Compost: Production, Quality, and Use in Commercial Agriculture

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Compost is a soil amendment produced through the metabolism of an organic substrate—a surface on which organisms grow—by aerobic (oxygen-requiring) microbes under controlled conditions. Composting is an ancient agricultural technology going back to biblical times that still has important applications in modern agriculture. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in compost for modern cropping systems. In organic cropping systems, compost provides a primary source of nutrients for the crop. In conventional cropping systems, compost provides a supplementary nitrogen source that compliments fertilizer nitrogen to provide a more sustainable farming system.