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.
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.
Few in the modern agricultural industry will argue against the necessity of fertilizer to remain competitive, boost profits, or even produce at all. One can spend hours debating the pros and cons of organic versus inorganic, liquid or solid, and various application methods, but ultimately what matters most to the farmer struggling to stay afloat is that the product is affordable and works.
High-quality compost is an organic fertilizer on par with costly synthetic alternatives, providing the full range of micro and macro nutrients needed to produce abundant, robust crops. This is precisely the commodity in demand by farmers across the nation - compost making has the potential to be a very profitable venture, literally transforming waste to wealth.
When dairy farmer Mark Webb, owner of an 1,800 cow dairy in Idaho, switched from a confined facility to open corrals, he found himself faced with a manure problem, namely far too much of it.
Webb's strategy to deal with his dairy waste, which consists of both manure and spent bedding, was to haul it onto portions of his 4,000 acres of cropland. After several years of these heavy manure applications, Mark noticed this practice was having a negative impact on the health of his crops, and soil. And the manure was still “piling up,” literally. Webb needed another solution to deal with his manure problem. He thought composting with a mechanical tractor-pulled compost turner might be the answer.
With rising feed and fertilizer costs and a fluctuating commodities market, 2012-2013 is shaping up to be a hard year for dairy farmers. Droughts in the Midwest have drastically increased feed prices, and forced some farmers to switch feeds, from corn to wheat. Fertilizer prices continue their upward price trend, making it difficult for dairies growing their own feed to be profitable. Yet two dairy farms in Idaho have found a way to reduce costs and become independent from buying fertilizers, by producing their own on the farm. And they're doing it through composting.
If the bristles on your toothbrush are worn and bent, how successfully will they create clean, white teeth? If the tines on your compost turner are worn and bent, how successfully will they remove the bad stuff in a compost windrow, namely CO2. Since we all know a good toothbrush promotes good oral health, similarly, good turner tines, promote good, high quality compost.
Tines get the bad stuff out!
It’s critical for the health of the windrow that you practice good CO2 management, replacing the carbon dioxide that builds up there with oxygen. This is accomplished by the design, placement, and durability of the tines mounted on the turner drum. CO2 is a waste product of those billions of little microbial critters in the pile breaking down organic matter. The gaseous exchange which takes place during a pass of the compost turner should result in 4% or less of CO2 in the windrow right after it is turned. This can be measured with a CO2 kit.