10 Steps in Compost Production

Farming Tips/Technoguides

10 Steps in Compost Production
To achieve self-sufficiency in rice, production must be pursued within a sustainable framework, one that meets the country's current food demand and yet protects the environment. The use of organic fertilizers, such as compost, either alone or in combination with inorganic fertilizers, is one of the measures incorporated in the Agrikulturang MakaMASA program to promote sustainable crop production. Past efforts to promote compost-making have been constrained, to a large extent, by the relatively low cost of chemical fertilizers. But even with the increased cost of fertilizers in recent years, few farmers adopted this technology because of the following reasons: • • • • It takes a long time to produce It takes large quantities of raw materials. It is laborious. Beneficial effects on the soil are not easily seen or felt.

But now, composting technology has considerably improved so that compost can be made in just 3-4 weeks! What is a Compost? Compost is a mixture of decayed organic materials decomposed by microorganisms in a warm, moist, and aerobic environment, releasing nutrients into readily available forms for plant use. Why Use Compost? • • • • There is a need for sustainable production through integrated nutrient management. Compost produces less methane than uncomposted rice straw when incorporated in the soil. It solves the problem of declining yield. It corrects micronutrient problems such as zinc deficiency.

Benefits of Using Compost • Big savings, increase farmers self reliance. • Increases yields. • Improves soil tilt and structure. • Increases water-holding capacity of the soil. • Improves aeration. • Provides humus or organic matter, vitamins, hormones, and plant enzymes which are not supplied by chemical fertilizers. • Acts as buffer to changes in soil pH. • Kills pathogenic organisms, weeds and other unwanted seeds when temperatures of over 60oC is reached. • Mature compost quickly comes into equilibrium with the soil. • Different materials can be blended or mixed which can increase the nutrient content of the compost fertilizer


procedures in preparing these microorganism activators are available at the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) and the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos (UPLB). requiring 3-4 months before warm wastes are fully decomposed and ready for use as compost fertilizer. after which the resulting compost is inculated with live N-fixing bacteria Azobacter sp. This involves ten steps. and animal manure. 2 tons compost (1. Gather Materials Gather rice straw. cowpea. this involves 10 steps. azolla sesbania. does not apply to the traditional method. College. on the other hand. Rapid Method With the aid of fungus activator Trichoderma harzianum. Simplified guide to compost production Most of the steps are common to the three methods of composting. corn stalks and stovers. Step 1. and at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). and nitrogen fixing bacteria. Azotobacter sp. leguminous materials such as ipil-ipil. for 2-3 weeks. this method involves only eight steps. By composting all the rice straw after harvest. However. soybean crop residues. inocubation for one week produces a nitrogen-enriched compost that can supply a rice crop's total N requirement. however. Step 8 or the addition of bacteria inocula. weeds. Chop materials for easier decomposition. This also requires a bigger composting area. mungbean. Soak rice straw for 6-12 hours before piling.5%-3%N) Enriched with animal manure. 2 . this requirement is adequately met.58% N) and. and planting season. decomposition of farm wastes is accelerated to just 3-4weeks! This means that the compost can be used in the next planting season. and one does not need to buy commercial organic fertilizer. This means that the fertilizer can only be used after one planting season. • • 5 tons rice straw (0. 3 ways of making compost Traditional Method This is slow process. sugarcane bagasse. nitrogen-rich farm residues such as legumes. and acted upon by microorganims like fungus Trichoderma sp. -----------------NOTE: For the Rapid and Bio-Enriched methods of composting. Laguna. requiring no extensive inputs except labor. farm wastes are first decomposed by Trychoderma sp. Depending on the material used. soil condition. and it is inexpensive to produce.10 Steps in Compost Production Farming Tips/Technoguides Recommended Fertilizer Rate The Agrikulturang MakaMASA program recommends basal application of 6-8 bags inorganic fertilizer and 8 bags organic fertilizer per hectare. applies only to the Bio-Enriched method of composting. Bio-Enriched Method Employing both a fungus activator and a nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Step 4 or the addition of fungus activator.

Step 2. Less than this proportion prolongs the decomposition process. Spread fungus activator Spread evenly 5-10 kg of Trichoderma fungus activator to every ton of composting material. used sacks. one part manure.10 Steps in Compost Production Farming Tips/Technoguides Ideal proportion of composting materials is 3 parts rice straw and 1 part mixture of animal manure (75%) and leguminous plant residues (25%). soil. Bio-Enriched Method (Trichoderma and Azotobacter) Mix all the rice straw. Rapid Method (Trichoderma) To provide aeration at the bottom. Make three layers. Place 2-3 perforated bamboo poles horizontally across the first layer before adding the next layer. To compost 5 tons of rice straw. each layer about 25 cm thick. one part mixture of animal manure and leguminous materials. banana trunk. Water compost heap Water each layer compost heap until it is sufficiently moist. Make 10 small plots to be able to compost 5 tons rice straw. we need a volume of 90 m3. Prepare compost area Choose a shaded and well-drained area.5m high. Cover compost heap Cover with plastic sheet. A layer of compost material consists of three parts rice straw. 3 . A plot size of 2m x 6m 1. kakawate. Make six layers of compost materials.5 kg of the fungus activator. and ash or lime spread on top of each other. Spread evenly on top of the first layer. Step 5. Make 5 plots. construct a platform or use available materials such as coconut leaf midribs. Step 4. and bamboo. each layer about 25 cm thick. banana and coconut leaves to increase temperature and prevent too much water into the compost heap which could leach the nutrients. Stack the layers until the compost heap reaches 1.5 m can accommodate 1 ton of rice straw. Step 6. Insert several perforated bamboo poles into compost bed to serve as breathers. Apply 2. A layer of compost material consists of three parts rice straw. If you want smaller plot size of 2m x 3m x 1. and a thin layer of fungus activator known as compost Fungal Activator (CFA). and leguminous materials into 3:1 proportion.5m can accommodate 500 kg of rice straw materials. know as BIO-QUICK to every tone of composting material. There is no need to put ash/lime or bamboo breathers. animal manure. Pile materials Traditional Method Make six layers of compost materials. Step 3.

and cooperatives. Step 8. mix 8-10 bags per hectare. Harvest compost Traditional Method Harvest 4 weeks after the second rotation of the compost heap. Use all the compost produced in the field which could be about 2. Presence of live N-fixing bacteria in the compost will boost total N in the soil. The N content of the ripe compost varies from 1. the compost is ready for use. Turn compost heap Traditional Method Turn up side down or rotate. Bio-Enriched Method (Trichoderma and Azobacter) After 1 week of incubation of the bacteria inocula. Rapid Method (Trichoderma) Turn compost heap from top to bottom after 2 weeks. Step 9. This step. There are currently 36 Mass Production Centers (MPC) for fungal activators and 17 Compost Production Centers (CPC) accredited by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to make these activators available to farmers. Bio-Enriched Method (Trichoderma and Azobacter ) Remove cover after 2-3 weeks or when the compost heap has decomposed. Step 10.5% to 3%. You need only apply 250-500 kg or 5-10 bags compost per hectare.10 Steps in Compost Production Farming Tips/Technoguides Step 7. however. known as BIO-FIX and incubate for 1 week. Add bacteria inoculum For every ton of compost material.5%. Cover the compost heap but do not allow to dry.0% depending on the amount of manure and nitrogenous plant materials used as substrates. Apply compost Broadcast compost as basal fertilizer before final harrowing during land preparation.0% 3. nongovernment organizations. If commercial organic fertilizer produced through the rapid composting method is used.0 tons per hectare. is optional. There are 15 similar agencies producing both fungal activators and ready-to-use compost. 4 . Separate undecomposed materials for further composting. The N content of the compost is now 1. N content of the compost ranges from ranges from 1. spread evenly on top of each compost layer 2. BIOTECH and IBS also provide training for cooperatives and entrepreneurs who wish to go into commercial organic fertilizer and mass production of these microorganisms. These centers include government. or mix compost heap after 3 weeks. Use 2 tons of compost per hectare.5 kg of bacteria inocula. then again after 5 weeks. Rapid Method (Trichoderma) Harvest 1-2 weeks after rotating the compost heap.

5 . subject matter specialist . Santiago R. 2. Exercise care in handling the compost while rotating it. for developing the BIO-ENRICHED compost technology. Bayani Espiritu of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH). Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.10 Steps in Compost Production Farming Tips/Technoguides Health precautions 1. Acknowledgement Dr. Virginia C. Composting materials and microorganisms may cause allergies. use longsleeved clothes. The decomposing compost heap can generate heat up to 60oC. Barroga. Department of Agriculture. although they are nonpathogenic. Teodula M. Corton. University of the Philippines in Los Banos (UPLB). and wash body and hand after working on the compost. Cuevas of the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS). and layout by Carlo Dacumos. Wear protective gloves or foot gear so as not to scald your hands and feet. Dr. Obien. University of the Philippines in Los Banos (UPLB) for Developing the Compost Fungal Activator (CFA) technology . Technology Synthesis and visualization by Roger F. cover nose and mouth with mask. technical adviser. employing the use of a fungal activator BIO-QUIK and an N-fixing bacteria inocula. and Dr. BIO-FIX. To avoid inconvenience from itching. illustrations by Carlito Bibal. This Bulletin was prepared at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) by Dr.

61 2.6 3.97 2. 1983 as cited by Cosico 1985) % OVEN DRY BASIS N P 0.58 0.37 0.38 1.41 6 .00 1.50 2.07 1.02 1.45 1.59 1.09 3.94 1.14 0.24 0.98 1.04 3.27 0.14 0.93 3.75 1.32 1.22 0.94 0.13 1.02 2.15 2.52 2.20 0.88 1.0 2.59 0.40 0.65 1.36 1.72 Material Rice straw Wheat straw Corn stover Soybean stover Cotton stalk & leaf Peanut straw Peanut hull Cowpea stem Sugarcane trash Cabbage Tobacco Green Manure Sesbania aculeata Sesbania speciosa Vigna sinensis (Cowpea) Melitotus indica Pisum sativum (pea) Acacia ferruginea leaf Acacia arabica leaf Desmodium trifolium Calopogonium mucunoides Water hyacinth Azolla Algae Animal Manure Cattle Sheep Horse Pig Chicken Duck Human C/N 105 105 55 32 19 116 12 13 18 18 19 29 24 13 8 K 1.49 1.15 7.10 Steps in Compost Production Farming Tips/Technoguides ANNEX 1 Nutrient content of farm residues and animal manure Average elemental NPK composition of some crop residues.20 1. green and animal manure as compost materials (Misra and Hesse.88 0.75 0.11 0.15 0.31 1.24 2.06 1.96 2.12 1.65 1.17 0.31 1.30 3.68 2.20 1.13 0.54 0.35 0.3 0.81 4.10 0.00 2.18 2.59 2.50 1.51 3.37 0.15 0.04 3.61 1.47 1.