A 1,000-head cattle feedlot produces about 146 to 175 tons of wet manure every week—a problematic figure for feedlot operators and their neighbors. Despite its benefits as a natural fertilizer, manure is a source of pathogens and odor. Fortunately, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are developing a method to reduce manure’s negative properties. All they need is a little thyme.

Thymol is the active component in thyme oil, which can be extracted from a variety of plants, such as thyme and oregano. Because of its pleasant odor and natural antiseptic properties, thymol appears in a variety of products, including mouthwash and throat lozenges. ARS microbiologists Elaine Berry, Vince Varel and Jim Wells discovered that its qualities can also benefit feedlots. When applied to cattle feedlot soil in slow-release granules, thymol reduced concentrations of odor-causing volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and pathogens like coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli.

Wonder if it would help the pundits in the Beltway?

  1. Joseph says:

    Sounds like fun!

  2. Emery Jeffreys says:

    Certain kinds of antispetic don’t work inside the Beltway. In fact, there may be no solution known to man for that problem. Thymol is the key ingredient in Listerine… one of the first antiseptic solutions.


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