looking for ways to save money. Hauling horse manure off a farm can be an expensive process, costing as much as $300 to haul 20 tons off the property. Three Chimneys Thoroughbred farm in Midway produces more than 1,100 tons of manure a year. Composting instead of disposing their manure has helped Three Chimneys' expenses for dealing with the manure by 40%.

Outside of the farm, Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, which has about 900 loads of manure taken away each year, experiemented with composting over the summer. Officals say they're discussing starting a permanent composting operation.

Some farms are even permitted to sell their homemade fertilizer, thus adding some extra revenue.

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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