Generally, the refuse from stables and barnyards, including both animal excreta and straw or other litter. In some other countries the term "manure" is used more broadly and includes both farmyard or animal manure and "chemical manures," for which the term "fertilizer" is used in the United States.
Nitrogen feeds the microorganisms in soil that make humus from a compost pile. Manure is rich in nitrogen (especially chicken, goat, and steer manures), and is thus a valuable component of compost. It is also rich in potassium and phosphorus. Manure should be composted (or at least aged) before use in the garden because of its high nitrogen --and ammonia-- content, which can both easily burn plants. Composting will also kill any weed seeds that may have survived the animal's stomach(s).
Dried, pulverized, shredded, composted, or otherwise processed, manipulated, or treated animal manures are the excreta of animals together with whatever organic bedding or other materials are needed to follow good dairy barn, feedlot, poultry house, etc., practice in order to maintain proper sanitary conditions, to conserve plant food elements in the excreta, and to absorb the liquid portion without the addition of other material.
Conventional and organic agriculture both use manure as part of their regular farm soil fertilization programs. Part of the certification process for organic farms involves strict farm plans detrailing methods used to build soil fertility including manure applications. The U.S. Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 imposes strict control on the use of manure. In addition, certified organic farmers are prohibited from using raw manure at least 60 days before harvesting crops.
A mixture of bedding straw and animal dung which is lifted out of sheds and stored in heaps (middens) for a period to decompose before being spread on the land. Provides a useful amount of organic matter and some nutrients.
Manure is organic matter used as fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen that is trapped by bacteria in the soil. Higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that comprises the soil food web.