ILSR’s On-Farm Composting & Compost Use Webinar Series features experts from across the industry and covers the ins and outs of on-farm composting and compost use. The sixth and final webinar of the series, Compost – Soil – Plant: Putting the Many Facets Together, featured Dr. William F. Brinton, founder and Chief Science Officer of Woods End Laboratories. In this presentation, Dr. Brinton discussed the significance of how compost quality develops during the process, the various benefits of compost to soil and for plant development, and how to decipher compost application rates appropriate for the intended uses. He also described how compost can be used to enhance natural nutrient cycling on farms — including augmenting organic nitrogen mineralization and improving phosphorus utilization — to the benefit of soil, plants and water quality.
Speaker: Dr. Will Brinton
Will Brinton founded his soil lab Woods End Laboratory in 1974 while managing an organic farm and beginning studies for his bachelors in agronomy. At this time, USA land grant universities were not willing to support science work in organic farming, so Brinton transferred to an international master’s degree program in comparative organic farming science. In Europe, Will became an intern at several research centers that focused on soil and compost quality. One of these institutes in Switzerland is now the world’s largest organic farming studies center (“FIBL”). Brinton also interned in Germany on soil biology testing and in Sweden on the role of compost in soil development and plant quality emergence. Returning to Maine he was awarded a doctorate in Environmental Science for this research on plant response to composts.
Will’s lab has grown to an international institute with Canadian partners in soil sampling across North America and continues to expand soil health testing. Woods End was recently awarded a large USDA R&D project to explore the carbon benefits of conservation lands in relation to measurable global climate issues. Will is the inventor of Solvita as a means to enable any person to measure microbial output of compost and soil visually. One Solvita compost test is widely used as a simple index of compost maturity. Will is part of several soil carbon initiatives presently grappling with the decline of soil carbon in relation to global climate issues.
The live webinar took place on:
December 7th, 2021 from 12:00-1:30 pm ET