Compost is a kind of organic fertilizer accumulated and decomposed by various straw, garbage, peat, green manure, grass, other organic materials, and human and animal manure. As is well known, the nutrient content of compost has close relation with used materials, dosage and accumulation methods. For regular composting, it includes 15%-25% organic matter, 0.4%-0.5% Nitrogen, 0.18%-0.26% P2O5, 0.45%-0.70% K2O and 16%-20% C/N; while for high temperature composting, it has 24%-42% organic matter, 1.1%-2.0% Nitrogen, 0.3%-0.82% P2O5, 0.5%-2.53% K2O and 9.7%-10.7% C/N.
From the major terms, compost has two main advantages: first, it can transfer the waste into materials easy to dispose; second, compost can create valued goods – composting products, like organic fertilizers. But the disadvantage is that composting always needs time and often faces some risks because people cannot put manure beside or behind livestock shed if they plan to get finished composting products after several weeks. Like the old saying goes, any successful project needs certain time and experience to accumulate, so does composting.
Advantages of Compost
The major merits of compost contain soil reclamation, producing marketable products, improving the disposal of agricultural waste, kitchen garbage and livestock manure, enhancing land utilization, lowering pollution risk, eliminating pathogenic bacteria, using compost as feed substitute, preventing disease and increasing income, etc.
- ◆ Soil improvement: composting belongs a quite good amendment for soil texture, and when used for cropland, it can increase organic matter, improve soil structure, reduce fertilizer dosage, and relieve potential erosion for soil.
- ◆ Marketable products: one of the most attractive characteristics is that composting products have their markets, potential consumers including courtyard planting, gardens, vegetable growers, lawn planting and even golf course operators, etc. Due to being viewed as wasting products, the price of compost varies greatly, mainly depending on its market demand, composting quality, raw material cost and so on.
- ◆ Livestock manure disposal improvement: composting can reduce manure weight, water content and activity, making manure easy to deal with and store well without the condition of odor and mosquito and flies. In virtue of its storage property, compost can be used at any time of the year to reduce the loss of Nitrogen in cropland. Although manure volume decreases greatly after composting, whole compost volume changes a little because of adding conditioner(photosynthetic bacteria or other bacteria).
- ◆ Land utilization melioration: both composting and (livestock) manure have fertilizer value and commendable soil conditioner. Although spreading manure directly on farmland also can give play to soil quality improvement, it is not advisable to do so because fermented mixture will cause plants to death. Fortunately, after composting, merits of manure appear obviously as follows:
▽ Composting can make Nitrogen of manure becoming more stable organic nitrogen, in spite of some part loss, the rest part is not easy to get wet and volatilize.
▽ High percentage clinker manure has high carbon nitrogen ratio. When applied to soil directly, carbon in manure would prevent nitrogen absorbed by plants; on the contrary, after fermentation and compost, it can lower C/N and be more suitable for soil use.
▽ Heat produced during composting process can reduce the quantity of harmful germs and weed seeds.
- ◆ Lowering pollution risk and foul smell complaints: with the scale-up development of agriculture especially livestock industry, poultry manure has become a kind of encumbrance instead of wealth. For those enterprises without large area land to absorb these manure, animals quantity far exceeds bearing capacity of land and how to deal with manure becomes a headache problem. Additionally, too many animals cause bad smell issue, bringing lots of convenience and adding contradiction to nearby residents. But luckily, composting can alleviate the effect of these problems, and people do not need to worry about its outlet due to composting products always in demand. Besides, its storable feature also allows to be transported to farther places than manures. The well working manure compost equipment, like compost windrow turner, basically won’t produce any stench and mosquitoes and flies. Composting also can change Nitrogen into some type uneasy to permeate or flow away.
- ◆ Killing pathogenic bacteria: in the waste, there were almost no human pathogenic bacteria, but afterwards, giardia and cryptosporidm parvum broke out among livestock. These protozoan can cause people and animals diarrhea over and over again, while for those animals with bad immune system, situation is worse. Protozoan always hides in excreta of infected animals, able to survive even under adverse environment. The manure of infected animals (home breed or wildness) may pollute feed or source of water, which would make other livestock infect these parasites. Generally, these protozoan bacteria can be killed once they are exposed for thirty minutes under the condition of 60 degree Celsius. And the temperature of composting process can reach 60 degree Celsius, but the part near the surface of composting may not reach this temperature, then pile-turning with self propelled compost turner can make all raw materials reach to the required temperature.
- ◆ Feed substitution: fully ripened compost can be used for livestock and poultry fodder, and research and tests show that compost is basically safe and efficient fodder.
- ◆ Disease prevention: compost after complete fermentation can lighten soil property disease of plants without using chemicals to control. Nowadays, the feature of preventing disease of compost has been widely used and recognized.