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8460Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: soil science part 3: microbes

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  • Dieter Brand
    Dec 18, 2008
      Jeff, Anders,

      My comments regarding the reduction in volume or mass during heap
      composting are widely known facts and not limited to my own compost
      heaps. If you add manure, soil or well cured compost, you obviously
      have to deduce that amount from your calculation.

      With manure this reduction in volume takes place inside the animal.
      If you compare the amount of vegetation consumed by an animal with the
      amount of manure produced, the comparison is likely to be even more
      unfavourable. Obviously, part of it is converted into meat or milk,
      but another part is lost due to methane emissions etc.

      It is simple: every conversion includes losses, there can never be a 1
      to 1 relation. If you convert DC to AC and then back to DC you are
      bound to have considerable losses. Hence, direct application of OM
      which avoids conversions such as heap composting and manure involves
      the fewest losses.

      Dieter Brand

      PS: Anders, in Natural Farming, roots stay in the soil, they should
      never be on the compost heap.

      On 12/15/08, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
      > Yeah sorry about that ...
      > I was thinking sawdust, not wheat straw...
      > I just looked it up...
      > wheat straw (fresh) is between 75-125 depending on the source
      > but the end still applies.. finished compost still has a low
      > percentage N content (lower ratio means bigger finished compost)...
      > instead of having 100 lbs of compost we would have about 320-480lbs
      > The microbes do not fly in with their own nitrogen supply, they come
      > in and dine on what's available
      > I think the problem with Dieter's compost is he ends up with piles
      > that are A) too much browns, and B) too dry.. this of course increases
      > the losses of the CO2 back to the atmosphere
      > I think my problem is my piles never get big enough,
      > mine take a full year to compost (but I have a frozen season), and
      > never get warm to the touch,
      > Interestingly my pure leaf mold (sheet) only takes 1 extra month over
      > my mixed garden and grass compost.
      > very little Nitrogen is fixed by COMPOSTING microbes.
      > although in soil there are some microbes that do independly fix
      > nitrogen, this process isn't at all optimized in an active compost
      > pile, my understanding is even though those microbes are not symbiotic
      > , they do depend on a great deal of rooting exudates for food
      > source,.. that is they are specialized and are not capable of using
      > complex molecules typical in compost piles (cellose, hemi-cellose,
      > lignin), although there may be likely some of the EM or BD innoculants
      > contain A) these N fixing microbes and B) food that they can use like
      > molasses or milk solids, the ammount of fixation would still be
      > dependent on the food supply, and would not amount to a great deal in
      > a short period of time in a compost pile, but rather are ecologically
      > important in the fact that they help balance the 'small' portion of
      > natural losses over long periods of time.
      > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Anders Skarlind
      > <Anders.Skalman@...> wrote:
      >> At 22:49 2008-12-14, Jeff wrote:
      >> >I don't understand this. Well cured compost has very little N. In
      >> >fact a lot of it is lost during high temperature heap composting
      >> >
      >> >In a way you are right
      >> >Ok, start with 1 ton of wheat straw, organic matter is roughly 50
      >> >percent carbon
      >> >SO 1000 lbs carbon, the straw has a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 600 to
      >> >1.
      >> A more typical number would be 60:1.
      >> Anders
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