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Pathogen reduction in minimally managed composting of bovine manure
- Millner, Patricia, Ingram, David, Mulbry, Walter, Arikan, Osman A.
- Waste Management 2014 v.34 no.11 pp. 1992
- Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Senftenberg, Salmonella Typhimurium, aeration, animal pathogenic bacteria, cattle manure, composting, die-off, heat, land application, manure spreading, pathogen survival, risk reduction, straw, temperature
- Spread of manure pathogens is of considerable concern due to use of manure for land application. In this study, the effects of four static pile treatment options for bovine manure on die-off of a generic Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7 surrogate, Salmonella Senftenberg, Salm. Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes were evaluated. Bovine manure spiked with these bacteria were placed in cassettes at the top, middle, and bottom sections of four static pile treatments that reflect minimal changes in pile construction with and without straw. Temperatures were monitored continuously during the 28 day self-heating period. E. coli and salmonellae were reduced from 8 to 9 log10 CFU g−1 to undetectable levels (<1.77 log10 MPN g−1) at 25–30 cm depths within 7 days in all pile sections except for the manure-only pile in which 3–4 logs of reduction were obtained. No L. monocytogenes initially present at 6.62 log10 CFU g−1 were recovered from straw-amended piles after 14 days, in contrast with manure-only treatment in which this pathogen was recovered even at 28 days. Decline of target bacterial populations corresponded to exposure to temperatures above 45 °C for more than 3 days and amendments of manure with straw to increase thermophilic zones. Use of straw to increase aeration, self-heating capacity, and heat retention in manure piles provides producers a minimal management option for composting that enhances pathogen die-off and thereby reduces risk of environmental spread when manure is applied to land.