Maturation of peanut hull and swine lagoon compost

P.L. Herring, A.C. Noah, H.T. Kraus
Much of the 67 billion kg of manure produced by the 115 million hogs farmed in the United States annually is washed from hog houses and stored in open-air lagoons. Solids settle out of the slurry and must be periodically dredged to maintain the functionality and environmental safety of the lagoon. These swine lagoon solids (SLS) are an attractive option for horticultural plant production as they may provide a portion, or all, of a plant’s nutrient requirements when used as media or additives for media. Peanut hulls are a large waste component of peanut production and are therefore also readily available. Two batches of swine lagoon compost (SLC) were developed using 15:85 (v/v) SLS and peanut hulls in an in-vessel compost reactor. To evaluate the suitability of SLC as a germination media, a seed germination bioassay study was conducted with four species [Raphanus sativus ‘Cherriette’ (radish), Zinnia elegans ‘Dreamland Red’ (zinnia), Lycopersicum esculentum ‘Moneymaker’ (tomato), and Tagetes patula ‘Janie Deep Orange’ (marigold)]. The compost batches with different maturation (4 and 11 days, respectively) were also evaluated to determine an appropriate maturation time. A commercial peat-based potting media with a two-week nutrient charge was used as the control media. Germination of each species was different for each media. All species germinated better in the control media than in the SLC; however, the difference was only statistically significant for Zinnia elegans ‘Dreamland Red’ which possibly demonstrated a sensitivity to high electrical conductivity (EC). Following germination, each species was grown for 28 days. Growth of seedlings of each species, was the same for each media but indicated that 4 days of compost maturation was not sufficient.
Herring, P.L., Noah, A.C. and Kraus, H.T. (2019). Maturation of peanut hull and swine lagoon compost. Acta Hortic. 1266, 261-268
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1266.37
media, swine lagoon sludge, bioassay, germination

Acta Horticulturae