Windrow Composting

Steer manure, from the cleaning of feedlot pens, is trucked to the composting facility where it is dumped in rows.

  • Water is then added to the rows by truck or sprinklers to increase the steer manure moisture. Moisture content must be raised to and maintained at 40% for optimum microbial activity. Through the respiration process, the microbes give off heat and CO2. The temperature rises to 131 degrees Fahrenheit to begin the composting process.

  • At this point, each composting row is mechanically mixed every three days for 8 turns. This turning reduces the particle size to increase the rate of break down, and aerates and mixes the windrow to manage the temperature and oxygen levels.

  • Oxygen levels must be maintained at a minimum of 5% to support aerobic microbial activity. When there is adequate oxygen present, the process does not produce objectionable odors.

  • To complete the composting process, the compost windrow is sprayed with water to create an exterior crust to seal in the interior moisture so that the final phases of organic decay may be completed.

  • Imperial Compost's uniform, consistently high quality requires from 60-120 days from process start to finish.