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.

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Published in Sustainability, v. 12, issue 17, 7157.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This study was supported by the Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station. Funding for the research was provided by Alltech, Inc., Nicholasville, KY, USA.