Trace mineral leaching from equine compost

Ashley L. Fowler, Mieke Brummer-Holder, Karl A. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mineral leaching from compost can be environmentally disruptive. Little information is available regarding trace mineral leaching from equine-sourced compost. The objective of this study was to quantify the mineral content and leaching potential of compost produced from feces of horses fed different amounts and forms (organic or inorganic) of trace minerals. Nine horses were fed three treatments in a 3 × 3 replicated Latin Square design. The dietary treatments were provided as a daily pellet: CON (pellet without added trace minerals), ING (added inorganic trace minerals), and ORG (added organic trace minerals). The added trace minerals were Co, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Feces were collected from each horse after a 16-day feeding period, combined with straw, composted, and then subjected to simulated rainfall to measure mineral mobility. Concentrations of Co, Cu, Mn, and Zn were greater in ING and ORG compared to CON compost (p < 0.05); additionally, ING had greater Zn than ORG compost (p < 0.05). More Cu leached from ING and ORG compared to CON (p < 0.05). The most Zn leached from ING, followed by ORG, and the least amount leached from CON compost (p < 0.05). Dietary trace mineral intake affected the trace mineral concentration in the compost and amount available to leach during rainfall events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7157
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Compost
  • Copper
  • Horse
  • Organic mineral
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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