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
- Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste Compost As Bedding Material for Cattle Feedlots
This study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, determined the impact of using municipal solid waste compost as bedding on cattle health, tissue element residues, and the environment. In addition, it helped formulate general guidelines for the use of compost as a cattle-bedding alternative.
- Using Animal Manure and Wastewater for Crops and Pastures: Know and Take Credit for your N, P, and K (TAES E-47)
This publication examines the use of manure and wastewater as a nutrient supplement on crops and pastures. This publication explains how to calculate the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium applied so that producers do not waste money and the environment is unharmed by unneeded fertilizer applications.
- Dairy Manure Nutrient Management through Forages
This publication is dedicated to the research of excess manure found in the Bosque/Leon River watershed area. Has links to publications about removing excess P, the effects of compost on forage yield, effects of compost on N and P concentration, N and P uptake and forage production, and how well forages adapt with compost applications.
- Export of Nutrients through Turfgrass Sod Production
The use of manure or compost to produce turfgrass provides a sustainable method to recycle plant nutrients. A TAMU study evaluated the use of compost and manure to commercially produce turfgrass sod and the feasibility to export manure nutrients in the soil sod layer from impaired watersheds. Presentations and/or papers from this study include:
- Sustainable Export of Manure Nutrients in Turfgrass Sod (Richards et. al. 2004)
- Use of Turfgrass Sod to Transport Manure P out of Impaired Watersheds (Choi et. al. 2004)
- Achieving TMDL Goals in Impaired Watersheds through Manure Export in Turfgrass Sod (Stewart et. al. 2003)
- Export of Manure Phosphorus and Nitrogen in Turfgrass Sod (Vietor et. al. 2001)
Nursery and Landscape Use
- Use of Composted Dairy Cattle Solid Wasted as a Peat Moss Substitute
This brochure outlines the production and use of in-vessel composted dairy manure.
- In-Vessel Composting of Dairy Cattle Solid Waste and Utilization as a Peat Moss Substitute in Greenhouse Growing Media
This scientific article outlines the results of a study designed to evaluate raw and composted dairy cattle solid waste from a confined animal feeding operation as a partial or complete substitute for peat moss in greenhouse growing media.
- Use of Composted Dairy Manure, Poultry Litter, and Sawdust as a Substitute for Peat Moss in Plant Growing media
This thesis evaluates composted dairy manure, poultry litter, and sawdust as a complete substitute for peat moss in a plant growing media. Peat moss is the primary ingredient used as a growing media in the horticulture industry and as demands for the product increase, shortages may occur along with coincidental increased costs.
- Dairy compost may enrich Stephenville lawns
This article reports the results of a case study conducted in Stephenville in 1998, which evaluated the effect compost applications had on keeping lawns healthy and green during the hot summer months.
- 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.
- 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.