Fertiliser price hike inspires new interest in on-farm composting

Sheep Central, February 24, 2023










INTEREST in on-farm composting has grown with the rise in fertiliser prices and the focus on carbon-friendly and regenerative farming practices.

The renewed interest has led to the Great Aussie Composting Roadshow starting across eastern Australia next month, with international and Australian academic and industry speakers.

The roadshow across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will provide intensive animal industries such as egg and broiler farms, sheep and cattle feedlots, piggeries, dairy farms with tailored and in-depth information regarding solid manure management, focusing on composting as a management tool.

Where relevant, the composting of food and fibre processing residues and the co-composting of municipal and agricultural residues in regional areas will also be discussed.

Director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Recycling of Organic Waste and Nutrients, Johannes Biala, said if sheep farmers with feedlots were looking to add value to manure accumulating in their systems then the roadshow will be relevant to them.

Mr Biala said the workshops will not be hands-on, but will discuss regulatory aspects, cost factors, mortality composting and use of compost.

He said the rise in fertiliser prices is a major driver for the increased interest in composting. The carbon and soil debate and interest in regenerative agriculture were also factors.

“Manure compost use is not at the centre of regenerative agriculture but it plays a role.”

The five speakers will include Mr Biala, author of the On-Farm Composting Handbook Professor Robert Rynk from the State University of New York, Californian composting consultant Matthew Cotton, Janine Price from Scolexia Animal and Avian Health Consultancy, and Dr Kevin Wilkinson from Frontier Ag and Environment. They will be augmented by contributions from local industry and government representatives.

The Great Aussie Composting Roadshow workshops are free to attend. The dates and locations for scheduled events include 6 March, Colac, VIC; 7 March, St Arnaud, VIC; 8 March, Tatura, VIC; 9 March, Griffith, NSW; 13 March, Paterson, NSW; 14 March, Tamworth, NSW; 15 March, Pittsowrth, QLD; 16 March, Dalby QLD, 17 March, Beaudesert, QLD.

Please register for your closest workshop using the online form. Registration/event enquiries to Emma McVie at [email protected] or on 1300 421 065.


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  1. Walter van Leeuwen, March 2, 2023

    Good day

    As you may know Phosphorus (P) deficiency in some parts of Australian agricultural lands can be one of the main limiting factors for healthy crop production and yield potential. Numerous researched papers have demonstrated that composting manure(s) with natural Phosphate rock (PR) can be an effective solution and source of natural Phosphorus, Calcium, plus other nutrients, minerals, and microorganisms to promote soil health and healthy crop yields.

    I’m interested to know if any of the listed experts is planning to elaborate on typical ratio and effectiveness of RP-enriched compost?

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