This is a voluntary, community resource, connecting farmers who have excess manure on their site with locals who need manure to improve soil in gardens and/or landscapes. Skagit Conservation District will maintain this list. It's simple, FREE, and is a great way to recycle valuable nutrients and organic matter!
For those seeking manure:
1. Determine your needs: What quality and mix of materials do you need? How much do you need?
2. Arrange transportation: Make sure you have a vehicle capable of picking up the manure
3. Select your source: Review the table to find the right source that meets your needs
4. Schedule a pickup: Call the farm beforehand to arrange a time and date
5. Compost at your site: Follow the composting guidelines here
6. Use as a soil amendment: Once composted, apply as needed!
Here are some questions to help you plan:
1. How much manure do you need?
Calculate volume needed (depth x area). Convert to cubic yards (27 cubic feet in one cubic yard). Plan for the number of truck loads required for target volume. Note: most pickups can only handle 3/4 - 1 yard at a time. If you are getting a lot of material, chose a farm with a loader or plan to spend a lot of time with your shovel loading your truck
2. When will you need the manure?
Some farms have manure piles that are not accessible during winter.
3. Are you looking for “Aged” or “Fresh” material?
Older material may be closer to “finished compost” than newer material. See the “Age” column in the Manure Share Source List. If you want old material, be sure to ask the farmer. Often the oldest material is at the back of pile, and the material at the front of the pile is from yesterday. Let the farmer know what you want; they may be able to load the older material for you. It is worth asking.
4. What is your end goal?
If mulch for landscaping; a manure pile with mostly bedding is a good choice. However, for composting for your garden, a material with little or no bedding is better choice (check the “manure/bedding” column in the Manure Share Source List). Know that some beddings will compost faster (straw breaks down quicker and cedar shavings take a very long time).
5. How do you control the weeds?
Weeds can be a real problem with some compost piles. Contrary to popular belief, horses don’t “poop” out significantly more weeds than cows. Weeds present in manure piles, are generated primarily from seeds of weed plants growing near the manure pile. Keep the pile covered with a tarp to prevent weed seed invasion and to compost the pile. The heat and time involved in composting will kill most weed seeds. Because we can’t vouch for the weed seed content of these manure piles, we highly encourage you to cover and compost this material for a month or two before applying it.