Is it safe to use manure on my vegetables?

K.D.FloridaAnswer: In general, it is best not to use raw manure on leafy green vegetables that will be harvested 60 days or less prior to application. The National Organic Standards requires a 120 day window for application of raw manure to harvest time. Composting the manure is an option that makes the manure safer to handle, and provides a more stable nutrient source. If the manure that you use comes with bedding, the correct Carbon to Nitrogen ratio would exist for developing compost on your farm. A great deal of information on composting is available through our Farm-Scale Composting Resource List. The ATTRA publication Manures for Organic Crop Production discusses specific procedures required by the National Organic Program, and gives in-depth safe manure handling recommendations, as well.