Efect of diferent initial C/N ratio of cow manure and straw on microbial quality of compost

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Purpose The efect of diferent initial carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratios on the prevalence of Salmonella spp., fecal coliforms and helminth eggs over composts produced from several mixtures of maize straw (S) and dairy manure (M) was investigated. Methods Four C/N ratios (21, 22, 27, and 38) were evaluated, including one with manure only (C/N 21). The composting process was performed under feld conditions in northern Mexico. Results The process lasted 51 days; Salmonella spp. was reduced 1–2 log (>94%) in most treatments, except for the C/N ratio of 27 which achieved<1 log reduction (about 35%). Fecal coliforms elimination was 3–4 log (>99%) in all treatments while helminth eggs achieved<1 log (72–87%, depending on treatment). In this study, the mixture with initial C/N ratio of 22 (25% S+75% M), which had the lowest amount of straw, resulted in the highest elimination of Salmonella spp., fecal coliforms, and helminth eggs. This mix complied with current Mexican sanitary regulations for compost use. The composts produced from the other C/N ratios complied only with the limits for one or two of the microorganisms that were analyzed. Conclusions The initial C/N ratios in compost from straw and manure infuences microbial reduction. The fnal C/N of the mixes ranged from 14 to 16, indicative of stable compost. Compared to fecal coliforms, Salmonella spp. and helminth eggs were more resilient.

2019 Indizado – Effect of initial C-N ratio on microbial quality of compost-1


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