A Flawed Food Production System and an Organic Solution - Compost

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  • 1. RODALE INSTITUTE“Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People” “Healthy Planet” A Flawed Food Production System & An Organic Solution - Compost By Jeff Moyer Farm Director By Jeff Moyer Farm Director ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 2. It’s Not Only About Yields It’s About the SOIL! • “To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” – Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 400 B.C. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 3. Our Broken Food System ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 4. We’re Polluting Our Water ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 5. Dead Zones Continue To Expand 2008 Soil From Iowa in the Gulf of MexicoOver 2 million acres lost 20 tons or more of top soil ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 6. Childhood Obesity is Epidemic ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 7. Effects of a Broken Food System ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 8. Wasted Food ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 9. Inspirational Wisdom“ A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 10. Farming on Rodale Land 8000 Years Ago Farming Today Farming in the Future SOIL ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 11. Rodale Institute Paradise Lost 1970 ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 12.  Answer the Question – Why make Compost? Discuss – How to Make Compost Talk About – Compost Utilization ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 13. Let’s Think About the Problems ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 14. Replace Chemistry & Bio-Technology ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 15. With Biology ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 16. Same Resources…… Different Philosophy ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 17. Soil Organic Matters5% 1%1% 5% ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 18. December 8th, 2011 Fungi: Another Tool in Bacterias Belt? Fungi and Bacteria Help One Another Stay Mobile, Say Researchers• — Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement -- and their survival. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 19. Organic Corn - 1995 Drought Better infiltration, retention, anddelivery to plants helps avoid drought damage Organic Conventional ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 20. Life In TheSoil ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 21. Soil Microorganisms Group Average Number per Live Weight per Acre Gram Of Soil Plow Depth (pounds)Bacteria 1 billion 500Actinomycetes 10 million 750Fungi 1 million 1,000Algae 100 thousand 150TOTAL 2,400Francis E. Clark, A Perspective of the Soil Microflora, Soil MicrobiologyConf.,Purdue University (June 1954) ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 22. Organic Compost Delivered To USDA in DC ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 23. Composting in action… piling maturingturning application ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 24. Resources ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 25. Compost can play an important role in all these effortsComposted livestock waste is a value added product that: •Reduces agricultural nutrient losses, •Improves soil water retention, •Reduces soil erosion, •Improves plant growth (even during drought), •Can be used as a bio-filter, •Captures atmospheric carbon and nitrogen in the soil, and •Meets environmental standards for waterway reclamation. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 26. Compost basics Compost is “the controlled decomposition of organic residues into a humus-like end product.” 25:1 / 40:1 mix of “brown” (C-based) materials and “green” (N-based) materials 50-65% moisture Temperatures 131 - 170°F or more during active decomposition (15 Days) Made in windrows, piles or containers (large or small) Usually requires repeated mixing (5 times in 15 days) Takes 8 weeks to 2 years (depending on the above factors) ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 27. Garden Scale Compost Production ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 28. Garden Scale©2008 Rodale institute
  • 29. Farm ScaleCompost Made Using Existing Farm Equipment ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 30. Bucket by Bucket Turning©2008 Rodale institute
  • 31. Commercial ScaleFarm Scale Turning Using Commercial Scale Equipment Windrows Are 15ft. X 6 ft. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 32. Locating Your Compost SiteBe sure to Get All State and Local Approvals ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 33. Food Waste Mixed With Yard Waste ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 34. EPA 2009 StatisticsThe amount of food wasted in the US is staggering. The USgenerates more than 34 million tons of food waste each year.Paper is the only material category where we generate morewaste, but we also recycle more. Food waste is more than 14percent of the total municipal solid waste stream. Less than threepercent of the 34 million tons of food waste generated in 2009was recovered and recycled. The rest —33 million tons— wasthrown away. Food waste now represents the single largestcomponent of MSW reaching landfills and incinerators. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 35. World Food Waste Study By Jonathan|Bloom Published: May 12, 2011UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization released a very interesting report on global food waste. It contains mind-boggling new statistics, calls international attention to the issue and serves as a prelude to the SaveFood! conference in Germany. Here’s the key line: Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted… ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 36. Contaminants In Food Waste ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 37. Sittler Pull Type Turner ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 38. Coffee Grounds ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 39. Potato Cake – Processing Food Waste ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 40. Mixing Materials ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 41. Some Things Don’t Mix Well ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 42. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 43. Well Shaped Windrow ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 44. Fleece Cover ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 45. Can You Compost in the Winter? ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 46. 23 Degrees Fahrenheit Ambient Temperature ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 47. Compost Temperatures135 Degrees Fahrenheit 154 Degrees Fahrenheit 12” Thermometer 36” Thermometer ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 48. Composting on leachate-retrieving pads ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 49. Phase 2: The Field TrialIn 2006 we grew field corn to test the performance of the composts application plowing Waiting for the corn to grow ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 50. Soil N levels after four weeks of corn growthSoil N levels after four weeks of corngrowth ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 51. We used lysimetersto collect the soil water (leachate) ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 52. Compost stabilizes nitrogen in the soil,reducing nitrate leaching(Compost Utilization Trial 1994-2002) ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 53. Compost also supports comparable crop yields(Compost Utilization Trial 1994-2002) a ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 54. Compost application guidelines to protect water quality• Test the compost to find out its NPK ratio• Apply the right amount of N to feed your crop• Be careful not to over-apply P• Think of compost as a soil amendment (microbe food) more than as a fertilizer ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 55. Soil in Organic Systems • Higher corn and soybean yields in drought years • Increased soil C and N• Higher water infiltration• Higher water holding cap.• Higher microbial activity ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 56. Compost as a Soil Amendment not a FertilizerKnow How Much You Are Applying ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 57. Application Rate of 10 Wet Tons Per/A ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 58. Cover Crops Compost Utilized in Conjunction with Cover CropsCrimson Clover Hairy Vetch/Rye ©2008 Rodale institute Hairy Vetch
  • 59. Compost Use It or Sell It• Compost Application – Compost is a soil amendment not a fertilizer• We apply compost at a rate of 10 to 15 tons per acre every 3 to 5 years (500 lb/ 1000 sq.ft.)• Know how much you are spreading• If you have more than you need – Sell It ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 60. Resources You Can Market ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 61. Our Take Home Message•Recycle food and yard waste back to the land•Use compost in conjunction with cover crops•Compost is work•Support food production that treats soil as a living system.•Buy organic food; at farmer’s markets, stores, and restaurants ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 62. MAKE & USE COMPOST Thank Youjeff.moyer@rodaleinst.org ©2008 Rodale institute