Is there any significant difference in the benefits to be derived from one vs. the other?
Manure vs. compost
I'm not an expert here but what I have found is that both work extremely well together. In fact I do mix manure into the compost heap. Manure is also a great mulcher and feeder especially to roses, but not placed where it will touch the canes. Manure at the bottom of trenches dug for vegetables and sweet peas also works. Good compost can work on it's own to great advantage.
There might be 1 small advantage of manure.
But only if the soil is nutrient deficient.
and you don't get all of the ones needed.
Odds are these would be in the minors like Cu, Fe, Maganese
Uncomposted manures can harbor pathogens dangerous to pets and even humans.
I understand that the one pathogen in horsemanure is only
while the manure is still hot from the horse.
Ergo the ans is don't eat fresh horse sh-t
Well, if I understand right, there aren't any significant differences. Manure may provide more trace elements, helpful only if your soil happens to be lacking them, and manure should always be well composted.
Bagged compost seems to be hard to come by around here, so I'm heading for manure.
Compost has many advantages over raw manure (if it is aged, it is composted) and if you have a garden and access to manure you have no excuse NOT to make compost piles.
Bagged compost is usually very low quality and should be avoided unless you have a good source for it. organic gardening did a story about 2 years ago about bagged comp-ost and found most wasn't even compost but rather slime with bark and rocks.
Composted manure means no weed seeds, far fewer pathogens and it won't burn your seedlings. The soil flora and fauna seem much more able to feed on compost as well. Raw manure often encourages anerobic microbes to get established which means later on diseses can florish in your garden
Ohio, I think this is a good part of the problems I've had in certain beds. Raw cat manure would be the culprit though. I'm gaining ground on the cats simply by planting things too tight for them to have the room, and covering bare patches with potted plants if I have to.
How long do you think it will take to eliminate disease problems from this source?
I have precious little room, seeing as I live in a town house, so a compost heap is pretty hard to arrange. So I'm burying small amounts of garden clippings in any free areas (and then sticking one of my potted plants on top...), hoping to use the soil incorporation method at least in a small way.
I love composted plant and animal matter. Love fish emulsion as well. Of course I use the synthetics as well like petes and miracle grow and even milorganite. Still, tilling up the soil with some good compost seems to encourage growth like no other. OF course if my grandfather knew I didn't plant whole fishes under my prized seedlings he would probably think I was nuts as he loved to grow things as well...but whatever floats your boat as they say. The upside of not using whole fishes under your plants...you don't have to sit outside with a shotgun to chase off the foxes.