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Monica Ozores-Hampton

compost quality and nutrient composition maybe relevant especially when is used to supplement the fertility program. This requires the understanding that although the contribution of nutrients such as N may be low, phosphorous (P), potassium (K), and

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Jen A. Sembera, Tina M. Waliczek and Erica J. Meier

). After the active composting phase, piles were allowed to cure for at least 4 weeks to complete the composting process ( Dougherty, 1999 ; Rynk, 1992 ). Compost quality tests. After curing, samples were drawn from the compost. Sampling techniques adhered

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Jen A. Sembera, Erica J. Meier and Tina M. Waliczek

(4%) of sargassum, respectively, and were replicated three times. No true control pile of compost was necessary as in compost quality tests, compost samples are compared with overall compost quality standards for the industry ( U.S. Composting Council

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Tina M. Waliczek, Nicole C. Wagner and Selin Guney

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic materials, such as plant tissue, food scraps, paper, animal fodder, and wood chips. The end-product, compost, is a beneficial soil amendment because it can contain a diversity of beneficial microorganisms, has high nutrient and water-holding capacities, can increase total soil porosity, and contains essential plant nutrients that improve soil productivity. Coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Atlantic and European shorelines, have witnessed a proliferation of brown seaweed (Sargassum sp.). When piled on beaches, tourism appeal is reduced, threatening the local economy. When amassed offshore, thick brown seaweed mats can hinder fishing. Excessive decomposition rates can lead to eutrophication, which threatens coastal areas economically and environmentally. Despite these problems, seaweed may be considered a valuable compost ingredient. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct a market test to determine the potential value of a seaweed-incorporated compost to consumers in Texas and to identify attributes of likely consumers. A marketing survey was developed and distributed to gardeners in the central and south Texas regions. Contingent valuation questions measured participants’ willingness to pay for the seaweed compost products. Participants were able to see, smell, and touch a sample of the compost while completing the survey. Despite 92% of respondents ranking themselves as inexperienced in compost behavior, results indicated a potential for a specialty, competitively priced seaweed-incorporated compost to be introduced to the market. Respondents were most willing to pay $4.00/ft3 to $5.00/ft3 for seaweed-incorporated compost. Additionally, participants who responded positively to buying local, buying compost in the past, having positive environmental attitudes, and buying American were more likely to pay more for the seaweed-incorporated compost. There was not an obvious pattern between willingness to pay for seaweed-incorporated compost and demographic responses.

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Mark Gaskell and Richard Smith

technique of application can be more closely controlled by the grower, but compost quality can vary markedly from different sources and from the same source at different times of the year ( Hartz et al., 2000 ). Compost application can increase yields when

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Monica Ozores-Hampton, Thomas A. Obreza and George Hochmuth

Large volumes of compost produced from waste materials like yard trimmings, household trash (municipal solid waste), or biosolids (wastewater sludge) will likely become available for use by the Florida vegetable industry in the future. Using compost to produce vegetables has the potential to increase water and fertilizer conservation and reduce leaching from inorganic fertilizers in Florida's sandy soils. Compost quality for vegetable production systems should be based on soluble salts, phytotoxic compounds, C:N ratio, plant nutrients, trace metals, weed seeds, odor, moisture, pH, water-holding capacity, bulk density, cation exchange capacity, and particle size. In Florida, immature compost contained phytotoxic compounds that were harmful to crop germination and growth. Amending soil with mature composted waste materials has been reported to increase the growth and yields of vegetable crops grown in Florida. However, a beneficial response does not always occur, and the magnitude of the response is often not predictable.

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George E. Fitzpatrick, Edwin R. Duke and Kimberly A. Klock

Horticultural growing medium components must be selected with regard to their influence on properties such as cost, availability, ease of mixing, appearance, pH, nutrient levels, soluble salt levels, exchange capacity, aeration, particle size distribution, bulk density, water-holding capacity, and consistency. Over the past several decades, various types of compost products made from urban waste materials have been evaluated as components in horticultural growing mixes. The highest-quality compost products tested have frequently compared favorably with peat as one of the organic components in growing mixes. The lowest-quality compost materials tested have retarded plant growth and, in extreme cases, contributed to plant mortality. Occasionally, compost products that performed well in research trials did not prove to be satisfactory when used in commercial nursery crop production because of the lack of repeatable consistency between batches produced in large-scale municipal composting operations. One of the major reasons for the lack of consistency in compost quality is the highly variable nature of organic feedstocks accepted by many large-scale composting operations. The highest-quality composts tend to be produced in composting operations in which facility management decisions are made with consideration on their impact on the economic, physical, and chemical parameters of the end product.

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Kevin T. Walsh and Tina M. Waliczek

proportion of sargassum for other compost ingredients to be used in a large-scale composting system. Compost quality tests. After curing, samples were taken from the compost. It was noted during sampling that fish scales were present in the two protocols

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°C for at least 3 days were killed, and that these temperatures were easily achieved in the composting process. Compost quality tests determined the compost created utilizing wild taro was of equal to higher value than current compost quality

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Paige L. Herring, Abbey C. Noah and Helen T. Kraus

which is indicative of a stable compost ( California Compost Quality Council, 2001 ). The SLC substrate also maintained greater concentrations of P, Mg, Fe, Mn, and B than OM or PEAT over time for both basil and chives ( Table 3 ). Phosphorus and Mg