Dairy Australia Limited has put together a 5-page download titled “Making compost on Dairy Farms”. The Download covers compost production and how the application of compost to land can be used as a method of transforming farm organic residues to positive farm inputs.
Across the farming sector and Dairy in particular there is increasing need to improve the cost effectiveness. Over the last few years’ compost use has grown on dairy farms, as an alternative or supplement to conventional chemical fertilisers or as a means of recycling nutrients and organic wastes back on the farm.
- The Carbon to nitrogen ratio needed to maximise microbial activity and facilitate optimum composting.
- The Moisture required for the microbes to achieve the temperature levels to adequately pasteurise and fully compost the starting materials.
- Effective Aeration, to replenished the Oxygen needed to maintain the microbial activity
- Site selection & Environmental awareness, when selecting a site consider the potential for runoff, odour, groundwater reserves and movement of windborne particles. Composting is a controlled process and sites should allow for easy access and monitoring.
- Managing the composting process, covers Calculating the recipe, Making the windrows, Mixing the ingredients, Monitoring the compost, Turning and Maintaining the pile
Of particular importance is the ability to Turn the Compost, regular turning of the compost pile or windrow is vital to replenished the Oxygen needed to maintain the microbial activity and control temperature needed the for pasteurisation of pathogens and weed seeds. It is important that the turning method allows the re-positioning of outside materials to the inside (core) of the heap mixing of ingredients and breaking down of any lumps that may have been present in the original mixture