5 SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES OF COMPOSTING ON THE FARM THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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From your small at home backyard compost bin that you use for your dinner scraps to large scale farming operations with livestock waste, composting is the safest and most environmentally friendly solution to your disposal problems. Composting takes a nuisance product and turns it into a useful, pathogen safe product, especially so for farms with large quantities of on-farm processing waste.

What is composting?

Composting is placing organic waste products, such as livestock mortalities, manure, straw or other plant materials into either a natural composting solution such as a bin or a more advanced solution such as a state-of-the-art composting machine that can accelerate processing times. Over time, the decomposition of the organic material will be carried out by microorganisms, oxygen, water, heat, gasses, and sometimes even a mechanical stirring arm[1].

Decomposition of Organic Material

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Top 5 Composting Advantages

1.) Compost is a highly nutrient rich fertilizer source that contains an array of nutrients from macronutrients to micronutrients based on what organic materials were placed in the bin. You can use (or sell) the compost you create on your farm. Golf courses, landscapers, gardeners, and farmers will buy it[2]. For farmers, this will reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer they put on their fields as well as the costs associated with it.

2.) Prior to composting, many products such as livestock mortalities are a pathogen spread risk. Composting is not only a great way to contain pathogen spread, but a great way to prevent it. The biosecurity of on farm composting means you won’t have a rendering truck carrying potential pathogens directly onto your farm from the farm it visited previous to yours.

3.) Compost will enhance the structural stability of soil where synthetic fertilizers cannot. This will decrease the erosion potential on your fields.

4.) Improper disposal of livestock mortality’s can cause the spread of pathogens through scavengers that may include but are not limited to such species as Coyotes, Crows, and various insects. The elimination/reduction of odours is also a primary feature of Composting.

5.) Because compost is stored directly on the farm it’s convenient, quick, and easy to access for application or sale and it will sit safely in storage until you decide to do so.

Written and Published by Jessica Kohls, BSc, PgCE – Dutch Biologist

[1] http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/05-023.htm

[2] http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng4464

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