Date of this Version



© 1997, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Composting is becoming more common in Nebraska because of the many advantages it offers. This NebGuide provides information on the composting process and its management and related issues.

The Composting Process

Composting is the aerobic decomposition of manure or other organic materials in the thermophilic temperature range (104-149°F). The composted material is odorless, fine-textured, and low-moisture and can be bagged and sold for use in gardens, or nurseries or used as fertilizer on cropland with little odor or fly breeding potential. Composting improves the handling characteristics of any organic residue by reducing its volume and weight. Composting can kill pathogens and weed seeds. There are about 5,700 on-farm composters in the United States and the number is increasing.