Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
Agricultural Composting and Water Quality Fact Sheet
Composting, a controlled process for stabilization of organic matter, can turn waste into a valuable soil amendment. Creating compost from waste materials provides an opportunity to return nutrients and organic matter to the soil, a proven practice for soil quality enhancement. Compost can improve crop growth and provide environmental benefits by improving soil tilth and its capacity to absorb and hold water and plant nutrients. A properly managed composting process can destroy weed seeds, plant pathogens, and human pathogens.
This publication is designed to assist farmers in conducting efficient, cost-effective, on-farm composting that presents reduced risk to surface and groundwater quality. It was written for operators of small to medium-size on-farm composting enterprises who handle about 100 to 5,000 tons of raw organic material per year.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) OW10-329, Protecting Water Quality and Promoting Economic Efficiency at Agricultural Composting Facilities.
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These products were developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within these products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.