The spring of the year is known for fresh flowers and new ideas. Spring 2014 is no exception with Midwest Bio-Systems’ announcement of two innovative optional features now available for the Aeromaster PT-120 and PT-130.
Composting Systems, Waste Management and Soil Fertility Blog
Typically one signs up for a workshop to learn how to do something. If you signed-up for the Humus Advantage Composting Workshop April 8-10, 2014 in Tampico, IL, odds are it was because you wanted to learn how to make high quality humus compost. If so, you made a good decision because you will learn the theory and practice of the Aeromaster Composting System, the production methodology developed and refined by Midwest Bio-Systems over the last 20 years. The nuts and bolts of making high quality compost will be covered in PowerPoint as well as in multiple visits to the Midwest Bio-Systems Research and Development compost facility.
Spring brings to mind things that are new and fresh, like the spring 2014 fresh, new standard and optional features now available on the Aeromaster line of tractor pulled compost turners.
We recently did a test growing Arugula using soil with Aeromaster humus added vs. regular soil. Check out the results.
In 2008 the Laurens County Landfill in Georgia created an innovative composting program that allows it to compost everything from biosolids, to animal mortalities for the benefit of both the landfill and the local community. Last year the landfill began composting food waste. When its food waste composting program is fully implemented later this year Michael Snipes, the director of Laurens County, predicts that they will have composted at least 650 tons of food waste from local schools and a state prison. Across the nation, food waste composting for profit, cost-savings, and reducing pollution are growing trends, yet odor control still remains a challenge. Snipes's program has had no odor issues whatsoever. In 2012 he was recognized by the Georgia chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) when he won their 2012 “Composting Systems Excellence Award.” In this post he shares some tips for an odorless food waste composting process with an Aeromaster Compost Turner.
Biocycle's “The State of Garbage in America,” reports that in 2008 more than 380 million tons of garbage was generated in the United States. The EPA's estimate for 2007 is slightly more conservative, but still an impressive 254 million tons. The EPA estimates that 89 percent of this waste could have been composted or recycled, but only 33 percent was! The rest was buried in a landfill or burned in an incinerator. Burying organic waste creates methane as it rots. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more polluting than CO2. And burning releases pollutants into the air. But this problem can be solved if the waste is composted instead.
Landfills normally become the final resting place for waste, but one landfill in Georgia is quickly turning that stereotype on its head. In addition to receiving waste materials, composting is allowing the Laurens County Landfill to innovate and to give back to the local community, economically and environmentally. At the same time the landfill reaps financial benefits in a win-win situation for all. And it all began with biosolids.
Edwin Blosser shares his vision for Midwest Bio Systems and how his search for “renewable soils” led him to manufacturing compost turners and humus compost.
When Edwin Blosser founded Midwest Bio Systems on February 20th, 1993, he could not have imagined that in 20 years time his company would grow to become a world leader in soil fertility, in manufacturing Compost Turners, ancillary composting equipment as well as in composting technology. In fact, when Blosser, a native of Tampico, Illinois, began exploring sustainable agriculture he never imagined that his quest to “make people healthier,” and help farmers to farm more profitably, would lead him to composting. After a journey of discovery, he founded Midwest with a vision to serve individuals in his local community. Today Midwest has become an international company delivering compost turners to 47 states, 3 US Territories and 25 countries around the world.
In the summer of 2012 the Continental U.S. faced its worst drought in recent history. Dry conditions across the Midwest decimated many farmers' grain harvests. Illinois farmer Scott Block was among the victims of the drought and suffered severe crop losses, particularly among his corn and soy crops. But thanks to his on-farm composting program, Block found a way to cut his losses in the aftermath of the drought, and in the case of a late planted oat forage, he discovered the potential of compost to increase the yield of forage crops on his farm.
When Illinois feedlot owner, Scott Block, began composting his feedlot waste, he discovered a new and profitable source of income for his farm. Block raises 640 beef cattle in an old model of farming where the cows, in the form of meat, add value to his grain crops. His composting, which he began in the fall of 2011 as manure management, has quickly turned into a profitable business that is becoming a major income-generating element of his farm.
The start of a new business
Scott Block's motivations for composting were simple: First, he wanted to reduce costs associated with hauling and spreading his manure and feedlot waste. And second, he wanted to enhance the fertilizer value of this manure and waste to supplement his fertilizer needs across his 1,700 acres of cropland. His long-term goal is to completely replace all his commercial fertilizer needs with the high quality compost he produces with his Aeromaster pull-type compost turner. “We actually didn't apply any dry fertilizer last year, we strictly went with one ton to the acre of compost on our corn ground. And then we applied nitrogen later on,” he said. “I wasn't recommended to go that crazy, that fast, but our crops yielded just as well as anyone else's. That's our goal, to get away from all commercial fertilizer if we can.”