Dairy Compost Utilization

Coryell County Demonstration

Contact Information:
Mr. Lyle Zoeller
(254) 865-2414

Location: Coryell County Courthouse lawn, East Main, Gatesville, Texas

Composter: Organic Residual Reclamation

Plot map: 20' by 10'

Plot Map, Coryell County


  1. Untreated (Inorganic fertilizer was applied)
  2. Compost @ 20 tons per acre
  3. Compost @ 40 tons per acre


Nine plots were established on the Coryell County courthouse lawn in Gatesville, Texas. Each treatment was replicated three times and randomly assigned to the nine plots.

Inorganic fertilizer (N-P-K) was applied as needed to entire plot area and courthouse lawn on April 26, 2004.

Dairy manure compost was applied on April 27, 2004, to plots receiving treatment 2 and treatment 3. Compost was spread evenly using a rolling basket applicator.


Compost Analysis

% % % % % % ppm ppm ppm ppm % %   umhos/cm
0.785 0.1702 0.2735 2.6215 0.2098 0.2154 85.6 4785 35.81 119.1 63.7 18.9 8.1 1280

Visual differences between treatments were not evident due to several factors. First, inorganic fertilizer was applied to the lawn before plot installation. The inorganic fertilizer provided adequate nutrients to the entire lawn resulting in little to no response from the nutrient benefits of compost. Secondly, rainfall for the summer has been well above normal, which also resulted in little to no visual growth response from compost applications. While no visual results were observed, the addition of dairy compost to the lawn did potentially benefit soil chemical and physical properties, which will be tested with soil samples in late 2004.

Routine assessment of plots will end this fall. However, plots will be evaluated again (on a less frequent basis) in the spring and summer of 2005.

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