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Agricultural Compost

What is Composting?

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic materials by microorganisms under controlled, aerobic conditions to a relatively stable humus-like material called compost. Composting can happen in many different ways using a variety of materials, methods, equipment, and scales of operation. For agricultural operations the common materials or feedstocks that are composted are livestock manures and bedding and various residual plant materials (straw, culls, on-farm processing wastes, etc).

Traditionally some farmers allowed manure to pile up and it decomposed until they were ready to use it. Some have referred to this as composting. Composting is much more than just aging manure – it is a science. The decomposition occurs in a well-managed process to obtain specific positive results – a valuable product – with a minimum of negative environmental impacts.

Why Compost

The nutrient content of compost will be quite different from the manure and other feedstock that go into the mix. As water evaporates, the carbon breaks down and is lost as carbon dioxide, the compost volume decreases and the phosphorous and most other nutrients become more concentrated. Some nitrogen will be lost during composting and some will convert from readily available forms (nitrate and ammonia) to more stable organic forms that are slowly released to crops. It has been estimated that less than 15% of the nitrogen in compost (that has been applied to the soil) will be released in the first crop year compared to 50-60% for uncomposted dairy manure. The nutrient value of compost can be highly variable depending on the materials being composted and the composting system used.

The finished volume of the compost is frequently 40-60% of the original compost feedstock volume. The compost process reduces the volume to be handled and transported to the field utilization site. It also concentrates many of the nutrients in the compost material compared to their concentrations in the original materials. Well-managed compost reduces odours and runoff moisture to reduce potential environmental hazards.


  • Reduce/eliminate pathogens
  • Reduce volume and moisture content
  • Reduces viable weed seeds
  • Reduces insect larvae (fly problems)
  • Reduce odour
  • Stabilize organic components and nutrients
  • Produce a soil amendment/fertilizer


Lanscape Design

SA Recycling Organics offers mobile equipment services – let us come to you! On an as needed basis or set contracts and schedules, we can come to you. We can customize our services that leave the processed material for use or can include transportation and recycling of processed materials for beneficial use.

  • Composting
  • Grinding and Custom On-Site Services
  • Tree Removal
  • Landclearing
  • SpreadingOrganics Management Programs
  • Organics Management Programs


Ecological Concept

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, “house”; -λογία, “study of”) is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment, such as the interactions organisms have with each other and with their abiotic environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), number (population) of organisms, as well as competition between them within and among ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and various niche construction activities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits, and the variety of organisms is called biodiversity. Biodiversity, which refers to the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.

Ecology is an interdisciplinary field that includes biology and Earth science. The word “ecology” (“Ökologie”) was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle laid the foundations of ecology in their studies on natural history. Modern ecology transformed into a more rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts on adaptation and natural selection became cornerstones of modern ecological theory. Ecology is not synonymous with environment, environmentalism, natural history, or environmental science. It is closely related to evolutionary biology, genetics, and ethology. An understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function is an important focus area in ecological studies. Ecologists seek to explain: