Dairy Compost Utilization

Compost Use Resources

In addition to the demonstration and verification studies conducted through the Dairy Compost Utilization Project, TWRI compiled a general list of informative Web sites and publications categorized by type of use.

Agricultural and Turfgrass Use

Nursery and Landscape Use

Erosion Control

  • Innovative Uses of Compost: Erosion Control, Turf Remediation, and Landscaping
    This fact sheet describes compost as a valuable soil amendment. It describes its uses as a way to improve plant growth and reduce erosion and nutrient run-off, alleviate soil compaction, and help control disease and pest infestation in plants. The fact sheet explains how these beneficial uses of compost can increase healthy plant production, help save money, reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, and conserve natural resources.
  • Use of Composted Waste Material in Erosion Control (Risse and Faucette 2003)
    This 2 phase study investigated the use of a variety of compost and mulch materials in erosion control and stabilization projects. The first phase evaluated erosion control blankets and their ability to reduce total erosion and sediment loss. The second phase evaluated the ability of these materials to establish vegetation.
  • Environmental Effects of Applying Composted Organics to New Highway Embankments (Persyn et. al. 2004)
    This study evaluated the use of composts applied as mulch blankets to decrease runoff and erosion. The first article evaluates interrill runoff and erosion between three types of compost (biosolids, yard waste, and bio-industrial byproducts) and two soil conditions (existing compacted subsoil (control) and imported topsoil) on a 3:1 highway embankment. The second article presents potential water quality impacts of using these composts under these conditions to control runoff and erosion on highway construction sites.

Other Uses

  • The Effects of Composted Organic Materials on the Growth Factors for Hardwood and Softwood Tree Seedlings
    This published research from an EPA-funded project identified a cost-effective means to improve revegetation of severely disturbed sites.
  • Innovative Uses of Compost: Bioremediation and Pollution Prevention
    Each year agricultural effluents, industrial residues, and industrial accidents contaminate surface waters, soils, air, streams, and reservoirs. A new compost technology, known as compost bioremediation, is currently being used to restore contaminated soils, manage stormwater, control odors, and degrade volatile organic compounds.
  • Innovative Uses of Compost: Disease Control For Plants and Animals
    Compost technology is a valuable tool already being used to increase yields by farmers interested in sustainable agriculture. Now, professional growers are discovering that compost-enriched soil can also help suppress diseases and ward off pests. These beneficial uses of compost can help growers save money, reduce their use of pesticides, and conserve natural resources. In the poultry industry, composting has also become a cost-effective method of mortality management. It destroys disease organisms and creates a nutrient-rich product that can be used or sold.
  • Innovative Uses of Compost: Composting of Soils Contaminated By Explosives
    Soil at more than 30 munitions sites across the United States is contaminated with explosives. The U.S. military has discovered that composting can effectively be used to remediate this soil. Using this process, contaminated soil is excavated, mixed with other feedstocks, and composted. The end product is a contaminant-free humus that can enhance landscaping and horticulture applications. Composting costs considerably less than soil excavation and incineration, the traditional method used for these cleanups.
  • Innovative Uses of Compost: Reforestation, Wetlands Restoration, and Habitat Revitalization
    The native plants that inhabit our nation's countrysides-from the sunflowers on the Great Plains to the oak seedlings in the Appalachians-are a source of great beauty. But the native plants within a habitat contribute much more to their surroundings than mere beauty. They provide food for nearly every other member of the habitat. They enrich the air through the gases they produce and minerals they exchange. Even when plants die, they continue to support grasses, flowers, and trees by becoming the humus, or organic material in soil, that is so vital to living plants. Original wetland plants can be restored with the use of compost during planting. Compost provides tree seedlings added rigor for survival and growth.

Composting at Home

  • Organic Lifestyles: Simple truths to help you live your natural best
    This Website is for individuals wishing to begin composting at home and provides helpful tips and proper composting techniques. Organic Lifestyles also answers FAQs regarding composting, provides tips on building compost bins, maintains a "Composting for Kids" link, and offers an interactive quiz for compost enthusiasts.
  • Don't Bag It Leaf Management - Compost
    The Texas A&M Department of Horticulture provides information on developing a home composting program by utilizing your own yard trimmings and leaves.
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