[Market-farming] Conversion factors for weight of compost

David Inglis mhcsa at bcn.net
Mon Jul 12 21:24:44 EDT 2004

> I'm curious to learn the typical rates of  compost that farmers
> use -- e.g., Matt Cheselka, Bob Schuler, David Inglis -- on
> vegetable ground, and if different rates of compost are applied
> to light and heavy feeding crops.

We apply about 60 cu.yds/A  of lean finished compost every other year on
the green manure portion of our rotation. We do not vary the amount
depending on the crop. Differing crop needs are taken care of by
rotational sequence with occasional supplementation with organic
fertilizer. Sometimes this conflicts with the desired rotation based on
weed control.
Compost is one of our most valuable and concentrated assets and we
choose to put it on the part of the rotation that is doing the most to
build the soil; the biannual  green manure section. The veggies grow on
the accumulated indirect effects of our composting. This approach also
has the advantage that there need be no delay of planting time while
compost thaws in the Spring and the compost can be applied on dry ground
as the work schedule allows during the summer. Though it is not a
concern of mine with well made compost, this indirect approach does also
reassure anyone with concerns about pathogen contamination of the
I should emphasize that this is 'the plan' and like all farm plans tends
to unravel to some extent each year.
 David A. Inglis 
Mahaiwe Harvest C.S.A.

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