On-Farm Composting & Compost Use Resources

Date: 17 Jan 2024 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Benefits

Composting is an age-old practice that is intrinsically tied to food production and consumption. Farmers who have intimate knowledge of their soils and want access to high-quality compost are ideal stewards of the composting process. Farms often have equipment that can be repurposed for composting, may be able to produce compost less expensively than purchasing it, and can tailor their composting recipes for their specific soil and crop needs. Composting recycles nutrients and organic matter from farm residuals, manures, and animal mortalities, but food scraps from off-site can be used to improve composting recipes. On-farm composting adds to local composting capacity and facilitates the use of compost in agricultural soil – which can reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizers a farm needs – and may provide additional sources of income to farms via tipping fees and compost sales.

The benefits of composting also extend to the broader environment, the climate, and society. Food alone often makes up a significant portion of a community’s waste, while all compostable materials combined make up the single largest component of waste generated. Whereas materials thrown in the trash end up in polluting landfills or incinerators, composting food scraps and other organic materials avoids emissions associated with disposal, which is “a climate game changer.” Adding compost to soil provides essential organic matter and is another key short-term climate strategy as compost enhances soil’s ability to store carbon, especially in degraded soils. Composting further creates local jobs and local production of compost contributes to more localized, resilient food systems.

 

Survey

Are you a farmer interested in composting or using more compost on your farm? What are the barriers standing in your way? Help us advocate for local composting to make more high-quality compost available for agricultural use by completing this survey. (Information can be shared anonymously).

 

Resources

  1. ILSR On-Farm Composting & Compost Use Webinar Series
    • These webinars are among the resources ILSR offers to support a distributed and diverse composting infrastructure that includes community-scale and on-farm composting. This series features experts from across the industry and covers the ins and outs of on-farm composting and compost use, as well as policies that are advancing on-farm composting.
  2. Mid-Atlantic Better Composting School Composting & Compost Use Webinar Series
  3. More resources coming soon!

 

 

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Linda Bilsens Brolis

Linda is the Senior Program Manager for ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative and Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program.