Compost For Agriculture
Sanderson Environmental supply quality compost to agriculture and Horticultural clients across the UK. The compost is the end product from our composting services and is produced from a mixture of green and food waste feedstocks.
We can supply both PAS100 and none PAS compost depending on your farm location.
Compost contains plant nutrients and organic matter. These ingredients have beneficial effects on the following crop when applied to the soil. Compost contains slow release nitrogen, phosphate and sulphur. It contains readily available potash that can provide all the crop's needs plus smaller but useful amounts of magnesium, calcium and trace elements.
Compost has a small neutralising value and is about 10% as effective as limestone, tonne for tonne of dry matter. Compost can therefore stabilise soil pH and reduce the acidifying effects of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers.
The organic matter in compost is able to confer many benefits including:
- improved soil aggregation and structure
- improved water infiltration and water holding capacity
- increased soil cation exchange capacity in light soils
- reduced leaching of nutrients.
Compost also contains beneficial microorganisms. These are able to contribute to a healthy soil in terms of improved nutrient cycling and disease suppression.
Compost may be used at rates of up to 30 to 35 tonnes per hectare which will provide approximately 250 kg/ha of total nitrogen - the maximum allowed in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.
This rate will also provide approximately 100 kg/ha phosphate, 200 kg/ha potash, 60 kg/ha magnesium and 33 kg/ha sulphur as S, based on typical compost analysis.
What are the standards for compost?
Biodegradable, source separated materials are processed under carefully controlled conditions to produce a high quality product, as defined by the British Standards Institution's Publicly Available Specification for Composted Materials - BSI PAS 100 (2002).
Compost conformity to PAS 100 should be independently assessed and verified through a certification scheme such as that managed by the Composting Association - look for the certification mark. Full details of the PAS 100 are available from the British Standards Institution (BSI). There are limitations depending on the composting feedstocks for use in organic agriculture. Where kitchen or catering wastes have been composted, the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003 must be followed.
Compost samples should be tested by laboratories that use the methods specified in BSI PAS 100. Most of the methods are for soil improvers and growing media, such as those made from or including composts. These methods are different from those used for soils. The Association for Organic Recycling maintains a list of suitable laboratories.
What are the potential benefits of using compost?
Organic matter in soil is essential for soil structure, water holding properties, microbial activity and soil health.Composts can be used to add organic matter to soils and increase the production of soils through many benefits:
- Reduced need for inorganic fertilizers - Reduced nutrient leaching - Increased yielding potential
- Better soil structure leading to - Greater workability of soil and - Increased traffic tolerance
- Improved water holding in light soils - Reduced erosion risk - Beneficial soil microorganisms
- Soil aggregation - Nutrient recycling - Plant disease suppression
Composts not only provide valuable organic matter to soils, but also act as slow-release fertilizers for nitrogen and phosphate, and provide a readily available source of potash. Other nutrients are also provided by composts such as magnesium, sulphur and trace elements.The efficiency of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer use by plants has been shown to be improved by the application of compost because of better overall nutrient supply and improved rooting environment.
Compost can also provide a valuable source of calcium with a small liming effect (it has up to 10% of the neutralising value of limestone on a dry matter basis).
The total nitrogen in compost should be applied according to the needs of the next crop in conjunction with inorganic nitrogen fertilizer. The needs of the soil for the full crop rotation should be considered when assessing the other major nutrients. Fertilizer recommendations for agricultural and horticultural crops are provided in the MAFF publication RB209 (2000)
How to Order your Compost Supplies:
Just contact us now and our F.A.C.T.S trained farm compost team will call to advise you on the best practice use of compost and book in your delivery.