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Notes on Compost Teas

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  • 1. Teas: Notes on Compost Teas: AT Publication A Supplement to the AT TRA Publication Teas “Compost Teas for Plant Disease Control” Pest Management Technical NoteAPPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER FOR RURAL AREAS www.attra.ncat.orgBy Steve DiverNCAT Agriculture SpecialistMarch 2002The ATTRA publication CompostTeas for Plant Disease Control,published in 1998, will be updatedin 2002. In the meantime, here area few supplemental notes andresource listings. Two additionalitems are enclosed as well:♦ Compost Teas: A Tool for Rhizosphere +Phyllosphere Agriculture (PowerPoint slide notes)♦ Compost Teas for Plant Disease Control, the 1998 publication Table of Contents Compost Teas vs. Compost Extracts .............................................................................................................. 2 Liquid Organic Extracts vs. Compost Teas .................................................................................................. 2 Methods of Compost Tea Production ........................................................................................................... 3 Compost Tea Brewing Equipment ................................................................................................................ 4 Soil Foodweb: Concepts, Microbial Analysis, Application ..................................................................... 5 Characteristics of a Healthy Soil Foodweb, per Gram of Soil: ............................................................ 5 Minimum Standards for Compost (for Row Crop Plants), per Gram of Compost: ......................... 5 Minimum Standards for Compost Tea, per Milli-Liter of Compost Tea: ......................................... 6 Laboratories that Specialize in Microbial Analysis for Compost Teas ................................................. 6 Key Literature .................................................................................................................................................... 7 Further Web Resources .................................................................................................................................... 8 Compost Teas: A Tool for Rhizosphere + Phyllosphere Agriculture slide notes .............................. 12ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information center operated by the National Center for AppropriateTechnology under a grant from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Theseorganizations do not recommend or endorse products, companies, or individuals. ATTRA is located in theOzark Mountains at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (P.O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702). ATTRAstaff members prefer to receive requests for information about sustainable agriculture via the toll-free number800-346-9140.
  • 2. Compost Teas vs. Compost examples of microbial food sources: molasses, kelp powder, and fish powder. Some examplesExtracts of microbial catalysts: humic acid, yucca extract, and rock dust.First, it may be helpful to share some commonterminology and practices associated withcompost teas. How do compost teas differ Liquid Organic Extracts vs.from compost extracts or compost leachates? Compost TeasCompost Leachate Building on the concept of compost teas as a Compost windrow leachate — the dark- liquid organic extract, what are some other colored solution that leaches out of the common organic extracts used as a liquid bottom of the compost pile—most likely drench or foliar spray? will be rich in soluble nutrients; but, in the early stage of composting it may also Manure Tea contain pathogens. It would be viewed as a Manure-based extracts—a soluble nutrient pollution source if allowed to run off-site. source made from raw animal manure Compost leachate needs further soaked in water. For all practical purposes, bioremediation and is not suitable or manure tea is prepared in the same way as recommended as a foliar spray. the compost extracts described in theCompost Extract preceding section. The manure is placed in Compost watery extract—made from a burlap sack and suspended in a barrel of compost suspended in a barrel of water for water for 7 to 14 days. The primary benefit 7 to 14 days, usually soaking in a burlap of the tea will be a supply of soluble sack— a centuries-old technique. The nutrients, which can be used as a liquid primary benefit of the extract will be a fertilizer. supply of soluble nutrients, which can be Herbal Tea used as a liquid fertilizer. Plant-based extracts—stinging nettle, horseCompost Tea tail, comfrey, clover. A common method is Compost tea, in modern terminology, is a to stuff a barrel about three-quarters full of compost extract brewed with a microbial fresh green plant material, then top off the food source—molasses, kelp, rock dust, barrel with tepid water. The tea is allowed humic-fulvic acids. The compost-tea to ferment at ambient temperatures for 3 to brewing technique, an aerobic process, 10 days. The finished product is strained, extracts and grows populations of beneficial then diluted in portions of 1:10 or 1:5 and microorganisms. used as a foliar spray or soil drench. Herbal teas provide a supply of solubleSummary: Compost teas are distinguished nutrients as well as bioactive plantfrom compost extracts both in method of compounds.production and in the way they are used. Teas Liquid Manuresare actively brewed with microbial food and Mixtures of plant and animal byproductscatalyst sources added to the solution, and a seeped as an extract—stinging nettle,sump pump bubbles and aerates the solution, comfrey, seaweed, fish wastes, fish meal.supplying plenty of much-needed oxygen. The Liquid manures are a blend of marineaim of the brewing process is to extract products (local fish wastes, seaweedbeneficial microbes from the compost itself, extract, kelp meal) and locally harvestedfollowed by growing these populations of herbs, soaked and fermented at ambientmicrobes during the 24- to 36-hour brew temperatures for 3 to 10 days. Liquidperiod. The compost provides the source of manures are prepared similarly to herbalmicrobes, and the microbial food and catalyst tea—the material is fully immersed in theamendments promote the growth and barrel during the fermenting period, thenmultiplication of microbes in the tea. Some strained and diluted and used as a foliarPAGE 2 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 3. spray or soil drench. Liquid manures With homemade compost tea brewing, a supply soluble nutrients and bioactive compost “sock” is commonly used as a compounds. filter-strainer. Ideally, the mesh size will strain compost particulate matter but stillSummary: Compost teas and herbal teas are allow beneficial microbes—includingtools that can be made on the farm to enhance fungal hyphae and nematodes—to migratecrop fertility and to inoculate the phyllosphere into solution. Single-strand mesh materialsand rhizosphere with soluble nutrients, such as nylon stockings, laundry bags, andbeneficial microbes, and the beneficial paint bags are some of the materials beingmetabolites of microbes. used; fungal hyphae tend to get caught in polywoven fabrics. If burlap is used, itCaution: Wheareas raw animal manures are should be “aged” burlap.used as a compost windrow feedstock, the Trough Methodcomposting process—thermophyllic heating to Large-scale production of compost teas135-160° F for 10-15 days—assures pathogen employs homemade tanks and pumps. Anreduction. The raw organic matter initially 8- or 12-inch-diameter PVC pipe is cut inpresent in the compost windrow undergoes a half, drilled full of holes, and lined withcomplete transformation, with humus as an burlap. Compost is placed in thisend product. Any pathogens associated with makeshift trough. The PVC trough israw manures will be gone. So caution is supported above the tank, several feet inextended: Manure teas are NOT the same the air. The tank is filled with water, andthing as compost teas or compost extracts. microbial food sources are added as anBecause of concerns over new pathogenic amendment. A sump pump sucks thestrains of E. coli, the author advises growers to solution from the bottom of the tank andreconsider manure teas and/or to work with a distributes the solution to a trickle linemicrobial lab to ensure a safe, worthwhile running horizontally along the top of theproduct. PVC trough filled with compost. As the solution runs through the burlap bagsMethods of Compost Tea containing the compost, a leachate isProduction created which then drops several feet through the air back into the open tankBucket-Fermentation Method below. A sump pump in the bottom of the “Passive” compost tea is prepared by tank collects this “tea” and distributes it immersing a burlap sack filled with back through the water line at the top of compost into a bucket or tank, stirring the trough, and so on. Through this occassionally. Usually the brew time is process, which lasts about seven days, the longer, from 7 to 10 days. This is the compost tea is recirculated, bubbled, and method that dates back hundreds of years aerated. The purpose of the microbial food in Europe, and is more akin to a compost source is to grow a large population of watery extract than a “brewed” and aerated beneficial microorganisms. compost tea. Commercial Tea BrewersBucket-Bubbler Method Commercial equipment is available for the The equipment setup and scale of production of brewed compost teas (see a production are similar to the bucket list of suppliers below). Usually there is a method, except that an aquarium-size compost sack or a compost leachate basket pump and air bubbler are used in with drainage holes, either of which are association with microbial food and used to hold a certain volume of compost. catalyst sources added to the solution as an The compost-filled container is placed in a amendment. Since aeration is critical, as specially designed tank filled with many as three sump pumps may be used in chlorine-free water. Microbial food sources a bucket simultaneously. are added to the solution. A pump //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 3
  • 4. supplies oxygen to a specially-designed gallon, and 30-gallon tanks, but they also make aeration device which bubbles and aerates 175-gallon, 500-gallon, and 1050-gallon tanks. the compost tea brewing in the tank. Microb BrewerSummary: Depending on your scale of 182 Capital Laneproduction and the level of financial resources Roseburg, OR 97470available to purchase commercial brewing info@microbbrewer.comequipment vs. making some kind of http://www.microbbrewer.comhomemade brewer, there are several methods The Microb Brewer™ system—designed forto choose from. Research at Soil Foodweb, Inc. brewing compost teas, plant extracts, andin Corvallis, Oregon has shown that manure teas—consists of a funnel-shaped tank,differences exist in the beneficial attributes of pump, vortex nozzles for agitation and aeration,compost teas, with commercial tea brewers and a compost leachate basket. Tanks are available in 12-, 50-, and 500-gallon sizes.producing the greatest numbers and diversityof beneficial microorganisms. EPM Inc.—Earth Tea Brewer P.O. Box 1295Compost Tea Brewing Equipment Cottage Grove, OR 97424 541-767-2747Growing Solutions, Inc. 541-767-2744 Fax160 Madison Street sales@fish-world.comEugene, OR 97402 http://www.composttea.com888-600-9558 Toll-Free EPM Inc. carries the Earth Tea Brewer™ in 100-541-343-8727 Local and 500-gallon tank sizes; each model consists541-343-8374 Fax of a tank, a pump, and a compost leachateinfo@growingsolutions.com basket. It features two aeration devices—http://www.growingsolutions.com venturi nozzles and air-stones—for diffusion of Growing Solutions carries the System25™ (25- oxygen. EPM also makes a prepackaged gallon), System100™ (100-gallon), and microbial food/catalyst source for compost tea System500™ (500-gallon) models. Each model brewing (dry mix). EPM is a sister company to consists of a tank, pump, aeration device, and a Worm Wigwam™, and promotes compost leachate basket. Growing Solutions vermicompost—also known as worm also makes a pre-packaged microbial food/ compost—for the production of compost teas. catalyst source for compost tea brewing (dry mix). They also carry a specialized 27-gallon Compara—Xtractor sprayer designed to handle the larger Compara Co. in The Netherlands particulate matter found in compost teas. Bob Baars +31 71 34 19873Soil Soup, Inc. office@compara.nl9792 Edmonds Way #247 http://www.compara.nl/Edmonds, WA 98020 Compost_Tea_Systems.htm/English877-711-7687 Toll-Free Compara is the biological farming company in206-542-9304 Local The Netherlands managed by Bob Baars. The206-533-0748 Fax Xtractor™ series—Xtractor2™, Xtractor10™ ,Farming@soilsoup.com Xtractor20™— is a Do-It-Yourself Kit withhttp://www.soilsoup.com aeration and tubing components to make The Soil Soup™ system consists of a compost tea in 50-, 250- , and 500-gallon barrels polyethylene mixing tub, a synthetic felt or tanks, purchased locally by the grower. compost bag, the BioBlender™ aeration pump, Compara ships the DIY Kits overseas. Compara and the Soil Soup Nutrient Solution containing also makes a pre-packaged microbial food/ a microbial food/catalyst source (liquid mix). catalyst source for compost tea brewing (dry The regular systems come with 6.5-gallon, 12- mix).PAGE 4 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 5. Soil Foodweb: Concepts, Foliar-applied plant extracts, liquid manures, and compost teas can be further understood inMicrobial Analysis, Application the context of their influence on the rhizosphere and phyllosphere. These termsHumus—and organic matter in its many refer to those biologically-active regionsforms—provides both food and shelter for soil surrounding the root surface and leaf surfaceorganisms. Soils and composts contain a rich where microbial communities exist. Thediversity of life. The soil foodweb is the enclosed PowerPoint slide show—Compostcommunity of micro- and macro-organisms Teas: A Tool for Rhizosphere+Phyllospherethat live in these environments. Agriculture—provides a complementary introduction to this topic.Essentially, compost tea production is abrewing process that extracts microorganisms In collaboration with the people who have on-from compost followed by microbial growth the-ground experience with compost teas—and multiplication. This includes beneficial namely the organic farmers using compost teasbacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. and the manufacturers of compost tea brewingWhen compost teas are sprayed onto the leaf equipment—Dr. Ingham and Soil Foodweb,surface, these beneficial organisms occupy spatial Inc. have pioneered advancements in aerobicniches on the leaf surface and gobble up leaf compost tea brewing on the West Coast. Theexudates that pathogenic organisms would following characteristics of a healthy soilotherwise feed on to prosper; other microbes foodweb, good-quality compost, and good-directly interfere with pathogenic organisms quality compost tea are based on her work.through antagonism. Characteristics of a Healthy SoilIdeally, compost teas contain both anAbundance (immense total number) and a Foodweb, per Gram of Soil:Diversity (vast mixture) of beneficialmicroorganisms which perform different 600 million bacterial individuals; 15,000 tofunctions. Pathogenic organisms that land on 20,000 bacterial speciesthe leaf surface simply cannot compete with 150 to 300 meters of fungal biomass; 5,000 tothe beneficial organisms and therefore have a 10,000 fungal speciesgreatly reduced chance to initiate disease in the 10,000 protozoafirst place. 20–30 beneficial nematodes: bacterial-feeding, fungal-feeding, predatoryDr. Elaine Ingham, a microbial ecologist in 200,000 arthropods per square meterCorvallis, Oregon, has elevated our collectiveknowledge of the soil foodweb. In her Minimum Standards for Compost (forgraduate studies, as well as in her work as Row Crop Plants), per Gram ofAssociate Professor at Oregon State University, Compost:Ingham pioneered research into microbialanalysis of soils, composts, and compost teas. 50–70% moistureUsing the “direct look” method, she views and 2–10 µg active bacteriacounts microorganisms with high-performance 150–300 µg total bacterialight microscopy enhanced with epifluorescent 2–10 µg active fungistaining and illumination. In the late 1990s, 150–300 µg total fungishe established a commercial lab known as Soil 10,000 flagellatesFoodweb, Inc. (SFI), thus providing a service 10,000 amoebasthat allows farmers and land managers to gain 50–100 ciliatesinsight into the soil foodweb condition of their 10–50 beneficial nematodessoils and composts. //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 5
  • 6. Minimum Standards for Compost Tea, Laboratories that Specialize inper Milli-Liter of Compost Tea: Microbial Analysis for Compost10–150 µg active bacteria Teas150–300 µg total bacteria2–10 µg active fungi Soil Foodweb, Inc.5–20 µg total fungi 980 NW Circle Blvd1,000 flagellates Corvallis, OR 973301,000 amoeba 541-752-506620–50 ciliates 541-752-5142 Fax2–10 beneficial nematodes Contact: Elaine Ingham sfi@soilfoodweb.comThe Soil Biology Primer is a landmark http://www.soilfoodweb.compublication from the USDA on the livingcomponents of the soil. It provides a graphics- BBC Laboratories, Inc.rich summary of the soil foodweb and relates 1217 North Stadem Dr.foodweb health to soil health. It features Tempe, AZ 85281individual chapters on soil bacteria, fungi, 480-967-5931protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and 480-967-5036 Faxearthworms. Printed copies can be ordered Contact: Vicki Bessthrough: Soil and Water Conservation Service bbclabs@aol.comat 1-800-THE-SOIL, or by email at http://www.bbc-labs.com<pubs@swcs.org>. An online version can beaccessed at:Soil Biology PrimerSoil Quality Institute, NRCShttp://www.statlab.iastate.edu/survey/SQI/SoilBiology/soil_biology_primer.htmPAGE 6 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 7. Key Literature Effectiveness of Compost Extracts as Disease Suppressants in Fresh Market Crops inCompost Tea Brewing Manual. 2000. By British ColumbiaElaine R. Ingham. Soil Foodweb, Inc., Corvallis, Sylvia Welke, OFRF Grant Report 99–31OR. 60 pages. $25 through SFI. http://www.ofrf.org/publications/http://www.soilfoodweb.com/multimedia/ Grant%20reports/99Spr.1of11.Welke99-compostteamanual.html 31.IB9.pdf I highly recommend this manual to anybody The full OFRF report reviewed above; a 10-page who plans to make and use compost teas. It PDF download. provides a practical summary of compost teas underpinned with a scientific understanding of Compost Tea for Organic Farming and applied microbiology. Includes: how to use Gardening. 2001. By William Quarles. The compost teas; factors affecting compost tea IPM Practitioner. Vol. 23, No. 9 (September). quality; beneficial organisms; compost tea p. 1–8. production methods; application methods; The September 2001 issue of The IPM matching compost teas to plants and soils; Practitioner—the monthly journal from Bio- bacterial- vs. fungal-dominated compost teas; Integral Resource Center—featured compost compost tea recipes; microbial food resources teas. An 8-page reprint is available for $7.50 for different microorganism groups; and total through: experimental results. Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC)Organic Farming Research Foundation P.O. Box 7414Information Bulletin No. 9, Winter 2001 Berkeley, CA 94707http://www.ofrf.org/publications/news/ 510-524-2567ib9.pdf 510-524-1758 Fax The Winter 2001 issue contains a special report birc@igc.org on OFRF-funded compost tea research, pages 8− http://www.birc.org 20. This is a 1,895K PDF file, so be patient waiting for it to download. Included among the Investigations into Liquid Compost Extracts items in the compost teas issue is “Benefits of (“Teas”) for the Control of Plant Pathogenic Compost Tea: A Review of the Research Fungi Literature.” It lists 53 citations, but the full William F. Brinton and Andreas Trankner; a report—see below—contains 88 references in BioCycle conference paper total. Other items include: “Apparatus and http://www.woodsend.org/compost_tea.pdf Experimental Protocol for Organic Compost A 12-page PDF download, featuring the work of Teas,” which describes and illustrates a Dr. William Brinton of Woods End Research homemade on-farm compost tea brewer; and Laboratory in Maine. “Effectiveness of Compost Tea Extracts as Diseases Suppressants in Fresh Market Crops,” which summarizes research on compost tea Compost Practices for Control of Grape extracts applied to strawberries, lettuce, leeks, Powdery Mildew (Uncinula necator) and broccoli in British Columbia. Andreas Trankner and William F. Brinton; a Biodynamic journal reprintOrganic Teas from Composts and Manures http://www.woodsend.org/will2.pdfRichard Merrill, OFRF Grant Report 97–40 An 8-page PDF download, featuring the work ofhttp://www.ofrf.org/publications/ Dr. William Brinton of Woods End ResearchGrant%20reports/97Fall.1of5a.Merrill97- Laboratory in Maine.40.IB9.pdf The full OFRF report reviewed above; a 51-page PDF download, with 88 literature references in the bibliography, “Selected References for Organic Tea Extract Studies.” //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 7
  • 8. Further Web Resources Compost Microbiology BioCycle Reprints: Compost Teas and Compost Microbiology and the Soil Food Compost Microbiology Web California Integrated Waste ManagementUnderstanding Compost Tea BoardVicki Bess, BioCycle, October 2000 http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/publications/ http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/2000/ default.asp?pubid=857100071.html http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/publications/ Organics/44200013.docTime for (Compost) Tea in the Northwest 6-page MS-Word download.Adrienne Touart, BioCycle, October 2000 http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/2000/ Microbial Activity and Diversity of Soils and100074.html Composts Vicki Bess, BBC Laboratories,Tempe, AZBrewing Up Solutions To Pest Problems http://www.bbclabs.com/toppage3.htmLisa Wickland, Todd Murray and JoyceJimerson, BioCycle, March 2001 Dr. Elaine Ingham: The Soil Foodweb &http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/2001/ Compost Teas030164.htmlEvaluating Microbiology of Compost The Soil FoodwebVicki Bess, BioCycle, May 1999 Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc.http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/1999/ http://www.soilfoodweb.com/thesfw.html0599Art4.htm Soil Foodweb InformationUsing Compost To Control Plant Diseases Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc.Tom De Ceuster and Harry Hoitink, BioCycle, http://www.soilfoodweb.com/sfwinfo.htmlJune 1999http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/1999/ The Soil Foodweb Structure0699Art5.htm Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc. http://www.soilfoodweb.com/Anaerobic Bacteria and Compost Tea sfwstructure.htmlElaine Ingham; a BioCycle reprinthttp://www.soilfoodweb.com/anaerobic.html Foodweb “Funtions” in a Living Soil: The Benefits to Plants and SoilsMicrobial Profiles: Fine-tuning the Soil Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc. http://www.soilfoodweb.com/Foodweb foodwebfunc.htmlKaren Grobe; a BioCycle reprint, January 1998http://www.soilfoodweb.com/biocycle1.html Soil Organisms: Why Are They Important? Elaine Ingham; article reprint at Compara.nl http://www.compara.nl/soil_organisms.htm The Soil Foodweb: Its Importance in Ecosystem Health Elaine Ingham; article reprint at Don’t Panic Eat Organic http://www.rain.org/~sals/ingham.htmlPAGE 8 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 9. Dr. Ingham’s Monthly E-Zine Controlling the Compost Process: Compost-http://www.soilfoodweb.com/ezine.html Amended Potting Mixes Note: The SFI E-Zine is a great place to keep up Ohio State University, Fact Sheet CDFS-160 with Dr. Elaine Ingham’s latest comments and H. A. J. Hoitink, M. J. Boehm, J. E. Heimlich notes on compost teas. http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0160.htmlAnaerobic Bacteria and Compost Tea Compost and Disease SuppressionElaine Ingham; a BioCycle reprinthttp://www.soilfoodweb.com/anaerobic.html Bibliography on Compost for DiseaseBrewing Compost Tea SuppressionElaine Ingham; A Kitchen Gardener reprint Chloe Ringer,http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/ USDA Soil Microbial Labpages/g00030.asp http://ncatark.uark.edu/~steved/compost- disease-biblio.html Web Resource Collections on Soil Biology Disease Suppressive Potting Mixes Steve Diver, ATTRASustainable Soil Management: Web Links to http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/Make Your Worms Happy! dspotmix.htmlSteve Diver, ATTRAhttp://ncatark.uark.edu/~steved/soil- Sustainable Management of Soil-borne Plantlinks.html Diseases Preston Sullivan, ATTRASoil Biology Information Resources For Land http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/Managers, Resource Professionals, and soilborne.htmlEducatorsSoil Quality Institute, NRCS Suppressing Plant Diseases with Composthttp://www.statlab.iastate.edu/survey/SQI/ David Granatstein; The Compost Connection forSBinfo.htm Washington Agriculture, No. 5, October 1997 http://csanr.wsu.edu/compost/newsletter/ compcon5.html Compost Specialists: David Granatstein & Harry Hoitink On-Farm Composting: Plant Disease Control / On-Farm Composting - A Review of the LiteratureSuppressing Plant Diseases with Compost Alberta Agriculture, Food and RuralDavid Granatstein; The Compost Connection for DevelopmentWashington Agriculture, No. 5, October 1997 http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/sustain/http://csanr.wsu.edu/compost/newsletter/ compost/plantdisease.htmlcompcon5.html Composts for Disease SuppressionFoliar Disease Control Using Compost Tea UConn Integrated Pest ManagementDavid Granatstein, The Compost Connection for http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/general/Western Agriculture, No. 8, January 1999 htms/composts.htmhttp://csanr.wsu.edu/compost/newsletter/Cc8.PDF Microbial Ecology of Compost-induced Disease SuppressionCompost Teas and Liquid Humus Eric Nelson, et al.; Proceedings of the 5thDavid Granatstein, CERWA International PGPR Workshophttp://www2.aste.usu.edu/compost/qanda/ http://www.ag.auburn.edu/argentina/teas.htm pdfmanuscripts/nelson.pdf //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 9
  • 10. Disease Suppressive Compost as an Evaluation of Compost Facility Runoff forAlternative to Methyl Bromide Beneficial Reuse, Phase 2Methyl Bromide Alternative Case Study, EPA Clean Washington Center430-R-97-030 http://cwc.org/organics/organic_htms/10 Case Studies, Volume 3, September 1997 cm981rpt.htmhttp://www.epa.gov/spdpublc/mbr/ http://www.cwc.org/organics/org981rpt.pdfcompost3.html 39-page PDF download. Phase 2 report on the compost leachate reuse project. Compost Teas: Regional Reports Compost Teas: Popular PressCompost Tea Trials Final ReportSubmitted to Office of Environmental Brewing Compost TeaManagement, City of Seattle. Elaine R. Ingham; A Kitchen Gardener reprintCascadia Consulting Group, March 8, 2001 http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/http://www.cityofseattle.net/environment/ pages/g00030.aspDocuments/Final%20Compst%20Tea%20report.pdf Bainbridge Island: Healing the Earth A 53-page PDF download Sue Edwards, The SUN newspaper of Bremerton, Washington, February 2000Alternatives for Use & Management of http://www.thesunlink.com/news/2000/“Compost Tea” february/0211a10a.htmlClean Washington Centerhttp://cwc.org/organics/cm002.htm ‘Compost Tea’ Allows Gardeners to Brew Access to HTML and PDF versions Greener Pastures Steve Hill, University Week, University ofEvaluation and Prioritization of Compost WashingtonFacility Runoff Management Methods http://depts.washington.edu/uweek/Clean Washington Center archives/2001.03.MAR_08/article9.htmlhttp://cwc.org/organics/organic_htms/cm002rpt.htm Wake Up Your Garden With Compost Teahttp://cwc.org/organics/org002rpt.pdf Kathy LaLiberte, The Innovative Gardener, July 53-page PDF download. Report addresses the 2001 reuse of a pasteurized compost leachate from http://www.vg.com/gardening/igjuly01.asp city zoo for use as a “tea” to fertilize crops. The liquid plant food, a compost tea product called Making Fermented Compost Tea Zoo Broo, will be marketed along with the zoo’s Natural Life Magazine #44 other compost product, Zoo Doo. http://www.life.ca/nl/44/compost.htmlEvaluation of Compost “Tea” for Reuse From The Garden: Oxygen-Rich Compost TeaOpportunities (1997 & 1998) Can Help Ward Off Summer’s Water BluesClean Washington Center Ann Lovejoy, Thursday, March 15, 2001,http://cwc.org/organics/cm981.htm Special to the Post-Intelligencer Access to HTML and PDF versions http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/nwgardens/ lovejoy15x.shtml Feed Your Foodweb: Compost Tea Strengthens Plants, Defends Against Disease Rachel Foster, Eugene Weekly http://www.eugeneweekly.com/gardens/ gardens01.htmlPAGE 10 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 11. Compost Teas: Research Reports Compost Teas: The Worm Digest QuarterlyResponse of Alternaria spp. Blight and A Homemade Compost Tea BrewerSeptoria spp. Leaf Spot to Biological Disease S. Zorba Frankel, The Worm DigestControl Agents in Tomatoes http://www.wormdigest.org/articles/Jeremy Barker Plotkin; OFRF on-farm research index.cgi?read=66reporthttp://www.ofrf.org/scoar/plotkin.PDF Compost Teas: Brewing a Sweet Blend Kelly Slocum, The Worm DigestCompost Cures All http://www.wormdigest.org/articles/James Saper (from Sustainable Farming index.cgi?read=65Magazine, Summer 1997, Vol. 7 No. 3)http://www.genesis.ca/whatsnew_5.html Compost Teas: Complementary ATTRA ResourcesPeach Brown Rot Study at Woodleaf Farm,Oroville, CA Compost Teas for Plant Disease ControlCarl Rosato; OFRF on-farm research report The 1998 ATTRA publicationhttp://www.agroecology.org/cases/ http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/brownrot/studies.htm comptea.htmlNorth Coast Apple Scab Trials 1993/1994, Compost Teas: A Tool for Rhizosphere+Organic and Conventional Materials Phyllosphere AgricultureComparison http://ncatark.uark.edu/~steved/compost-Paul Vossen and Doug Gubler; reprint from tea-slides.pdfUC Plant Protection Quarterlyhttp://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/newsltr/v7n4/sa-8.htm By Steve DiverUniversity Research NCAT Agriculture SpecialistMidwest Biosystems, Tampico, ILhttp://www.aeromasterequipment.com/ Edited by Richard Earlesresearch.html Formatted by Ronda VaughanCompost Tea and Blossom Brown Rot March 2002Washington State Universityhttp://depts.washington.edu/mulch/research/ IP118 The electronic version of Notes on Compost Teas: A Supplement to the ATTRA Publication Compost Teas for Plant Disease Control is located at: HTML http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/compost-tea-notes.html PDF http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/compost-tea-notes.pdf //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 11
  • 12. Compost Teas: A Tool forRhizosphere + PhyllosphereAgriculture slide notes Steve Diver Appropriate Technology ATTRA Transfer for Rural Areas Fayetteville, AR Rhizosphere II Funded by USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service ncatark.uark.edu/~steved/ ATTRA is an NCAT-SARD project ... www.attra.org Sustainable Agriculture and 800-346-9140 Rural Development Program steved@attra.org Compost Teas: A Tool for Liquid Organic Extracts vs Rhizosphere + Phyllosphere Compost Teas Manure Tea: Agriculture Manure-based extracts What are they Herbal Tea: What’s in it Plant-based extracts; E.g., nettle, horse tail, comfrey, chamomile, clover Benefits and uses Liquid Manures: How do you make them Fermented mixture of plants, fish, How do you use them seaweed extracts Plant material soaking in water, herbal tea preparation Stinging nettle herb tea, with BD prepsPAGE 12 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 13. Liquid Organic Extracts vs Compost Teas Compost Leachate: Compost windrow leachate Compost Extract: Compost watery extract Compost Tea: Compost watery extract brewed with microbial food source -- molasses, kelp, rock dust, humic-fulvic acidsHerbal tea barrels buried in ground, a biodynamic practice Components of Compost Benefits of Compost Teas Tea •Inoculate rhizosphere = soil drench •Soluble nutrients •Inoculate phyllosphere = foliar spray •Humic substances •Bacteria •Occupy plant surface with beneficial organisms = colonization •Fungi •Nematodes •Beneficials use exudates & microbial food sources = competition •Protozoa •Biocontrol = antagonism, induced resistance •Microbial metabolites •Soluble nutrients, growth-promoting •Goal = maximum diversity of “good guys” substances, metabolites Rhizosphere Benefits for Microorganisms Root Excretions 1. Amino acids 2. Organic acids 3. Carbohydrates = Sugars 4. Nucleic acids 5. Growth factors 6. Sloughed-off tissue Key: Food + energy for microbes Distribution of micro-organisms in the rhizosphere //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 13
  • 14. French bean leaf surface; The Phyllosphere Trichomes + glandular secretion, Lavendar leaf CMM, The University of Queensland CMM, The University of Queensland “Active” Components in Compost Tea Compost Teas as a Natural “Fungicide” Yeasts: Sporobolomyces, Cryptococcus Gray mold on beans, strawberry Bacteria: Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Botrytis cinerea Penicillium, Etc ….. Downy & powdery mildew on grapes Fungi: Trichoderma, Gliocladium, Etc ….. Plasmopora viticola, Uncinula necator Chemical antagonists: phenols, amino acids Apple scab Key: 1. Microbial Abundance + Biodiversity Venturia conidia 2. Components of a healthy soil foodweb Late blight of potato, tomato 3. Beneficial bacteria, fungi, nematodes, Phytopthera infestans protozoa Compost Tea Production Methods “Brewing” a Compost Tea Bucket-Fermentation Method: [aerobic + anaerobic] Bacterial tea = Foliar spray Compost in burlap sack immersed in water, • Bacterial compost compost “extract” vs compost “tea” • Simple sugars = Molasses, cane syrup, ------------------------------------------ apple juice, yeasts Bucket-Bubbler Method: [aerated = aerobic] Small-scale buckets, aquarium air bubbler • Kelp Trough Method: • Plant extracts (yucca, nettle, comfrey) Farm-size tanks, sump pumps and trickle lines Fungal tea = Soil drench Commercial Tea Brewers: • Fungal compost Small- to Large-scale • Humic acid Tank, pump, aeration, leachate sock or basket • Kelp • Yucca extractPAGE 14 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 15. Example Compost Tea Recipe Michael Blakely, Carnation, WA Initial recipe: 100 gallons water 10 gallons compost Add: 1 lb cold pressed kelp powder 1 lb Mermaid fish powder 1 gallon molasses 1 gallon barley malt Experimental: Soluble phosphate, humic acid, raw milk, yucca extract Compost tea brewing tank, 4,000 gallons, CaliforniaCompost tea brewing: pumping, trickling, aeration, California Compost tea brewing, 500 lbs compost, molasses, etc., California Compost tea brewing, Carl Rosato, California 6.5-gallon compost tea brewer, Soil Soup //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 15
  • 16. Bioblender + compost sack, Soil Soup 30-gallon compost tea brewer, Soil Soup 12, 50, 500-gallon compost tea brewers, Microb Brewer Compost tea leachate basket, Microb Brewer 100-gallon compost tea brewer, Growing Solutions 100-gallon compost tea brewer, EPM, Inc.PAGE 16 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS
  • 17. Commerical Compost Tea Brewers Growing Solutions, Inc. www.growingsolutions.com Soil Soup, Inc. www.soilsoup.com Microb Brewer www.microbbrewer.com Earth Tea Brewer / EPM, Inc. www.composttea.com Xtractor / Compara 500-gallon compost tea brewer, EPM, Inc. www.compara.nl/Compost_Tea_Systems.htm/EnglishMinimum Standards for Compost Tea, per ML10-150 µg active bacteria Compost Tea Application150-300 µg total bacteria Foliar2-10 µg active fungi 70% leaf coverage5-20 µg total fungi1,000 flagellates 5 gallons per acre, straight or diluted1,000 amoebae Seed Treatments20-50 ciliates Mist or soak seeds prior to planting2-10 beneficial nematodes Soil Drench Apply at transplant and seedling stagesSource: Apply to base of full-grown plantsDr. Ingham’s Monthly E-Zinehttp://www.soilfoodweb.com/ezine.html Resources on Compost Tea Six Ways to View Soil Food Webs The Compost Tea Brewing Manual Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc. www.soilfoodweb.com 1. Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc. 2. De Ruiter, et al. 1993. J. Appl. Ecol. 30: 95-106. Organic Farming Research Foundation Information Bulletin, Winter 2001, No. 9 3. Soil Quality Information Sheet: Soil Biodiversity www.ofrf.org NRCS Soil Quality Institute Special report on compost teas, pages 8-20 4. Michigan Field Crop Pest Ecology and Management, MSU Extension Bulletin E-2704 Compost Teas for Plant Disease Control Steve Diver, ATTRA 5. GLIDE, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, www.attra.org/attra-pub/comptea.html Colorado State University 6. Soil Biology Primer, NRCS Soil Quality Institute Notes on Compost Tea Steve Diver, ATTRA www.attra.org/attra-pub/compost-tea-notes.html //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 17
  • 19. Acknowledgement AcknowledgementSlide: Diagram:Plant material soaking in water, herbal tea Distribution of micro-organisms in the rhizospherepreparation Giddens, J. and R.L. Todd. 1984. RhizosphereEliot Coleman’s European Farm Tour microorganisms - overview. p. 51-68. Microbial- Plant Interactions. ASA Special Publication No. 47. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI. Acknowledgement AcknowledgementLeaf surface images: Compost tea recipe:The “Phyllosphere” Michael Blakely, Carnation, WANanoworld Blakely, Michael. 2001. Compost tea - myCMM - Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, experience. Washington Tilth. Vol. 9, No. 1.The University of Queensland p. 12-13.www.uq.edu.au/nanoworld/images_1.html Acknowledgement Presentation SourceCompost tea brewers: Compost Teas: A Tool for Rhizosphere Soil Soup + Phyllosphere Agriculture Microb Brewer By Steve Diver, ATTRA System 100, Growing Solutions Earth Tea Brewer, EPM Presented at: Mountain Organic Growers SchoolPhotos used with permission March 17, 2001 Asheville, North Carolina Updated: January, 2002 //NOTES ON COMPOST TEAS PAGE 19