Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Approaches to Soil & Compost Testing

571 views

Published on

6th National Cultivating Community Composting Forum
Panel 2: It's All About the Soil
Leah Retherford
NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse

Published in: Environment
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Approaches to Soil & Compost Testing

  1. 1. 1 2019 Cultivating Community Compost Forum Monday, May 13, 2019 Leah Retherford, NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse Approaches to Soil & Compost Testing
  2. 2. 2 Overview • Background • Lessons • Technical Assistance for Compost Requests • Case Study 1: Queens Farm Application Rates • Case Study 2: Salt Lot Compost • Following our own Advice
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. 4 Lessons Learned ● Soil Tests are Tools ● Find and use experts that work for you ● Start with “I don’t know”, especially with unexpected results ● Share Information
  5. 5. 5 NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse: Technical Assistance • One of seven Compost Projects • Part of a community scale composting network. • Mission: To rebuild NYC’s soils by providing New Yorkers with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to make and use compost locally.
  6. 6. 6 NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse: Technical Assistance • Compost is not soil • A little goes a long way, a maximum of an inch annually of screened compost is plenty. Build your soil fertility slowly • Calculate the amount they need for their growing area • Recommend soil testing ◦ Contamination ◦ Track nutrients and organic matter • Other
  7. 7. 7 Nutrient Management at Queens Farm
  8. 8. 8 Nutrient Management at Queens Farm
  9. 9. 9 Nutrient Management at Queens Farm Compost Application Rate Prior to 2011: 4 wheel barrows per 180’ x 4’ bed Math: 1 wheelbarrow = ~4 ft3 4 x 4 ft3 = 16 ft3 compost/ 720 ft2 = 0.022 ft * 12 inches/ft = 0.27 inches annually 0.022 ft * 43,560 ft2 = 958 ft3/acre or ….. 958 ft3 * 1 yd3/27 ft3 = 35 yd3 of compost/acre from Compost Test: 1 yd of compost = ~1000 lbs 35 yd3 x 1000 lbs wet compost = 35,000 lbs x 0.59 (dry solids content) = 20650 lbs dry solids 20650 lbs x 0.00614 (total P) = 127 pounds P annually
  10. 10. 10 Nutrient Management at Queens Farm *New* Compost Application Rate: 1 -5 gallon bucket per 180’ x 4’ bed Math: 1 -5 gallon bucket = ~0.67 ft3 0.67 ft3 compost/ 720 ft2 = 0.00093 ft * 12 inches/ft = 0.011 inches annually 0.00093 ft * 43560 ft2 = 40 ft3/acre or ….. 40 ft3 * 1 yd3/27 ft3 = 1.5 yd3 of compost/acre From Compost Test: 1.5 yd3 x 1000 lbs wet compost/ yd3 = 1500 lbs x 0.59 (dry solids content) = 886 lbs dry solids 886 lbs x 0.00614 (total P) = 5 pounds P annually
  11. 11. 11 Unexpected Results: The Salt Lot
  12. 12. 12 Unexpected Results: The Salt Lot Fecal Coliform: facultatively anaerobic, rod- shaped, gram-negative, non-sporulating bacterium. Coliform bacteria generally originate in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Fecal Coliform and Salmonella are “indicator bacteria”. They need higher temperatures to be reduced or destroyed and if they are not present than other pathogens have also been reduced. -Carmen Thiel Lab Manager UW Oshkosh
  13. 13. 13 Unexpected Results: The Salt Lot Guilty?
  14. 14. 14 Unexpected Results: The Salt Lot
  15. 15. 15 NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse: Technical Assistance
  16. 16. 16 Thanks and call me if you want to talk more about this.

×