General Composting with ILVO

10/10/2019

For years, ILVO has been a pioneer in farm composting and has already worked with several companies to stimulate farm composting in Flemish agriculture.

The use of compost improves soil quality and makes soils more fertile. Moreover, nutrient and material cycles are closed locally when farm residues such as crop residues and manure are returned to the soil in a stable form. Despite these advantages, farm composting is not yet a common practice in (Flemish) agriculture.

At ILVO, we compost the residual flows from our own experimental farm. The composting site, equipped with all the necessary materials (impermeable surface with leachate collection, compost turner, compost covers, measuring equipment, etc.), is also used for experiments. In the analysis lab for plant, soil and substrate, starting materials and compost quality can be analyzed.

ILVO also works through projects with various farms and other groups like nature conservation organizations to start up or optimize farm composting. Recently, the first large-scale AGRO-ECOLOGISCH PROEFPLATFORM in Flanders was launched, a collaboration between ILVO, the PHAE farm and agricultural consultant and researcher Alain Peeters (RHEA). Here, among other things, compost is made with natural grass clippings from a nature conservancy (ANB) and the vegetable residual flows and animal manure from farms.

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