Download Compost for Soil Fact Sheets

Compost in Commercial Vegetable Production

Australian research has demonstrated outstanding benefits of compost to commercial vegetable growers. Read more…

Managing Salinity on the Northern Adelaide Plains

Almost a third of all agricultural land in Australia is affected by the accumulation of salts and this is increasing. Vegetable growing regions have not escaped the problem and the build-up of salts in the soil is a major problem on the Northern Adelaide Plains. Read more…

Cost Benefit Trial of using Compost in Vegetable Growing

The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) funded the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to research and report on the costs and benefits of using compost instead of conventional fertilisers and/or poultry manure in vegetable growing in the Sydney basin. Read more…

Using Compost in Vegetable Growing – FAQ’s

Can I use compost to control pests and diseases? International research has shown there can be major improvements in disease control in horticutlural crops from using compost incorporated into soils. Read more…

Applying your Compost – Planning and Preparation

Now that you’ve made the decision to use compost on your farm – you need to get your farm ready for application. Read more…

Compost for Managing Salinity

Almost a third of all agricultural land in Australia is affected by salinity or sodicity and this is increasing. Viticultural lands have not escaped the problems of salinity and sodicity, and these issues are becoming more widespread. Read more…

Compost for Vineyard Renovation

Vineyard establishment is a crucial time and can shape the future of your production for many years to come. Compost can help your vines get off to a good start and also provide you with significant financial benefits. Compost can be used in two different ways when you are establishing your vineyard, either as mulch or incorporated into the soil. Read more…

Compost for Vineyard Establishment

Deep ripping and mounding are two common techniques that growers can use to renovate their soil in established vineyards. Using compost in conjunction with ripping and mounding can provide significant benefits. Read more…

Compost and Nutrients

The role of compost in vine nutrition is very complex and can be influenced by a wide variety of factors. Compost may enhance the soil nutrient status in your vineyard but this will vary depending on the type of compost applied, soil type, vineyard location, climate and your management practices. Read more…

Straw and Compost Mulches

Mulches can provide significant benefits when used in your vineyard. Mulch can provide 20 – 30% irrigation savings by conserving soil moisture, while at the same time maintaining or even increasing yield. Read more…

Water Saving

It’s no surprise that more and more growers are investigating the use of compost mulches in their vineyards, with conservative estimates of irrigation savings between 20 -30% when mulch is used. In some cases, water saving can be as high as 70%!. Read more…

Broadacre Cropping

Compost can improve overall soil health when incorporated into the soil or surface-applied as a soil conditioner. Despite differing in nutrient requirements, crops such as wheat, barley, oats, maize, canola, lucerne and sorghum can all benefit from the addition of pasteurised and composted organic materials. Read more…

Pasture Cropping

Fertiliser is one of the main inputs and costs in pasture production systems. Inorganic fertilisers are becoming increasingly expensive and are often inefficient. On average only about two thirds of the nutrients in inorganic fertilisers (N, P and K) actually go to the plant1. Read more…

Soil and Plant Tests

Soil management and healthy plant growth is almost always made easier with the addition of organic matter. Compost used as a soil conditioner, adds a significant amount of organic matter as well as key nutrients to the soil. Read more…

Calculating Nutrients

All compost contributes nutrients to your system and it is important to account for these additional nutrients. Compost amendments not only have fertiliser benefits but can also increase soil organic matter, improve water-use efficiency and suppress disease. Read more…

Compost Characteristics

Tests that help to characterise composts can often be confusing. Understanding compost tests and characteristics can help you decide which product is right for you. Here we explain some common tests undertaken on compost products that can help you determine if a product is safe and suitable for your needs. Read more…

Managing Salinity on the Northern Adelaide Plains

Almost a third of all agricultural land in Australia is affected by the accumulation of salts and this is increasing. Vegetable growing regions have not escaped the problem and the build-up of salts in the soil is a major problem on the Northern Adelaide Plains. Read more…

Compost Catchup

The Compost for Soils Recycled Organics R&D forum was recently held in Adelaide in conjunction with the Trust Organic National Composting and Organic Conference. The R&D forum is a great opportunity for compost industry members to get together with researchers, talk about the latest industry developments and hear all about new research. Read more…

Compost 101

Compost is organic matter that has been through a controlled process of natural aerobic decomposition. Good quality compost products are dark coloured with a sweet, natural earthy or ‘forest-floor’ smell. They are available commercially or can be made on farm. Read more…

Compost Products

A range of commercially produced compost products are available. Composts can also be made on-farm. The characteristics and potential uses of compost products will depend on a number of factors. Descriptions of compost product types are shown in Table 1 and maturity levels are shown in Table 2. Read more…

Composting Process

Composting is a complex process that takes time and good management. It usually takes at least 8-12 weeks to produce a quality composted product. Read more…

Raw Vs Composted Manure

Growers can use organic options like manure, compost and cover crops as fertilisers, to boost soil organic carbon levels or to improve soil structure. The best organic option for each grower depends on their needs and management strategies. Read more…

Biochar as Agricultural Soil Amendment

The application of biochar to agricultural soils attracted much interest as a potential tool to sequester carbon, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to improve soil properties and agricultural productivity. Read more…

Freshcare: Using compost safely: A guide for the use of recycled organics in horticulture

Growers may be reluctant to use compost, in spite of its potential benefits, because of concerns about how it could affect the safety of the food they grow. This guide describes how fresh produce growers can use compost without affecting their food safety assurance program. Read more…

Freshcare: Safe compost for fruit and vegetables: A guide for the supply of recycled organics to fresh produce growers

Growers may be reluctant to use recycled organics, in spite of the benefits they provide, because of concerns about how the material could affect their Freshcare Certification. This guide describes how producers of recycled organics products can ensure that the composts they supply meet the requirements of food safety programs such as Freshcare. Read more…

Disease Suppression

Studies dating back to the late 19th century show that compost can reduce the occurrence and severity of common plant diseases caused by fungi, nematodes and bacteria. More recent research has shown that all significant diseases affecting vegetable production in New South Wales can be suppressed by the use of compost. Read more…

Fusarium

Fusarium is the name of a group (genus) of fungi found in soil. Some species (spp.) within this genus cause diseases like root rot, stem rot and Fusarium wilt in plants. Fusarium spp. can be a significant problem in NSW vegetable crops. It is important to make sure you correctly identify the pathogen causing problems on your farm. Read more…

Pythium

Pythium is the name of a group (genus) of fungi found in soil. Some species (spp.) within this genus are parasitic and can cause plant diseases. Pythium spp. can cause damping off disease in seedlings as well as root and crown rots. Pythium spp. can be a significant problem in NSW vegetable crops. Read more…

Rhizoctonia

Rhizoctonia is the name of a group (genus) of fungi found in soil. Some species (spp.) within this genus can cause diseases in both root and aerial plant parts. Damping-off, wilt rot, crown rot and root rot can all be caused by Rhizoctonia species. Read more…

What is Organic Growing?

The simplest explanation of organic growing is farming without the use of synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms. In the case of animal farming, only free-range animal systems can be classed as organic. Read more. Read more…

Council Parks and Gardens

Compost is the natural, sustainable, low risk way to improve your soils in any landscape. In general a quality compost product will have been through a full composting process, which involves pasteurisation and microbial transformation for at least 6 weeks. Read more…

Compost for Landscaping

There is a long list of benefits to be gained with the use of compost. One of the advantages for landscapers and parks and gardens operators is its versatility and effectiveness for different applications. Read more…

Sporting Fields

In general a quality compost product will have been through a full composting process, which involves pasteurisation and microbial transformation for at least 6 weeks. The product will be designed for specific applications and should be supplied with standard product information sheets. Read more…

Roadside Landscaping

Composted mulch is a great option to explore in roadside landscaping. It looks good, requires little or no maintenance and can give plants the best chance of establishment and survival. Composted mulch insulates the soil from temperature extremes – this means that plant root systems are less stressed and able to function more effectively. Read more…

Low Maintenance Landscaping & Sustainable Landscape Practices

Recycled organic products like compost mulch can do a lot of the landscape maintenance work for you. Compost mulch can reduce the need and/or frequency of irrigation which can save significant time and money, particularly if manual watering of landscaped areas is needed. Read more…

Turf Grass WA – Case Study

The health of turf grass can be influenced by a number of factors including poor water holding capacity and low plant available soil nutrient levels. If turf roots have inadequate access to water and nutrients then growth can be hampered and plants can become stressed if environmental conditions aren’t favourable. Read more…

Compost Mulch for Orchards

Over the past ten years, research across Australia has demonstrated the benefits of compost mulches for horticultural production. Composts of an appropriate texture and application rate have been shown to improve the establishment of young trees and vines, reduce irrigation and conserve soil moisture, increase soil organic carbon. Read more…

Compost for Orchard Establishment

Orchard establishment is a crucial time and can shape the future of your production for many years to come. Compost and compost mulch can help young trees get off to a good start and provide you with long term benefits in increased tree growth and yield. Read more…

Compost for Managing Soil Problems

In almost every orchard there will be a patch of trees that do not perform as well as the rest. In this scenario, the ‘one size fits all’ management approach isn’t giving the best results, and a bit of extra care is needed to turn these trees around. Read more…

Compost in Citrus

Soil amendments, including composted green organics, are making a difference in many agricultural and horticultural operations – including the citrus industry. Read more…

IPM for Citrus Thrips

Kelly’s Citrus Thrips (KCT) feed on citrus fruit, causing cosmetic blemish and market downgrade. Control of KCT currently relies heavily on the use of organophosphate insecticides, which disrupt the natural enemies of KCT and other citrus pests. Read more…

Opportunities for use of Recycled Organics in the Bioremediation Industry

Bioremediation refers to the use of biological treatments to clean up hazardous materials in the environment. These biological treatments generally take advantage of the natural metabolic processes of plants (termed ‘phytoremediation’) or micro-organisms to stabilise or degrade environmental contaminants. Read more…

Bioremediation case study 1: TPH soil, Penrice Soda Products, Osborne, South Australia

Approximately 3000 m3 of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contaminated soil; The TPH levels exceeded the South Australia landfill disposal criteria, therefore remediation was required; Bioremediation was preferred over alternative methods (such as thermal destruction or chemical stabilisation. Read more…

Bioremediation case study 2: PCP soil, Harbourside Quay Development, South Australia

Approximately 2,000 tonnes of pentachlorophenol (PCP) contaminated soil was excavated from the Harbourside Quay development; Due to time pressures it was decided that the most cost effective options was off site treatment at a bioremediation facility located at the Southern Waste Depot. Read more…

Bioremediation case study 3: TPH contaminated silt, Brownhill Creek, South Australia

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board is responsible for the periodic clearing of accumulated silt from traps on Brownhill Creek, SA; The sediment consists mainly of silt, leaves, and vegetative matter, and also contains a small amount of anthropogenic litter. Read more…