Worlds Best Compost

Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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The Keys to a Great Compost

This informative eBook demonstrates the best ways to compost in order to improve your garden, make your vegetables and fruits taste better, and help save the soil and the environment. Over 20% of landfills are simply kitchen waste that could easily be recycled Why waste what you already produce? You have an easy source of organic health for your own garden at home, without having to spend large amounts of money in order to make really healthy soil. With today's composting technology, you can compost as much as suits your needs! If that is a little compost for a small home garden or a large plot that you grow food for your family or business, composting will be an easy and cheap way to improve the quality of your soil and thus your vegetables as well! This guide shows you every method of composting; from free methods you can do with no extra money all the way to elaborate by easy to set up composting rigs. Improve the environment, and get better tasting food!

The Keys to a Great Compost Summary


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The Analysis of Composts

The term compost has been defined by Zucconi and Bertoldi (1987) as 'the stabilized and sanitized product of composting which is beneficial to plant growth. It has undergone an initial, rapid stage of decomposition and is in the process of humification.' The initial thermophilic stage of decomposition is the means of self-sanitizing and removing pathogens. If the compost is insufficiently humified, it is immature, and the wide C N ratio causes it to immobilize soil nitrogen as it continues to actively decompose in the soil. If sufficiently sanitized and humified, the compost is said to be biomature. The development of globally accepted criteria for compost specifications is still at an early stage, so some scientists have proposed biomaturity tests (Mathur et al., 1993).

Microbiology of Compost

Composting is a complex and dynamic biological process, resulting from the activities of a succession of mixed populations of microorganisms (and perhaps also some higher organisms). The activity of each microbial group is often limited by narrow and exacting environmental requirements (mostly temperature and oxygen tension). At the early stages of composting mesophilic bacteria and fungi multiply rapidly, by metabolising easily degradable compounds. Bacterial populations of up to 108-109 g-1 of moist compost have been reported (Abouelwafa et al., 2008 Raut et al., 2008 Saludes et al., 2008 Heerden et al., 2002 Andrews et al., 1994 Davis et al., 1992 Strom, 1985). As metabolism continues the temperature rises to thermophilic range of up to 60oC and higher. Mesophilic organisms, including most of the

Sources Of Composting Equipment

Rotocrop Accelerator

The Cohey Composter An Ohio feedlot has effectively used the Cobey Composter for processing animal wastes. This unit is a diesel-powered, self-propelled machine which straddles the windrows. The Easy Over Composter Another composting machine was developed by the late Elton Schaeffer of Menno, South Dakota out of his own necessity. The machine has knives similar to those of a garden tiller, for lifting material up and back into the windrow. One-half of a compost windrow is taken with each pass of the machine, compared to the full windrow taken by larger machines. The operation, according to Schaeffer, is best accomplished with a hydrostatic-drive tractor for slower ground speed. The compost turning machine used on the Elton Schaeffer farm at Menno, S.D., for composting manures brought to the farm from the local livestock sales barn. The compost turning machine used on the Elton Schaeffer farm at Menno, S.D., for composting manures brought to the farm from the local livestock sales...

Development of Compost

The development of compost has been delineated into four stages viz. (a) Latent (b) Growth (c) Thermophilic and (d) Maturation phases (Saludes et al., 2008 Abouelwafa et al., 2008 Sanchez-Arias et al., 2008 Raut et al., 2008 Yu et al., 2008 Cayuela et al., 2008 Alfano et al., 2008). The latent phase is associated with the acclimatisation of the microorganisms in the waste. During the growth phase, microbial population and the temperature of the digesting mass rise rapidly. This stage is mostly associated with the activity of mesophilic microorganisms. In the thermophilic phase the temperature rises to peak level, often in excess of 60oC and rapid stabilisation of waste takes place. Pathogen destruction is highest at this stage, depending on the peak temperature and its duration (Turner 2002 Nakasaki et al., 1985a,b). The maturation phase is associated with a drop in temperature to mesophilic and then ambient levels. Nitrification and humification reactions are extensive at this stage...

Composting As A Manure Management System

Composting, in my opinion, is a sensible, practical, economical way to deal with animal waste on the farm. My reasons for starting to compost followed the same pattern as my reasons for changing to organic farming back in 1967, namely problems. My yields, on the organic program, were oats 70 to 80 bushels, soybeans 35 to 45 bushels which, i felt, were good and also competitive with the neighbors, The hay fields also seemed to improve each year. After about seven years of organic farming, the field of corn following soybeans dropped to the 80- to 90-busheI range. The cornfield following hay remained in the 120-bushel range. The profit on the 80- to 90-bushel yield would probably be okay, since the expenses per acre were 40 to 50 lower than those oE the neighbors on chemical methods. However, 1 felt with all this manure and only 80 to 9 bushels, something must be wrong. This was where composting came into the picture. Composting is a way of turning a liability into an asset on the farm....

Substrate Compost Preparation

Substrate preparation technique for the button mushroom has witnessed evolutionary changes over the years, from the long-method of composting to the current environment-friendly indoor composting. However, the intermediate short-method of composting, is still the most popular method all over the world. 5.1.1 Long Method of Composting Long method of composting is the oldest method and now exists only in few pockets of the world mainly because of poor productivity, proneness to attack by the competitors, and also due to more time and labor consuming process (Vijay and Gupta 1995). This method is completely an outdoor process and takes about 28 days, though production of long-method compost in lesser duration has also been achieved. But the biomass loss in this process is very high (30-35 ) and the quality as well as productivity is poor, besides the environmental problems it creates. 5.1.2 Short Method of Composting Based upon the observations of Lambert that productive compost came...

Environmental Requirements for Composting

The rate of composting is believed to depend on a number of rate limiting steps, which include production and release of hydrolytic enzymes needed for the breakdown of substrates diffusion of solubilized substrate molecules, and oxygen transport and availability within the composting mass (Huang, 1980). Optimisation of the composting process depends on the management of a number of variables such as (a) nutrient balance an important component of which is the carbon nitrogen balance. A ratio of 25-30 1 is believed to be optimal, in addition to the presence in adequate amounts of all other macro- and micro- nutrients needed by the vast array of micro-organisms that take part in composting (Jimenez and Perez 1991) (b) particle size the optimum particle size in compost varies with the aeration rate employed, but sizes of 12-5 0mm are considered appropriate for most processes (Biddlestone and Gray, 1985) (c) moisture content levels of 50-70 are considered optimum (Inaba et al., 1996)....


Composts can be made from most biodegradable materials, and could derive from many unusual sources. If it originates from municipal solid waste, however, care should be taken that no toxic and non-degradable materials remain after the supplier's separation processes. Small pieces of brick and concrete, glass and plastic (inerts), lead residues from old car batteries and cadmium from electroplated items are possible. A useful work on specifications and recommended chemical analyses of composts is the book by Bertoldi et al., 1987. The analyses specifying the compost include

F Composting

Composting is the aerobic biological decomposition of organic matter. It is a natural process that is enhanced and accelerated by the mixing of organic waste with other ingredients in a prescribed manner for optimum microbial growth. Composting converts an organic waste material into a stable organic product by converting nitrogen from the unstable ammonia form to a more stable organic form. The end result is a product that is safer to use than raw organic material and one that improves soil fertility, tilth, and water holding capacity. In addition, composting reduces the bulk of organic material to be spread improves its handling properties reduces odor, fly, and other vector problems and can destroy weed seeds and pathogens.

Composting methods

Forced Aeration Pressure Compost

Three basic methods of composting windrow, static pile, and in-vessel are described below. (i) Windrow method The windrow method involves the arrangement of compost mix in long, narrow piles or windrows (fig. 10-30). To maintain an aerobic condition, the compost mixture must be periodically turned. This exposes the decomposing material to the air and keeps temperatures from getting too high (> 170 F). The minimum turning frequency varies from 2 to 10 days, depending on the type of mix, volume, and the ambient air temperature. As the compost ages, the frequency of turning can be reduced. Odors released on turning of compost (ii) Static pile method The static pile method consists of mixing the compost material and then stacking the mix on perforated plastic pipe or tubing through which air is drawn or forced. Forcing air through the compost pile may not be necessary with small compost piles that are highly porous or with a mix that is stacked in layers with highly porous material. The...


Manure spreaders are still a necessary tool on the organic farm, but increasingly they are being used to spread composted manures and other organic wastes. Composting is the biological process of decomposition during which wastes are broken down into their basic chemical parts and made ready to be used again in building another plant. The product is called humus. With the proper microorganisms present in the soil, humus will evolve by simply applying organic wastes to the soil surface. However, composting speeds the process, and by following a basic composting recipe, a more-balanced nutrient fertilizer is produced.

Button Mushroom Agaricus Bisporus

Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Sing., popularly known as the white button mushroom, has the widest acceptability and still accounts for more than 30 of total production of all mushrooms. Limited quantities of A. bitorquis, a high temperature species, are also produced in some countries. Its cultivation technology has developed over the years from a primitive cave culture in France in the 16th century to a hightech industry in America and Europe now. Still in many parts of the world, especially in developing Asian and African countries, sizeable quantities are being produced in low-cost structures like huts under the seasonal conditions. In some parts of the Europe, seasonal growing is done with arrangement for heating during the winters. Like any such venture, the production systems differ in the infrastructure, level of technology, automation, and mechanization but the basic principles and processes remain the same. The production technology of the white button mushroom (A. bisporus) has...

Pullimosina heteroneura Haliday

This common fly breeds in manure and may also occur in poor mushroom-house compost where bacterial decomposition is underway. Its pres ence in mushroom houses, therefore, is an indication of unsuitable growing conditions. Although the larvae are saprophytic and entirely harmless, the adult flies may inadvertently transfer harmful organisms to healthy mushroom beds. The small, black-bodied adults are often mistaken for scuttle flies (especially as they scurry over the compost surface in a phorid-like manner, see p. 177) but are readily distinguished by the presence of cross-veins in the wings, by other details of the wing venation and by their very short, swollen hind metatarsi.

B Beef waste management systems

Treatment of the waste in a lagoon is difficult for some livestock systems because of the volume of solids in the waste, but many of the solids can be removed before treatment. Liquid waste may be treated in an aerobic lagoon, an anaerobic lagoon, or other suitable liquid waste treatment facilities. Solid waste can be composted. Beef cattle waste can be used as bedding for livestock, as an energy source, or it can be marketed as compost, but the most common form of utilization is land application. The waste can be hauled and distributed over the land in appropriate spreading devices. Liquid waste can be distributed through an irrigation system, and slurries can be applied using irrigation equipment with nozzles that have a large opening.

Horse waste management systems

Management of a horse operation near urban areas must include methods to keep flies and odors to a minimum. Horses are housed in confinement in paddocks or they are on pasture. Horse paddocks or stalls receive liberal amounts of bedding therefore, most horse manure is handled as a solid. It should be removed from stalls daily if possible and can be land applied, stored in solid manure storage structures, or processed by composting. Some precautions should be taken if the manure is land applied to pastures because this can result in internal parasites spreading to other horses. The manure can be used in gardens, greenhouses, nurseries, and by mushroom growers.

Management System Component Design

composting amendments Broiler compost mix Static pile composting schematic In-vessel composting schematic Compost mixture design flow chart Composting temperature Agricultural composting process flow Dead animal composting bin Recommended layering for dead bird composting

Effect of Substrate Load on Process Development

The solids content (biodegradable solids chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)) required to achieve and maintain thermophilic temperatures in TAD is not well defined. In sewage sludge treatment, it has been recommended that a high solids content is essential to achieve thermophilic temperature, hence the slurry nature of TAD (Hamer and Bryers, 1985). This draws from the experience of composting, in which high temperature is aided by high solids content and reduced moisture. However, as sewage sludge consists essentially of partially degradable microbial cells (within the context of the duration of digestion), the solid content of sludge cannot be used as a direct index of biodegradable COD. Theoretically, since the principal source of energy of the process is the enthalpic content of organic matter, the temperature reached in the reactor depends on the concentration of biodegradable material in the waste (Ugwuanyi 1999 Vismara, 1985 Wolinski and Bruce, 1984...

Microbiology of Aerobic Thermophilic Digestion

There have been only a few studies on the microbiology of TAD, mainly because the process is relatively new. Besides, application of thermophilic organisms in bioprocesses was essentially unknown before the 1970s (Brock, 1986). And studies with thermophiles have since concentrated on the caldoactive thermophiles (mostly Archaea), with a view to pure culture biotechnological application (Krahe et al., 1996), particularly the extraction of high value biochemicals, rather than biotransformation. This is in addition to their limited use in biogasification of organic wastes. As a result, the microbiology of TAD is poorly understood, and its potentials have remained largely unexploited (Fiechter and Sonnleitner, 1989). As in the case with composting, the micro-organisms responsible for TAD develop from the proliferation of thermophiles and facultative thermophiles indigenous in the waste, whose growth would have been suppressed at the mesophilic or ambient temperature of the influent waste.

Family Formicidae ants Lasius spp

In Britain, ants (especially the yellow meadow ant, L. flavus (F.)) sometimes damage potato tubers, causing a noticeable pitting of the surface the pits sometimes coalesce to become distinctive surface depressions. Such attacks occur mainly in gardens and allotments, and are most often noticed in July and August. Under dry spring conditions, ants will also cause slight damage to ornamental trees and shrubs (and also to fruit trees, especially apple) they either bite into the soft, young tissue of the buds and unfurling leaves or sever the stamens of open blossoms in their attempts to reach the nectaries and imbibe nectar. Most frequently, however, worker ants ascend trees and shrubs to collect honeydew excreted by aphids and other pests such ants will 'defend' aphid colonies from attacks by natural enemies. Subterranean activities by ants are, occasionally, a problem to horticulturists, as the insects accidentally disturb seeds, seedlings and older plants invasion of stored compost by...

Use Of Fungi In Bioremediation In The Field

A number of different strategies have been adopted where attempts have been made to exploit fungi in bioremediation. Early findings demonstrated that attempts to establish wood rotting species in soil without amendments or soil sterilization failed. Like the early failures in establishing biological control agents in soil (Faull 1986), the indigenous micro flora out-competed the inoculants unless there were large additions of substrates such as wood chips and other ligno-cellulosic materials to the soil (Bennett et al. 2002 Cerniglia and Sutherland 2002 Radtke et al. 1994). Currently, a number of approaches are being tried, including soil piles and windrows (where composting may occur), soil farming, soil slurry reactors, and fixed film reactors (Rogers and Bunce 2001).

Soil Piles and Windrows

Soil piles and windrows are created by mixing soil with wood chips, corn cobs, or other ligno-cellulosic materials and adding fungal inoculum on a lignocellulosic base. The pile is then left for an extended period of time with regular turning and wetting for composting, or no turning for the static pile. This approach can lead to a rapid disappearance of explosive contaminants. A number of different fungal inoculants have been tried. For example, Jerger and Woodull (2000) used Trametes versicolour and P. chrysosporium as soil pile inoculants, Fritsche et al. (2000) used Stropharia rugosoannulata and Spreinart et al. (1998) used B. adusta. This approach is being widely used in the United States for the clean up of military sites (USAEC 1999). However, criticisms of this technique include the long incubation times needed for complete disappearance of the target substrate, and the high costs of set-up and maintenance. The process is further criticised for being based on unknown...

Turnover of Macromolecules in Thermophiles

Thermophiles responsible for TAD of sewage sludge develop from the proliferation of populations naturally present in the sewage (Ugwuanyi et al., 2008b Sonnleitner and Fiechter, 1983a). As with compost (Abouelwafa et al., 2008 Raut et al., 2008 Yu et al., 2008 Cayuela et al., 2008 Adams and Frostic 2008 Li et al., 2008 Cunha-Queda et al., 2007 Mari et al., 2003 Heerden 2002 Hassen et al., 2001 Thambirajah et al., 1995), these remain dormant during startup while mesophiles, and then facultative thermophiles, build up the temperature until a thermophilic range is reached, when they begin to grow (Yun et al., 2000 Burt et al., 1990b). Although Sonnleitner and Fiechter (1983a) observed up to 5-log orders in the fluctuations of populations of thermophiles, washout was never observed. Over a two-year observation of a pilot scale continuous TAD, the viable thermophilic population remained at or greater than 105 g-1 of sludge even when hydraulic retention time (HRT) was reduced to as low as...

Siting and area considerations

Compost Procedure

The location of the composting facility is a very important factor in a successful compost operation. To minimize material handling, the composting facility should be located as close as possible to the source of organic waste. If land application is the preferred method of utilization, the facility should also be located with convenient access to the land application sites. Several other important considerations when locating a compost facility are discussed below. (i) Wind direction Improperly managed compost facilities may generate offensive odors until corrective actions are taken. Wind direction and proximity to neighbors should be considered when locating a composting facility. (ii) Topography Avoid locating composting facilities on steep slopes where runoff may be a problem and in areas where the composting facility will be subject to inundation. (iii) Ground water protection The composting facility should be located downgradient and at a safe distance from any wellhead. A...

Order Collembola Springtails

The so-called gunpowder-mites, which occasionally cause damage in mushroom beds, are actually springtails. They breed continuously under favourable conditions and vast numbers sometimes aggregate on the compost in mushroom houses. The insects will then cause significant damage by feeding on the fungal mycelium and thus retarding growth. They may also attack the sporopores, to form characteristically dry pits which lead to internal channels in the stipe and cap (cf. damage caused by mould mite, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, p. 270) the pests are especially destructive to button mushrooms and often cause them to split open. Adults (Fig. 178) are minute (1.0-1.5mm long), bluish-black, purplish or greenish-black, with a pale underside, short, 4-segmented antennae and a short, 2-segmented saltatory appendage. These springtails, which lack a saltatory appendage and are unable to jump (cf. family Sminthuridae, below), are often abundant in wet, organic soils or compost. Development from egg to...

Megaselia halterata Wood Worthing phorid

Adults occur during the summer and autumn, and are sometimes very numerous in mushroom houses, especially close to doors and lights. They often gather in considerable numbers and make characteristic jerky runs over the surface of walls, trays and boxes. In mushroom houses, most eggs are deposited in the casing material, close to the tips of the rapidly developing fungal hyphae, during the short period of mycelial growth. Under normal casing conditions, the eggs hatch in about 2 days and the larvae feed for 4-5 days before pupating adults emerge 7-8 days later. In the lower temperatures associated with spawn-running rooms, where eggs are also deposited, development from egg to adult may take about 2 months. The adult flies often emerge in vast numbers from dumped mushroom compost and sometimes invade nearby dwellings they may then cause considerable concern to local residents.

North American Sources Of Searmounted Tillers

Amerind Mackissic Mighty Mac

The Troy-Bilt is a popular garden tiller, with several choices of model and horsepower. Attachments are available. Two forward and two reverse speeds are provided by the chainleas, power train transmission with worm gear. Depth of tilling can be regulated to seven different levels while the machine is in motion, and the handles are adjustable as well. Attachments include a furrower (for trench composting) and a snowplow.

Agroecosystem redesign

Farmers in this group then visited field experiments and demonstration sites where rapidly growing legume cover crops were being tested by research and extension workers for their ability to improve soil fertility and provide erosion protection. The farmers discussed the weed-suppression potential of the various legume species they saw and chose several (Pueraria, Centrosema, and Desmodium spp.) with which to conduct trials on their own farms. Seven months after the initial discussions, 31 farmers in the group had begun experiments testing legume cover crops for soil improvement and I. cylindrica suppression. The farmers, with some assistance from researchers, made measurements of weed and cover crop performance, and visited experiments on other farms. The scientists collected information on labor inputs. All the information collected was discussed by group participants.

Thermophilic aerobic Digestion

Like all waste treatment processes, TAD is a mixed culture process. During start-up, a variety of mesophilic and thermotolerant bacteria interact, metabolising readily available waste components to generate heat (Yun et al., 2000). As the temperature increases, microbial succession and selection takes place until, at thermophilic temperatures, only a few species of micro-organisms remain active. The selection process results in the inactivation of sensitive mesophiles (including most vegetative and non spore-forming organisms which include, luckily, all important animal pathogens). And, at thermophilic temperatures, hydrolysis of complex and otherwise recalcitrant molecules (hopefully, including noxious and xenobiotic compounds) is enhanced. Considering the limitation of competing biomass reprocessing technologies, particularly anaerobic digestion in the handling of noxious compounds, the ability of TAD to achieve the degradation of xenobiotics and noxious compounds makes it...

Lycoriella auripila Winnertz A mushroom sciarid fly

This species is the main sciarid pest in mushroom houses. The larvae burrow into the sporophores and sometimes cause the death of the developing buttons mushroom size is also affected. As larvae move through the mushroom compost they leave behind a characteristic slime trail. Eggs are deposited mainly in the compost, although sometimes also on the developing mushrooms, either singly or in small groups. They hatch within a few days. Larvae develop rapidly and pass through four instars before pupating, each in a flimsy cocoon consisting of fragments of compost and strands of silk. There is a succession of generations, and development from egg to adult takes from 3 to 6 weeks, depending on temperature.

Reclamation Procedures

Steps Become Agricultural Engineer

This technique is based on the idea of using some waste products to deal with the problems caused by others 1 . As a matter of fact, there are many waste products that are good media for plant growth, such as sewage sludge, mushroom compost, farmyard manure and pig slurry, domestic refuse, fuel ash, and mining and chemical wastes. These materials, notwithstanding their different origins, are similar in the sense of being non-toxic and water-and nutrient-retaining.

Scedosporium Infection

Scedosporium is a widely distributed mold. It exists as two species S. apiospermum (asexual anamorph of Pseudallescheria boydii) and S. prolif-icans (S. inflatum). The organism is isolated from soil, potting mix, compost, and animal manure. Infection is by inhalation of spores or by direct inoculation into skin. The range of illness includes colonization, local skin infection, deep infection or disseminated disease. Normal and immunocompromised hosts can be infected. Infections have been reported from the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Spain (with a high incidence in northern Spain) (1,15).

Edible Fungi And Recycling Of The Wastesresidues

There are very few wastes of lignocellulosic nature of agro-forestry origin, which can not be used for growing one or the other mushroom. Poppe (2000) has compiled the information on various agro-wastes, which have been used for growing mushrooms. Residues left after obtaining the main product (e.g., grains, cotton, sugar) pose problems of their disposal and many may prove to be environmental hazards. Cultivation of various edible fungi on these wastes represents one of the unique recycling mechanisms where hardly any residue is left unexploited in one form or the other. The substrate left after growing the mushrooms is though often called spent mushroom substrate (SMS), which is a misnomer and post-mushroom substrate (PMS) is a more appropriate term because it is not spent and can be further decomposed by new set of organisms. Many efforts have been made towards profitable utilization of the PMS. The subject has recently been reviewed (Ahlawat and Rai 2002 Levanon and Danai 1997a)....

Dead poultry disposal

Cage Poltry Farming

Because of the large numbers of dead birds associated with large poultry operations, the disposal of dead birds is a resource concern. Poultry facilities must have adequate means for disposal of dead birds in a sanitary manner. To prevent spread of disease, the dead birds are often collected daily by hand. Disposal alternatives include incineration, rendering, burial, dropping into a buried disposal tank, or composting. The dead birds are mixed with litter and straw, composted, and the composted material is stored until it can be applied to the land.

A Field and forage crops

Spreading wastes immediately after harvest and before regrowth is generally the best time for hay fields and pastures in a rotation system. This is especially important where composted sludge is applied on pasture at rates of more than 30 tons per acre. Cattle and sheep ingesting the compost inadvertently can undergo copper deficiency symptoms (USDA 1986).

A Dairy waste management systems

Portable Pasture Shade

Liquid waste can be treated in an aerobic lagoon, an anaerobic lagoon, or other suitable liquid waste treatment facilities. Solids in the waste can be composted. Dairy waste is used as bedding for livestock, marketed as compost, and used as an energy source, but the most common form of utilization is through land application. Waste may be hauled and distributed over the land in a dry or liquid manure spreader. Liquid waste can be distributed through an irrigation system. Slurries may be distributed through an irrigation system equipped with nozzles that have a large opening (fig. 9-9).

Organic Farming and Food Safety

Despite many favorable characteristics of organic farming, one of several criticisms about organic farming is the increased potential for microbial food contamination. A French study in 1999 to 2000 warned that biological toxins in certain organic products (i.e., apples and wheat) should be closely monitored. Another major concern is the use of manure as a fertilizer in organic farming. Manure can carry human pathogens and mycotoxins from molds. It is well known that E. coli 0157 H7 originates primarily from ruminants such as cattle, sheep, and deer, which shed it through their feces. In addition, growers must also be alert to the potential contamination of produce growing and handling environments by human or animal fecal material, which is known to harbor Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and other pathogens. However, properly treated manure (and other biosolids) can be an effective and safe fertilizer. Other sources of contamination related to organic farming may arise from nearby...

The carbon cycle

Carbon compounds are used as food by animals and other soil biota. This carbon is subsequently made available in the soil as humus, compost, and chemicals such as humates, fulvates and carbonic acid. These chemicals in turn can react with inorganic chemicals in the soil, making them available to plants for uptake through their roots. As this carbon ends up in the food web, it is converted back into gaseous carbon (as carbon dioxide and methane) and returned to the atmosphere to begin the cycle again (Figure 9).


Plants or pots will help avoid accidental mixing of transgenic and nontransgenic plants. Materials to be disposed of need to be treated in a way that prevents their survival or growth outside the contained facility. This may be achieved by autoclav-ing, steam sterilization, treatment with a household bleach solution, or proper composting.


Research shows that priming plants against pathogens using selective AMF inocula (or plant immunization) helps protect plants by inducing a SIR response (Cordier et al. 1998). The inoculum may be applied to seeds, transplanted crops, or plantlets produced through tissue culture before being transplanted into pathogen-infested fields. Application of the agent prior to transplanting eliminates the need for complex formulations and application techniques, guarantees targeted placement, and greater biocontrol activity, reduces costs associated with application and has a minimal impact on the environment (Boyetchko 1996 Glass 1993). Inoculum may include one or more AMF species or other organisms such as bacteria or fungi that exhibit sustained and coordinated biocontrol activity. The application of a multiple agent mixture may concurrently confer control for more than one plant disease by more than one mechanism rather than single inoculants targeted for control of only one plant disease...

A Residential waste

Rural residential waste components are identified in tables 4-21 and 4-22. Table 4-21 lists the characteristics of human excrement. Household wastewater (table 4-22) can be categorized as graywater (no sanitary wastes included) and blackwater (sanitary wastewater). In most cases a composite of both of these components will be treated in a septic tank. The liquid effluent from the septic tank generally is treated in a soil absorption field. Residential wastewater of municipal origin is usually categorized into raw (untreated) and treated types (table 4-23). Secondary (biological) treatment is common for wastewater that is to be applied to agricultural land. Municipal wastewater sludge may also be in the raw, untreated form or in the treated (digested) form. Municipal compost is usually based on dewatered, digested sludge and refuse, but can contain other waste materials as well (table 4-23). Table 4-22 Residential waste characterization household wastewater Compost*

Methods online

Http sw-846 main.htm We understand here by compost a marketed product of an organic based material derived from a variety of sources. These might be treated municipal waste, spent mushroom compost, a bracken- or seaweed-based compost, agricultural and food processing wastes etc., which might be put to agricultural use. Composts are often very heterogeneous, which makes it difficult to prepare a sufficiently homogeneous sample. The high humus content makes them similar to peat soils, where organic matter can exceed 95 , which can affect not only the analytical method, but also the interpretation of the results in making fertilizer recommendations. Typical parameters and nutrient levels for assessment of compost quality are shown in Table 5.2. These are combined values from a variety of sources, including Bertoldi etal. (1987), and are merely intended to help in setting up analytical procedures. Some typical and preferred heavy and trace element concentrations for soils and...

Obeta Ugwuanyi

Various technologies are potentially available for the valorization of these wastes. In addition to conventional waste management processes, other processes that may be used for the reprocessing of wastes include solid substrate fermentation, ensiling and high solid or slurry processes. In particular, the use of slurry processes in the form of (Autothermal) Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion (ATAD or TAD) or liquid composting is gaining prominence in the reprocessing of a variety of agricultural wastes because of its potential advantages over conventional waste reprocessing technologies. These advantages include the capacity to achieve rapid, cost-effective waste stabilization and pasteurization and protein enrichment of wastes for animal feed use.


A center-pivot irrigated field (244 m x 244 m) of silage corn (Zea mays L.), located at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), served as a comparison site for various manure and compost application rates for replacement of commercial fertilizer, with the same treatment assigned to field plots for 10 consecutive years. The soil series at this site is a Crete silt loam (fine, montmorillonitic, mesic Pachic Argiustolls), 0 to 1 percent slope. The study site was laid out as a split-plot design (Figure 19.1), with four replications of the main plot of cover crop (+CC) versus no cover (-CC) (the cover crop was a winter wheat Secale cereale L. no-till drilled following silage harvest). Subplot application to treatment strips (6.1 m, eight corn rows wide) was made with two manure sources beef feedlot manure and composted beef feed-lot manure. Applications were made each spring according to two strategies (1) to approximately supply the total crop demand for N (Ferguson et al., 2003),...

Aerobic Treatment

Aerobic treatment occurs when there is sufficient dissolved oxygen available in the waste to allow aerobic bacteria (oxygen-using) to break down the organic matter in the waste. It is essentially an odorless process. Three methods of treatment that use aerobic bacteria are composting, aerobic lagoons, and spray-runoff. Composting is accomplished by piling the waste and turning it frequently to provide aeration for aerobic bacterial decomposition while maintaining a high-enough temperature in the pile to destroy pathogenic organisms and weed seeds. The volume of composted waste may be reduced to between 30 and 60 of the volume of the original waste.

Soil Amendments

Improving the structure of soil organic matter is an important management option for enhancing mycorrhizal development (Allen et al. 1999). Compost, bark, or some other recalcitrant carbon source provides a slow release of nutrients while increasing soil moisture, facilitating infiltration, and reducing soil compaction. These conditions are not only beneficial to mycorrhizal fungi, but also many other microorganisms that improve nutrient availability and plant performance. For EM particularly, the absence of organic matter following severe disturbance limits the establishment of mycorrhizae despite adequate dispersal onto the site (Allen et al. 1992 Read 1984). The use of soil amendments could therefore alleviate the need for further mycorrhizal inoculation.

David Mudd

While they have altered the run-off pattern on their slope by diverting and capturing rainfall, they compensate by retaining only as much as the center needs. Zimmer is reassured by the improvement their composting efforts have made in the water-retention qualities of the soil in their terraced beds. Composting


Glands The Neck

Swine waste is used as a feed supplement and an energy source through methane production. With proper ventilation and sufficient bedding, the solid manure can be composted in confinement facilities, and the heat generated from the composting process can be used to supplement heat in the buildings. Drying or compost Drying or compost

Method selection

The composting method must fit the individual farm operation. Highly sophisticated and expensive composting operations are not likely to be a viable option for small farming operations. Some factors to consider when selecting the particular method of composting include (i) Operator management capability The management capability of the operator is an important consideration when selecting the right composting method. Even simple composting methods require that the operator spend additional time in monitoring and material handling. The operator should fully understand the level of management that is required. The windrow method generally is the simplest method to manage, but requires additional labor for periodically turning the compost mix. The static pile is generally next in complexity because of having to maintain blowers and work around perforated pipe. In-vessel composting can be the simplest or the most difficult to manage, depending on the sophistication of the system. (iii)...

Level of management

During the inventory phase, the level of management that will or can be provided by the decisionmaker must be assessed. An AWMS must be manageable by the decisionmaker. Some require intensive levels of management and good record keeping ability. Composting and anaerobic digesters are in this category. When a change in the waste handling system is being considered, it is necessary to evaluate any management changes that the desired system might present. For example, if a dairy farmer wants to switch from a solid to a slurry or liquid waste handling system, a modification in the amount and type of bedding used and equipment needed will most likely be necessary.

Reed Beds

Design considerations for aerobic sludge composting (adapted from Metcalf and Eddy, Inc., 1991). Table 7.3. Design considerations for aerobic sludge composting (adapted from Metcalf and Eddy, Inc., 1991). Wood chips, sawdust, recycled compost, and > 50 remaining in all parts of compost Periodically, depending on type of compost Do not exceed the limits for compost composting production), access, proxim- The plants should be harvested annually to prevent drainage backup. The vegetation can be composted or burned. content to composted sludge and can be used in the same way. Many beds have gone 8 to 10 years without having to be cleaned out. Sludge reed beds are a significant improvement over existing drying beds. Sludge can be dewatered and converted into biomass and low-grade compost without chemical addition or energy. They have lengthy turnover time and are capable of reducing sludge volumes by up to 95 over time.


Also known as farmer's lung and extrinsic allergic alveolitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is caused by exposures to specific fungi found in moldy hay, straw, and feed. In addition to moldy feed, exposure to moldy compost, wood chips, sugar cane (bagasse), composting in mushroom growing, and turkey farming can lead to HP. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is

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