When you cook, you carefully consider the safety and healthiness of ingredients you place in each dish or pot. The ingredients you use to help grow fruits and vegetables should receive just as much consideration.
Significance - Manure works as a compost and soil amendment to add nitrogen, phosphorus potassium and organic matter as well as other nutrients to the soil. In addition to super-charging the soil with nutrients, horticulturist and LSU extension agent Denyse Cummins reports that "manure also provides nutrition to micro-organisms in the soil to transform the soil into a living thing versus a growth substrate."
Warning - Using fresh manure on vegetable gardens creates the risk of contaminating produce.The Colorado State University Extension recommends composting manure through at least two heat cycles with temperatures between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill all pathogens.
Considerations - No specific manure provides more nutrients than another, though many gardeners prefer horse and cow manure, which are easier to obtain in large quantities. To further reduce health risks, Washington State University Extension Service recommends avoiding cat, pig and dog manure that often contains infectious parasites.