Nutrition and soil health to optimize production the true cost of composting in commercial agricultural enterprises -stuart larsson
STUART LARSSON MALLANGANEE NSW THE NUT RUSHcomposting on a farm scale
What is Compost Quality Inputs How do we make Compost Standards for Quality Compost How do we Use Compost Additives to Compost Identifying Soil Requirements Reference Material
Compost is a great way to add organic matter and nutrients in an available form of biology to your soils Quality inputs are the key to success A great way of turning farm waste into value Many products that may claim to be are not effective Bad compost can have harmful side effects e.g. poorly composted organic material will take nitrogen from your plants and may encourage pathogenic organisms
• Hay as a carbon source from pastures• Chicken Litter, feedlot manure, Pig Manure• Ground Timber, Tea tree Mulch (Aged)• Various saw dusts (Aged)• Crops grown for green material• Nut Husk• Clays 5%• Water – dam / lagoon• Biology manufactured as compost is reapplied as inoculants
Use materials close by and cheap (bare in mind the quality because “rubbish in results in rubbish out”) Assess the weight or Cubic Meter. Carbon 25:1(30:1)Nitrogen Ratio High N38%,Woody31%,Green31% Build windrow or Pile 1.5metres high at minimum Build Compost windrows directly down the slope of 2%>5% Mix ingredients dry and thoroughly Add water (good quality)to 50%(hand squeeze) Turn pile to get even moisture - most inputs are hydrophobic.
Temperature must reach 70degrees C for 6 Days Turn and water as needed to control temperature CO2 levels kept below 10% Turning replaces the CO2 to keep the process aerobic After this period it will stabilize to around 52degrees C , Final temp will be late 40 degrees C It takes 56 days to make mature compost but have a product stable 100 Days Moisture content on completion should 30% to 40%
ROWNUMBER 21A09 BIOPHO BROILER S/APATI GROUND TEA TREE Product CHICKEN LIME TE SAWDUST TIMBER MULCH OTHER HAY CUBIC Tonne / Tn / Tonne / Tonne / CM3 Tn / Mtr Tonnes Tonnes CM3 Tn / Mtr MTR MTR CM3 MTR Bales Bale Bales Bales Water Volume 0.00 0.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.35 0.00 0.50 0.00 0.20 0.00 0.20 78.00 0.15 Tonnes TonnesWet Weight Basis 44.50 0.00 0.00 31.75 0.00 20.20 0.00 11.70 108.15 8.80 % Water Weight % Water Weight % Water Weight % Water Weight % Water Weight % Water Weight Dry Water % Basis 10.00 44.50 10.00 31.75 10.00 0.00 10.00 20.20 10.00 0.00 10.00 11.70 Weight 40.05 0.00 28.58 0.00 18.18 0.00 10.53 97.34 %C Weight %C Weight %C Weight %C Weight %C Weight %C Weight %c Weight % Carbon 38.00 40.05 0.00 39.00 28.58 32.17 0.00 39.00 18.18 65.00 0.00 40.00 10.53 Total C Weight Carbon 15.22 0.00 0.00 11.14 0.00 7.09 0.00 4.21 37.67 %N Weight %N Weight %N Weight %N Weight %N Weight %N Weight %N Weight % Nitrogen 2.00 40.05 0.00 0.14 28.58 0.34 0.00 0.14 18.18 0.89 0.00 1.20 10.53 Total NWeight Nitrogen 0.80 0.00 0.04 0.00 0.03 0.00 0.13 0.99 C/N 37.94 Tonne of Water to add for 50% of total 88.54 Total weight of compost at start. (50% water) 194.67 loss 33.22% 130.00 25% 40% 35% Ratio Mixes Hi N Woody Green Total 41% 29% 29% 100%
1. Consolidation : When raw materials (feedstock) are mixed with water (field capacity)and formed into a windrow2. Active stage: When core temperature is maintained between 50 and 70 degrees C3. Curing Stage : When the core temperature drops and nutrients are released in the inorganic form
Belt or chain spreaders Rates depend on soil condition and the need of repair. (See SOFT Soil Report Document) You cannot overdo the application - I would as a general rule advise 2.5mt/ha. Broad acre or 20kg/tree/year
If major elements are lacking this may need some adjustment. Phosphorous can be added into the process a, SOFTphos (13%Phosphorous Calcium Ore) Biochar at 10% inclusion. Calcium as lime can be added not at high rates eg 150kg/Ha. Potassium and trace elements added at the curing stage.
There is an Australian standard AS445-1999Microscope inspection for biological levels is recommendedSoil Food web in Lismore do proper analytical workQuality compost on completion will have an earthy smell similar to theforest floor.Any pungent odor will indicate not composted completely or maybesomething in the raw materials that kills biology.A quality compost will be broken do to be friable but may still resemblesome ingredients such as wood particlesIn a mature compost microbes have converted readily available organicmatter into humic acids and microbial cells. In contrast immature compost may contain partially broken downchemicals which may be toxic (including ammonia N) and highmicrobial activity inducing nutrient draw down(eg Raw Manure)
Australian Standard Website www.standards.com.au (see standard AS445-1999) Composting by K Handreck.CSIRO 1978 No Garbage by A.Gilbert,Lothian publishers 1992 www.soilfoodweb.com/systems/compost,orw ww.oldgrowth.org/compost