Past, present, and future of compost utilization in horticulture

M. Ozores-Hampton
Growers can use compost as a soil conditioner or as a nutrient source to supplement fertility programs in various crop production systems. Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium may be low in compost relative to fertilizers, but excessive application rates can nonetheless result in nutrient runoff or leaching, or an excessive soil nutrient buildup. Consequently, compost should be applied to match crop nutrient requirements. The appropriate use of compost will, in the long term, improve soil quality and enhance the use of fertilizer, therefore improving the overall performance of crop production systems. Compost is a dynamic, living material; hence, making recommendations for its use is more complicated than for standard fertilizer. In addition, compost quality use guidelines for crop production are limited and together with the lack of knowledge of agricultural professionals, this may result in mistakes and problems with compost production and use. Therefore, the objective of this is to present a comprehensive overview on the history, current development and future of compost utilization in commercial horticultural production systems. The focus will be on the importance of compost quality, the benefits of compost utilization, and the potential environmental impacts.
Ozores-Hampton, M. (2019). Past, present, and future of compost utilization in horticulture. Acta Hortic. 1266, 309-314
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1266.43
composting, soil quality, vegetable and fruit production, windrow composting, waste materials

Acta Horticulturae