Compost

A person works with compost

Creating and using compost on the farm, garden, or ranch is an important way to build soil health, fertilize, and utilize food waste or manure effectively. There are many ways to compost, including hot composting, cold composting, and vermicomposting (using worms).

Newer methods such as the Johnson-Su static method of composting, as well as brewing compost to make biologically active compost tea, are some other ways people utilize compost to add microbial life to the soil.

Organic rules and regulations encourage the use of compost as a soil amendment but have specific practices and requirements for compost production and use that are important to be aware of. Find practical ATTRA resources here to learn the best ways you can adapt the practice of composting for your operation 

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Staff Experts

Nina Prater

Nina Prater

a wheel barrel full of horse manure
four photo depicting various stages of soil health
A cow and calf grazing on a summer cover crop of pearl millet.
Farmer Chris Hay, Say Hay Farms, inspecting compost prior to application by spreader.
woman turning compost
Worm castings are hand-sorted and fresh vermicompost is screened
cattle grazing diverse forage copy
Hands holding healthy soilUSDA NRCS
You can assess soil health with your senses and simple tools
YouTube Soil health