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[compost_tea] Re: compost tea additives and NOSB
A lot of people in farming have been **shocked** at
the narrow view of compost, vermicompost, processed
manures and compost teas in the NOP.
The compost practice standards were lifted from a
EPA Biosolids rule known as "processes to further
reduce pathogens", PFRP's, to meet time and temperature
requirements to kill human pathogens in sewage sludge
and APPLIED organic farmers as a regulatory practice!!
In response to protests from organic farmers, the
NOSB formed the Compost Task Force to updgrade
practice standards for compost in NOP 205.203(2).
Here is the report. It looks like May 2002, and
since it has not been enacted, that tells you how
slow the process is to change NOP, a federal law.
Compost Task Force Final Report
In fact, NOP rules are so stifling on compost, processed
manures, and compost teas that Oregon Tilth and Oregon
State University sponsored a national summit on human
pathogens from livestock manures to bring people together
and discuss the situation and make recommendations and
suggestions to upgrade these uses... in June 2003...
recognizing there is a disconnect between every day
organic farming and "regulatory text" that codifies
Human Pathogens from Livestock Manures: Proceedings
of a National Summit
The NOSB Compost Tea Task Force was formed to upgrade
compost tea practice standards.
It notes that compost substrate to make compost teas can
be NOP compliant compost OR compost that follows guidelines
set forth by the the NOSB Compost Task Force.
Under (1) the current climate at USDA which is focused on
pathogens in animal manures and potential contamination of
edible crops and food supply and (2) scientific studies that
show multiple-week survival of pathogens applied to vegetable
crops, and (3) studies that show sweet teas can grow pathogens
-- whether you agree with the brewing protocals or not -- the
CTTF came up with the recommendations that you see.
Keep in mind that zero published studies on modern ACT's
and pathogen survival are available in the literature, today.
There is a lab in TN that is providing an E. coli test for
composters for $15.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "ericgoodenough" <sfo@g...> wrote:
> NOSB CTTF defines compost tea additives as "Materials other than
> water and compost added at the start of the compost tea making
> process to increase microbial biomasss/populations."
> Now, if I read this correctly, then kelp, rock powders, fish,
> humates, molasses, sugar, juice, oat flour, crab shell, ......THESE
> ARE ALL ADDITIVES INTENDED TO INCREASE MICROBIAL BIOMASS!
> Therefore, if you use these things you will be subject to
> to verify that your tea does not contain pathogens. Two tests are
> required and the average result is used to "prove" your process is
> clean. IF YOU CHANGE YOUR RECIPE (or your brew time, or your air
> input, or your start temp, or your water supply) YOU WILL NEED TO
> ORDER UP ANOTHER SET OF TESTS.
> Of course, if you choose to abide by the 90/120 day pre-harvest
> interval restrictions (in other words if you apply CT no sooner
> 90 pre-harvest for produce not in direct contact with the soil and
> 120 days for produce in contact with the soil), then of course you
> are all set. I'm not sure which interval (90 or 120?) I will be
> forced to use for my apples, but if I am limited to using a foliar
> ACT before May 15 (120 interval) or June 15 (90 day interval) it
> doesn't matter! THE BOTTOM LINE IS I'VE JUST LOST A TOOL I COULD
> TO OUT-COMPETE APPLE SCAB, SOOTY BLOTCH, FLYSPECK, FIREBLIGHT,
> KNOT, ETC. ETC.! (UNLESS, OF COURSE, I BREW MY TEA WITH ONLY
> AND WATER!)
> Is anyone enlivening their compost with oat flour? My bet is that
> this practice will cause concern because your compost is no
> longer "finished" according to standards and/or the material will
> considered a "compost tea additive."
> I've been making vermi- and thermal composts for tea brewing
> the use of manure feedstocks so I could avoid the pre-harvest
> interval headaches. The CTTF is recommending that CT should be
> with "compliant compost or vermicompost, using the NOSB guidelines
> set forth on April 18, 2002" CAN ANYONE POINT ME TO THE GUIDELINES
> FOR VERMICOMPOST? DOES IT NEED TO GO THROUGH THE THREE-DAY HEATING
> PROCESS? OH, BY THE WAY, IF YOU'VE BEEN MAKING YOUR VERMI- OR
> THERMAL COMPOST WITHOUT MANURE TO AVOID THE PRE-HARVEST INTERVAL
> CTTF IS NOW RECOMMENDING THAT EVEN COMPOST MADE FROM 100% PLANT
> FEEDSTOCK MATERIALS IS TO BE CONSIDERED THE SAME AS OTHER COMPOSTS
> (WHEN MAKING COMPOST TEA) BECAUSE "NON-MANURE COMPOST FEEDSTOCKS
> HARBOR HIGH LEVELS OF FECAL BACTERIA."
> Folks, if these receommendations are accepted, I believe Compost
> will become an excellent tool for the corporate organic growers who
> can afford the cost associated with testing and re-testing and
> recordkeeping. It may be that, again, the big guys get to reap the
> rewards of the long fight to creat organic standards while the rest
> of us local growers interested in food integrity and security move
> on. Organic ain't what it used to be. I know these are just
> recommendations but I am inching closer to the ledge. Can somebody
> talk me down?
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