Re: Humus -- rural -> urban -> rural

Responding to Dick R. on the issue of composting.  Just curious about 
the comment that it is better if composting occurs in the soil.  Just 
finished an M.Sc. student doing a study on composting and we didn't 
come across this idea in the lit.  I'd be interested in learning what 
it is that is more beneficial about composting in-situ - in the soil -
 as against ahead of time.  Evidence from the literature?  
Conventional organic wisdom hereabouts sees placement of raw manure 
directly into the soil as a net negative, because of a) rapid release 
of N which destabilizes cycling, b) VFA's which can be caustic, and 
c) potential for anaerobic decomposition when high moisture substrate 
(whether animal manure or direct cut red clover) is plowed into the 
soil.  As an example, they recommend cutting and wilting red clover 
plowdown before plowing it in, to avoid this problem.  

Good points on "waste" management at landfills!  Ann
Dr. E. Ann Clark
Associate Professor
Crop Science
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1
Phone:  519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX:  519 763-8933