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Equine Health Blog

Maryland Horse Council
Horse Manure Management Surveys Project

Preliminary Results
August 2014

The Maryland Horse Council received a grant from the Maryland Horse Industry Board to conduct a series of surveys on horse manure management throughout the state.  This issue was identified as a priority concern at the 2009 Maryland Horse Forum.   Under this grant, the first survey was sent out electronically to horse farms.  The survey is voluntary and all results are anonymous.  To date, we have received over 200 responses from horse farms located throughout the state.  Here are the preliminary findings of the survey.

  • Most have 1-5 horses (43%), 6-9 horses (16%), 10-19 horses (20%). 20-49 horses (14%), 50-100 horses (6%), over 100 horses (1%)
  • Most keep horses in stalls for some period (80%)
  • Most keep horses in stalls for 7-10 hours in the summer (41%) and 11-14 hours in the winter (44%)
  • Most use sawdust for bedding (59%) followed by wood shavings (22%)
  • 42% compost and then spread horse manure and bedding
  • 30% compost and give away composted material
  • 21% pile horse manure and have it hauled away
  • 17% spread un-composted horse manure and bedding
  • 13% put horse manure and bedding in dumpsters to be hauled off
  • 3% compost and sell composted manure
  • 59% use horse manure as a fertilizer on their own farm, 41% do not
  • The most common equipment/infrastructure for manure management are a compost pile, spreader and bucket loader
  • Most farms dedicate 1-5 person hours per week to manure management (in addition to regular stall cleaning)
  • If the manure is hauled off the farm, 65% reported a monthly pick up, 19% weekly, 16% bi-weekly
  • Hauling fees range from $90 to $1000 depending on amount and frequency
  • 15 hauling companies for horse manure were identified
  • Most horse farms (50%) do not know where their haulers take the manure, 32% goes to a composing facility, 10% to mushroom farms, 6% to a landfill and 2% to a nursery
  • Most horse farms (67%) would not haul their own horse manure to a regional composting facility
  • Over half (59%) were satisfied with their system of manure management, 34% somewhat satisfied, 7% not satisfied
  • Most of those unsatisfied with their present manure management system cited cost as their primary concern (46%), followed by lack of information on alternatives (22%), lack of space on the farm (20%) and time limitations (12%)
  • Statements on the ideal manure management system include on-farm composting for on-farm use, on-farm composting for sale/gifts and hauling off at no or low cost
  • Most farms (79%) have never used available technical assistance or cost sharing programs from state or county agencies. Of the 21% who did use these programs, a third found them helpful, a third found them not helpful and a third found them somewhat helpful. Of this 21% who used the programs, most (70%) would like to have more funding available.
  • Final comments from respondents to the question, “Are there any other issues related to horse manure management that you recommend be added to the agenda of the Maryland Horse Council?”  (shortened versions)
    • “Need more access to information”
    • “Find a way for horse people to sell their manure”
    • “Assure that haulers are disposing of the manure properly”
    • “Need cost effective systems”
    • “Connect manure users with providers”
    • “Reduce paperwork”
    • “Help small farm operators”
    • “Pest control”
    • “Study persistent herbicides”
    • “More information on state, county and municipal laws and regulations”
    • “More training on composting and manure management”

Preliminary conclusions:

  • Many small horse farms are interested in on-farm composting
  • The manure hauling business is very locally-driven and segmented
  • There are concerns about cost and regulations for manure management
  • There is un-met demand for technical and financial assistance for manure management

 

Published in Farm Stewardship

Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee
Fall Meeting

Composting!

Monday, October 13
Columbus Day

2:00 – 4:00 pm
Brooke Grove Farm
A Certified Agricultural Conservation Steward
18420 Brooke Grove Road
Olney, Maryland

Agenda

  • Welcome: Jane Thery, Chair, Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee
  • Tour of the Brooke Grove Farm Composting Operation:
  • Dr. Charlie Mess, Owner, Brooke Grove Farm
  • Composting Options for Small, Medium and Large Farms:
  • Mollie Bogardus, Equine and Agriculture Specialist, Green Mountain Technologies
  • Technical and Financial Assistance for Composting:
  • Eddie Franceschi, Equine Resource Conservationist, Montgomery Soil Conservation District

Refreshments Provided

Published in Farm Stewardship

The UMD Equine Extension team is pleased to announce an Introduction to Equine Nutrition Clinic on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Please see the attached brochure for registration details or register online at https://umeequinenutrition.eventbrite.com

Instructors for the day include University of Maryland's own Dr. Amy Burk and Dr. Charlie Apter, Dodon Farm's Erin Pittman, and Dr. Justin Sobota of South Mountain Equine. 
 
Through a combination of lectures and demonstration, equine professionals and casual horse enthusiasts alike will gain a basic understanding of the equine digestive anatomy, nutritional requirements, and how to manage nutritionally related disorders. During demonstration, students will learn to body condition score a horse, accurately assess feed weight and forage quality, and evaluate a ration. Anyone is welcome to register; no experience is necessary.
 
Registration deadline is October 24, 2014 and space is limited so register today!
Published in Equine Health

The UMD Equine Extension team is pleased to announce an Introduction to Equine Nutrition Clinic on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Please see the attached brochure for registration details or register online at https://umeequinenutrition.eventbrite.com

 Instructors for the day include University of Maryland's own Dr. Amy Burk and Dr. Charlie Apter, Dodon Farm's Erin Pittman, and Dr. Justin Sobota of South Mountain Equine. 
 
Through a combination of lectures and demonstration, equine professionals and casual horse enthusiasts alike will gain a basic understanding of the equine digestive anatomy, nutritional requirements, and how to manage nutritionally related disorders. During demonstration, students will learn to body condition score a horse, accurately assess feed weight and forage quality, and evaluate a ration. Anyone is welcome to register; no experience is necessary.
 
Registration deadline is October 24, 2014 and space is limited so register today!
Published in Equine Health

Hold the Date

Monday, October 13
Columbus Day

2:00 – 4:00 pm
Brooke Grove Farm
18420 Brooke Grove Road
Olney, Maryland

Published in Farm Stewardship
The following candidates for seats in the Maryland General Assembly were endorsed by vote of the Maryland Horse Council Board of Directors at its Quarterly Meeting on August 26th in New Market, Maryland.
 
This is the first time in MHC history that we have endorsed candidates for office. The endorsement decisions were based on the candidates’proven track record of support for MHC and our issues and concerns, including support for: equestrian training and competition facilities and equestrian sports; farmland preservation; the Thoroughbred industry, breeders and racing; our opposition to Sunday hunting; and attendance at MHC events.
 
Senator Thomas V. (Mike) Miller - Senate
 
Delegate Michael (Mike) Busch - House
 
Senator Thomas (Mac) Middleton - Senate
 
Delegate Maggie Macintosh - House
 
Delegate Sheila Hixson - House
 
Senator Joan Carter Conway - Senate
 
Senator Roy Dyson - Senate
 
Delegate Susan Aumann - House
 
Senator J.B. Jennings - Senate
 
Delegate Stephen Lafferty– House
 
Delegate Eric Luedtke – House
 
Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith – House

Delegate David Rudolph – House

Delegate Steven Arentz -- House

Delegate Guy Guzzone -- Senate
Published in Legislative

MHC has joined Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Inc., Trail Riders of Today, Inc., Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association, Inc., Equestrian Partners in Conservation, Inc.; Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Inc., Montgomery County Road Runners Association, Inc., The American Hiking Society and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Inc. in a Petition to Intervene in the PEPCO/Exelon merger proceeding currently before the Maryland Public Service Commission. (PSC case # 9361) The purpose of the intervention by these outdoor user groups to to seek to have Exelon, should the merger be approved, grant more public access to its rights of way for recreational use.

Published in Legislative
After initially requesting emergency implementation of a regulation expanding Sunday hunting in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties, DNR has now said that it will instead pursue the normal process for implementing new regulations. This means that Marylanders will now have the opportunity to read and comment on the regulations before they go into effect. We will watch for the publication of the proposed regulations in the Maryland Register, and will post that information here, along with the deadline for submitting comments.

Here is a link to DNR's letter to licensed hunters, notifying them of their recent action.

Published in Legislative
Owning a horse can be an expensive responsibility. The cost of owning a horse goes beyond the purchase price.  Learn what the average annual cost is to own a horse and cost saving tips to keep in mind during the year to save money!
 
Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Location: Wicomico Extension Office, 28647 Old Quantico Road, Salisbury, MD
Time6:00-8:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person (4-H members free)
 
Light refreshments will be provided along with door prizes during the program. Pre-registration is requested as space is limited.  Cost of the program is $10.00 per person.  Register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/keeping-horses-on-a-budget-workshop-tickets-12797528753 If mailing in a check, please make check payable to Worcester County Extension EAC.
 
BRING A FRIEND DISCOUNT! 
  • When you and a friend register online take $5 off the registration fee by entering “friend” in the Promotion code box. 
  • Current 4-H members can attend at no cost! Register online and enter “4-H” in the Promotion code box. 
Any questions, please contact Jessie Flores at 410-632-1972.
 
Jessie Flores
Agriculture Faculty Extension Assistant
 
Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, & Worcester Counties
P.O. Box 219, 305 Bank St.
Snow Hill, MD 21863
Published in Equine Health
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