• Federico Gutiérrez-Miceli added an answer:
    Can we make a compost from the biomass of Lantana or Chromolaena for use in field crops ? Allelopathic or Beneficial ?

    Physiology and Productivity.

    Federico Gutiérrez-Miceli

    Hussain et al in a recent publication report what vermicomposting detoxifies lantana cámara. Journal of Hazardous Materials 298 (2015) 46-57

  • Nazir Hussain added an answer:
    How do I identify the characteristics of vermicompost ?

    What are the criteria by which we can identify a vermicompost?

    What lab tests should be made to a material in order to obtain that it is a vermicompost and not just regular compost ?

    How can we identify and characteristics vermicompost or can we identify the vermicompost at all?

    Nazir Hussain

    Yes, Imran your views I endorse.

  • A. Subba Rao added an answer:
    How can we properly define organic manure?

    By Dictionary meaning manure is animal excreta usually with straw,used to fertilize land..The Thesaurus gives slightly elaborate definition-any animal or plant material used to fertilize land especially animal excreta usually with litter material.There is no mention of rotting or composting in the definition.The compost is the decomposed remnants of organic material,usually plant origin but may include animal dung.Main concern is fresh dung may contain weed seeds and pathogens.Some manures like farm(yard) manure ,cattle dung, with straw/bedding material are subjected varying periods of rotting.Some excreta/droppings of sheep or goat are simply dried and applied. Poultry manure   may be with or with out litter, composted or simply dried.While manure is differently handled, composting is done under controlled conditions and the product is well defined.But manure definition doe not specify that it should be composted.So how to define manure appropriately for use in agriculture and quality control?

    A. Subba Rao

    Even for scientific use and discussion we can not call indiscriminately any   organic residue/waste material as organic manure.We have to see the material from human ,animal,  soil and plant health point of view.Even fresh poultry manure (with out decomposition) can damage crop seedlings similar to  N fertilizers when applied close to seed.Where ever needed composting should be insisted upon to kill pathogens and weed seeds and obtain uniform quality product.For commercial organic products they have invariably to process appropriately to provide farmers a quality product.And also help government to regulate it.

  • Hani Antoun added an answer:
    Does anyone know of any relationship (as a regression) for the determination of Total Nitrogen (Compost) vs Organic matter as a parameter?

    Dear All, does any one know of any relationship (as a regression) for the determination of Total Nitrogen(Compost) vrs Organic matter as a parameter?

  • Virginia Isabelle added an answer:
    What are the methods used in determining the C:N ratio of composting materials and composts?

    C:N ratio of materials need to be determined before and after the composting process. 

    Virginia Isabelle

    Thank you Mr. Jean Pierre Paul. That's actually what we are doing. We are trying to optimize the process of composting with earthworms so the resulting composts will have consistent quality. However, I am inexperienced in this field, so I'm trying to look in all corners. 

  • Anoop Kumar Srivastava added an answer:
    Can we make a good compost out of dried/dead perennial trees?

    In areas where commercially perennial crops like citrus , mango , guava, litchi, sapota etc are grown , good number of trees either decline so early or attain an unproductive age , which are eventually cut and dumped.In the process , they are simply heaped around well grown- up orchards, which again is not a  hygienic practice.  The biggest question is how see them off , especially when their number is so large. Their C:N ratio comes out to be somewhere 500-700:1. And to get a compost of C:N ratio of  25-30: 1, if these woody plants are shredded into small pieces mixed with some fresh dung as source of microbial inoculum and add some fresh soil into it , preferably in  2:1:1ratio , can we expect some kind of compost ?. And , if so  , any guess , how many days will it take to deliver a compost of C:N ratio of 25-30:1. 

    Anoop Kumar Srivastava

    Thank you Mariangela. Can you  elaborate   further on your response . It is very interesting .

  • Bhavin Mehta added an answer:
    Are all Alternaria species plant pathogenic in nature ?

    I have a few Alternaria with excellent composting properties, can they be used safely ?

    Bhavin Mehta

    Most of the Alternaria are found pathogenic but appropriate method like detached leaf technique has to be utilized because Alternaria species are producing toxin which is host specific so they might not be pathogenic to other hosts so one must have to test it.t

  • A. Subba Rao added an answer:
    What is the beneficial role of solid or liquid form of humic acids application to soil or plant?

    Currently several humus acids based formulations including manure /compost extracts and often chelated with micronutreints are being used/recommended for use in crop production.In what way or by which mechanism these humic acids aid in plant nutrition.Whether the  humic acids absorbed through root or leaf have some beneficial role in plant nutrition?

    A. Subba Rao

    I thank all of you for your. responses

  • Philip Barlow added an answer:
    Is there a typical conversion value for Composted Green waste to Humus?

    I understand that there is no exact answer to this question because there are many variables involved and the term "Humus" is not exact either. However a ball park figure would help.

    Philip Barlow

    Thank you for your helpful replies 

  • Michael Quintern added an answer:
    Any advice about a decrease in macro nutrient content after vermicomposting?


    I recently ran an experiment for 10 weeks to analyse the benefits of vermicomposting. The feedstock consisted of ground coffee with mixed salads from supermarkets being substituted as the kitchen waste. After about 7 weeks, few of the earthworms began to die. I also noticed growth of ants within the reactor. An analysis in week 10 has shown the reactor has shown the feedstock has a higher nutrient content than the reactor which had the compost?. 

    Any ideas on how this is possible?

    Michael Quintern

    Hi Jason,

    Vermicomposting is a complex ecoystem - even in 'simple' trials such as yours, considering only two waste streams / organic resources. I often find it more even more difficulty to be limited to only two resources as the optimum ratio of the two resources may not be the optimum for successful vermicomposting. Understanding that vermicomposting can have different desired outcomes, depending on what your primarily goal is, e.g. organic waste reduction at lowest costs, best quality vermicast, minimum effect on the environment during vermicomposting, or a focus on breeding earthworms.

    All colleagues above mentioned potential or most likely reasons for not meeting your desired outcome, which I asume from your introduction is vermicomposting for  concentration of nutrient content in the solid product. We all know that parameters  such as pH, moisture (too wet or dry) C/N ratio, structure, oxygen supply, and there will be few more to consider, will effect your outcome. We all could advise you in more detail if you would share a few more details. You mentioned some analysis you have conducted already. Maybe you can provide pH, moisture content, C/N ratio, mixing ratio, nutrient content etc. Do you have produced any leachate in your reactors? Have you analyzed it and calculated the nutrient budget in the solid and liquid fraction? Did you loose any e.g. N? Nitrogen and potassium are washed out easily.

    I would like to encourage you to carry on with your trial - understanding why a system is not working is the key to find the successful system. You will find that some combinations of organic resources will not work in the lab (small reactors), but will  succeed at large scale in the field. As well you will find that successful trials at small scale do not work in the field at full scale. For example I can force compost worms to feed on certain organic wastes if they can't escape the reactor. Once there are no borders, the worms will just leave or stay out of your mix and search for better feedstock sources.

    The total nutrient content of the vermicast might be seen as the most important aspect for marketing, as this is number you can easily put a value to, when comparing with mineral fertilizer prices. The true market value - at least here in New Zealand - is in the humus and the biological functions of the vermicast. We are marketing close to 50,000 tonnes of various vermicast products this year and often customers prefer the vermicast with a wider C/N ratio and lower total N content of 1% over the nutrient-richer vermicast with a nitrogen content of close to 2%.

    I am looking forward to some more details from you to help solving your 'mystery'.

    Keep up your interesting vermicomposting research.

    Warm regards,


  • Roland Ramusch added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend some case studies of decentralized composting initiatives carried out in developing countries?

    I am looking for research paper or person who can help me provide information . .am especially looking for information on Scientific Handling of Waste Society, Bangalore India and other similar activities in developing countries? Will appreciate your kind support..

    Roland Ramusch

    Linzner R. (2010): Decentralised composting of market waste and use in urban agriculture; Conakry, Guinea. Urban Agriculture Magazine, 23 (April 2010), 20-21; ISSN 1571-6244.

    Educational movie on decentralised composting based on a small-scale facility located in Conakry (Guinée):

    Project report:

  • M.Azizul Moqsud added an answer:
    Can anybody please explain to me how one can estimate the C/N ratio if you're producing an organic compost?

    Hi all, 

    I want to know how to estimate the amount of the organic products (like vegetable scraps, sawdust, ripen fruits) you are putting together for the production of organic compost that can maintain perfect C/N ratio? We are following Berkeley's 'The Rapid Composting Method'. (Please see the attached document) 

    Thanks in advance

  • Alan P Newman added an answer:
    How do bulking agents like beanstalk and sawdust help compost eco-toilet content?


    I am planning to do research on eco-toilet and possibility of (co)composting with other waste materials like saw dust, and solid waste. While doing literatures search, I came across two publications relevant to my proposed research: "On-Site Operation of a Composting-Type Eco-Toilet Using Beanstalk and Sawdust as Matrix by Liu, N. et al. (2012), and "Processing of Human Feces Using Beanstalk and Sawdust as Matrix in a Composting-Type Eco-Toilet" by Liu et al. (2012) both published in Advanced Materials Research (Editors Jingtao Han, Zhengyi Jiang and Sihai Jiao). Can anyone forward me these articles? The link (attached below) gives the article information.

    Thank you 


    Alan P Newman


    Sorry I should have read the question more closely.

    I do not have these papers and it is a long time since I was involved in this. I seem to remember that your  country's EPA did some work on this. Perhaps someone at the EPA will be able to help you.

    Good luck 


  • Rebecca Last added an answer:
    The vermicompost created out of grasses have seeds that normally become weeds in one';s garden. How can this seeds be controlled organically?

    for people who would love to grow vegetables organically, how can they overcome the processes of getting rid of weed seed before they prepare their vermicompost?

    Rebecca Last

    Heat treatment can indeed be effective in neutralizing weed seeds, but this requires sustained high temperatures, which would likely harm or kill the worms. A couple of other possible controls are: (1) try to cut the grasses before they go to seed; and (2) applications of corn gluten meal are now used widely in Ontario to prevent emergence (i.e., germination) of annual weeds. In the latter case, timing of the application is key because if applied after germination has occured, the corn gluten meal is also an effective fertilizer! It does not work on perennial weeds, either.

  • B.R. Rajeswara Rao added an answer:
    How can a contamination assessment of compost be made through bioindicator plants?

    There is a great potential for reducing the municipal and industrial wastes through composting. Many phytotoxins come from agricultural use of pesticides and industrial solvents. How the effect of these phytotoxins can be studied using the plants as bio-indicators to access the phytotoxicity level of these composts? Please, suggest some related articles and research proposals.

    B.R. Rajeswara Rao

    Check the following documents for their utility:

    + 2 more attachments

  • Dervilla Mcgowan added an answer:
    What is the best way to enumerate microorganims in a compost sample?

    I want to have a look at bacterial and fungal numbers in compost. I have never worked with soil microbes before, only biomedical bacterial organisms so would love detail useful for a novice.

    Thank you in advance!

    Dervilla Mcgowan

    Thank you so much for you r answers. It seems its pretty much the same as the methods I have used before which is great. I really appreciate the feedback.

    Thank you

  • Manfred Fehr added an answer:
    Does any city in a developing country have in place functional reverse logistics for biodegradable municipal waste?

    Although biodegradable material represents 70% of municipal waste in developing countries, I do not know of any city that runs separate collection and composting facilities. I am looking for a precedent to imitate.

    Manfred Fehr

    Dear Md, Nirmala and SP,

    Thank you kindly for your input. It is very helpful in my research.


  • Nidal Shaban added an answer:
    Does water extract from compost (compost tea) increase plant growth and suppress diseases?

    One of cultural practices in organic farming is to spray vegetable crops with compost tea. It is believed that compost tea would provide plant nutrients, stimulate growth (via growth hormones in the tea), and suppress diseases. How strong is such evidence?

    Nidal Shaban


  • A. R. Karbassi added an answer:
    What is the best method of converting organic S into SO4 compost?

    Sulphate composts are useful for alkaline soils. There are huge amount of sulfur production during refinery processes. Sometimes these amounts of sulfur can not be directly used and should be converted into some other by-products. What is the easiest way to convert organic S into SO4 compost?

    A. R. Karbassi

    Dear Nelson

    The usual practice in Iran include pumping water into a pool. The pool is having many outlets that ends up to the natural channels. Thus, nothing is on the way to be corroded. In some parts, we used PVC pipes. 

    I thank you once again.


  • Servio Tullio Cassini added an answer:
    Can anyone advise on references about alternative uses -apart from composting- of cocoa shell (Theobroma cacao) ?

    The research aims to find some alternative use for the shell of the cocoa ( Theobroma cacao) except sweat for composting.

    Servio Tullio Cassini

    Depending of amount of cocoa shell you have available per day/month you can think about gaseification process. We have experience with small gaseifiers of wood pellets and residues at rural áreas for generation of electricity.

  • Dr. Sunil C M added an answer:
    How can I fasten up vermicomposting so that I can get the compost within 10-15 days?

    I am aware that adding Eudrilus (earthworm SPP) can enhance the process but I would like the compost to be ready within a short span (10 days) and that should also enhance plant growth? Please tell me the strategies to be used for selling these vermicompost.

    Dr. Sunil C M

    One thing i will tell that what ever you add it may hasten the decomposition process but minimum it requires 30 days for completion.

    Thank you

  • Dr.Aneez Ahamad, P.Y added an answer:
    Is there a simple method for quantification of microbial biomass in sludge or in soil?
    I'm interested specifically in looking into the contribution of biomass in DOC (dissolved organic carbon), that means organic compounds that are smaller than 0.45 microns.
    Dr.Aneez Ahamad, P.Y

    A representative sample could be plated in different specific media to know the major one which contributes the DOC

  • Sid James Nelson added an answer:
    What potential losses of total organic carbon can occur at 8 weeks of composting sawdust?

    What potential losses of organic carbon can occur at 8 weeks of composting sawdust?

    Sid James Nelson

    You will have to know the N and P  levels since the carbon is in excess. Use the Liebig law of minimums to determine limiting nutrient, to determine the theoretical extent of mineralization. If you have analysis of the forms of C in the sawdust, composting removes by mineralization the most labile proteins,sugars,cellulose ,hemicellulose, and leaves lignin, forming humic and fulvic fractions. Sawdust is notoriously low in N and P, so it only partially transformed. 

  • Fuqing Xu added an answer:
    Could you share experiences on the good raw materials for composting and methane fermentation?

    I am interesting in making compost, especially for farmers.

    Composting and metahne fermentation are the good way to reduce organic waste to landfill and good for incineration in terms of energy recovery. If anyone have experiences of producing compost or mathane fermentation from organic waste.

    Fuqing Xu

    If your composting facility will be close to farms, crop residues and animal manure will be good options. Near cities, yard waste like leaves and lawn grass combine with food waste will give you both good bulking agent and nutrients. And all these materials won't have too much concerns of heavy metal or pathogens. 

  • Steffen Werner added an answer:
    What is the benifits of adding charcool to the compost ?

    Organic farming.

    Steffen Werner

    Please see this paper:

    It gives a lot of references regarding our question.

  • R. Shalini added an answer:
    Is anyone familiar with the identification of sheep dung?

    Hi everyone,

    I used sheep and cow dung for soil burail method, after a 1 year incubation period I saw the dung , it got some compost and some are white in colour and in powder form. Can anyone please help and suggest the reason why the dung is white and inpowder form. How can it be identified? Pls guide me through the methodology and reasoning.

    Thank u

    R. Shalini


    I want a methodology for synthesis of nano parcticels from microorganisms anyone please help m

  • Chantal J Beauchamp added an answer:
    Which additive (residue) should I mix with a WWTP sludge (30% C, 4%N) for composting achieving a C/N ratio higher than 20 in the mixture?

    The C/N ratio of the sludge is around 6. But the levels of %C is quite high, I modelled the process mixing the sludge with the straw but the amounts of straw needed are too high because instead, a there is a residue with high C content. I think I need a residue higher in N.

    Chantal J Beauchamp

    Dear Yago,
    The C/N of your WWTP is about 7.5, You need to add a C, and woody waste is often used since it is cheap. In Spain, you could try to find:
    Olive husks
    Paper mill sludge (with less than 65% water content)
    Wood shavings
    Shurb or tree trimmings

    Good luck,

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