The key difference between manure and organic matter is that the manure is a form of organic matter which is man-made while the organic matter is the carbon-rich compounds formed naturally in the soil.
Plants are the main primary producers in our ecosystems. Hence, they are important for supplying food for other animals and also participate in maintaining the natural equilibrium. Plants also need food and water to grow. They depend on the soil for food, water and habitat. Therefore, the soil needs to be in healthy condition, and organic matter is necessary to maintain the quality of the soil. Organic matter is the compounds containing carbon. In soil, there are many forms of organic matter. In contrast, Manure is man-made and contains all the essential nutrients required for the increase of soil health. Accordingly, organic matter and manure are two terminologies that are very important in soil biology and agriculture.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Manure
3. What is Organic Matter
4. Similarities Between Manure and Organic Matter
5. Side by Side Comparison – Manure vs Organic Matter in Tabular Form
What is Manure?
Manure is a soil-enriching organic matter that contains many essential nutrients. Hence, manure is a good quality fertilizer. It includes nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium as major elements and therefore involves soil enrichment. Manure is of three types; animal manure, plant manure and compost. Animal manure is the urine and faecal matter of animals in the soil. Therefore, this type of manure is largely collected from farming areas that raise cows, horses and pigs, etc. The type of animal and their feeding pattern directly affect the nutrient composition of animal manure. Since they have high ammonia and nitrogen compounds, it is not advisable to apply directly to the soil since it can affect the plants. Therefore, such manure should be left to age for a few months before use.
Plant manure is the nutrients added by plants to the soil during their growth. Especially legume plants that have root nodules contain symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Such plants types are grown for a certain period in land areas to enrich soil during preparation for cultivation. Decaying plant and animal matter generate compost manure. Such decomposition takes place under moist and hot conditions. Compost contains many essential nutrients for the healthy growth of plants. Hence, it is an excellent source of fertilizer.
What is Organic Matter?
Organic matter is collectively referred to as compounds derived from animals, plants and microorganisms. Unlike manure, organic matter is neither living organisms in the soil, nor any substances added to the soil by plants and animals. It is the result of decomposition of such substances by microorganisms.
Microbial decomposed organic matter is humus. Similar to manure, organic matter contains a large variety of nutrients. The exchange of nutrients through organic matter and soil is vital for soil enrichment and fertility. Also, it affects the chemical nature of soil, its moisture holding capacity, plant growth and the biological activity of soil organisms.
What are the Similarities Between Manure and Organic Matter?
- Manure and organic matter increase soil fertility.
- Both enrich the soil.
- Also, both types contain a large variety of nutrients.
What is the Difference Between Manure and Organic Matter?
Manure is a type of organic matter and a good fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. On the other hand, organic matter is the collection of carbonic compounds that derive from plants, animals, microorganisms, etc. Thus, this is the key difference between manure and organic matter.
Furthermore, there are three main types of manure, animal manure, plant manure, and compost. Organic matter is one type which is the humus. Hence, this is another difference between manure and organic matter. Moreover, manure is mainly man-made while organic matter is the resulting matter of microbial decomposition.
Summary – Manure vs Organic Matter
Manure is soil enriching organic matter that comprises essential nutrients. Hence, manure is a good fertilizer. Manure is of three types; animal manure, plant manure, and compost. Animal manure composition varies according to species and feeding patterns. Unlike manure, organic matter is neither living organisms in the soil, nor any substances added to the soil by plants and animals. It is the result of decomposition of such substances by microorganisms. Both manure and organic matter increase the health and fertility of the soil. Thus, this summarizes the difference between manure and organic matter.
1. Nationwide, SARE. “Organic Matter: What It Is and Why It’s So Important.” SARE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. Available here
2.“The Benefits Of Manure Compost In Your Garden.” Gardening Know How. Available here