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Compost Unit

2014 Cal Poly Compost Training


CALIFORNIA COMPOST SYMPOSIUM
MARCH 28, 2014

This special one-day symposium highlighted soil foodweb processes and considerations for compost utilization. A workshop for those seeking to understand how compost improves soil health and enhances plant vigor,
as well as practical considerations for effective use of compost in a diversity of growing settings.

To download a presentation PDF, please click on the green links below.


MORNING SESSION


INTRODUCTION- 'Compost: The Sustainable Solution'
Cary Oshins, Director of Education and Annual Conference, U.S. Composting Council
Dan Noble, Executive Director, Association of Compost Producers
NOBLE PRESENTATION

KEYNOTE:
Dr. Deborah A. Neher & Tom Weicht, Plant and Soil Science Dept. & Soil Ecology and Biological Indicators Laboratory (SEBIL), University of Vermont
NEHER & WEICHT PRESENTATION

(PART I) 'Understanding Soil Ecology & Its Role In Compost and Composting Methods'

  • History of soil monitoring & our current state of knowledge
  • Overview of key organisms involved in nutrient cycling, decomposition and disease suppression
  • How soil biota regulate ecological processes
  • Biological ‘hotspots’ in soil
  • Use, reliability, pros and cons of common biological assessments
  • Interpretation of indices of soil ecosystem function

(PART II) 'Scientific Advances in Understanding Compost Processes'

  • Use of high throughput genetic sequencing in biological profiling
  • Evaluation of various biological indicators in compost
  • Decoupling the role of carbon and nitrogen (and understanding C/N ratios)
  • How the source of carbon in feedstocks impacts biology
  • Effect of the post-curing process on the microbial community
  • Designing compost for suppression of plant diseases
  • Effect of thermophilic composting on plant pathogens and weed seeds
  • Lessons regarding persistent herbicides and other issues in phytotoxicity


AFTERNOON SESSION

Speakers included:
Cristy Christie, SLO County Worm Farm
CHRISTIE 'Compost Tea' PRESENTATION

Dr. David Crohn, Assoc. Professor and Extension Resource Conservation Specialist, UC Riverside
The Benefits of Compost and Considerations in Testing and Use
CROHN 'Compost: What It Is and Why It Matters'
CROHN 'Compost to Improve Post-Fire Water Quality'
CROHN 'Compost Salts: Harmful or Beneficial for Plant Growth?'
CROHN 'Compost: A Plant Biosecurity Measure'
CROHN 'Compost: A Human Biosecurity Measure'


Tom Herlihy, Founder and CEO of Worm Power, the world's largest producer of vermicompost

Vince Tye, Organics Sales Manager at Recology, Inc.
TYE 'Horizons in Food Waste Composting' PRESENTATION

The day’s activities also included a demonstration on how to brew compost tea, a speaker panel, important industry updates, exhibits, lunch and an industry/community social mixer at the symposium’s conclusion.


Invaluable for those seeking to understand
the cutting edge of soil foodwebs and compost science and use!


Return to COMPOST TRAINING DETAILS

Return to CAL POLY COMPOST PROJECT HOMEPAGE