Efficacy of Horse and Donkey Manure Compost as an Economical Alternative to Commercial Biofungicides for Control of Phytophthora spp. Root Rot in Lavender Plants

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2017: $6,888.00
Projected End Date: 01/30/2019
Grant Recipient: Greentan Farm
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Soil Management: composting


    The plan is to determine the effectiveness to use the horse manure compost to amend soil for growing lavender plants. There has been reported anecdotal observations that horse manure compost amended soil may prevent lavender plant root rot due to Phytophthora spp reported to affect lavender farms in the local region here in Ohio. The objective of this proposal is to determine the efficacy of horse manure compost in controlling Phytophthora spp in lavender plants.

    Using recycled wood pallets, we built a four compartment compost bin system and started making horse/donkey manure compost with 50:50 mixture of horse/donkey manure with grass clippings and stall bedding straw/hay. We started two compost piles in first week October 2016 utilizing the multiple bin system and targeting a 30-50:1 C:N ratio as described in Manure and Pasture Management for Horse Owners (by Dr. Lori K. Warren and Christine Sweet, 2003, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development). The composting process is designed for a small operation in size with the modified passive-turned piles system over a minimum of 4-6 months duration.

    Project objectives:

    Project will investigate how to solve two problems in one study:
    (1) Appropriate disposal of animal wastes on a small farm, while producing a stable and consistent compost;
    (2) Effective biocontrol of Phytophthora spp in young lavender plants grown in the local region farms

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.