TopTex Compost CoverTopTex compost cover is a gas permeable fleece designed to maintain optimum moisture in compost windrows. TopTex controls moisture by deflecting rain water, while limiting evaporation due to sun and wind. It also controls weed seed contamination and limits leaching of nutrients into ground water. It creates a better quality compost in less time.
TopTex is available in two sizes 4 x 50 meters or 5 x 50 meters, and work well when used in conjunction with a Compost systems compost turner.
Controlled microbial composting (CMC)is a method of composting that creates exceptionally high quality compost, and benefits from using TopTex compost covers.
Some benefits are:
Provides Macro and Micro Nutrients: In addition to organic NPK, compost is an especially good supplier of trace minerals such as boron, cobalt, copper, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. The more varied the materials used to make the compost, the greater the variety of nutrients the compost will provide. More importantly the nutrients in compost are released at the rate your plant needs them, governed by a complex symbiotic relationship between soil/compost microorganisms and plant roots. Microbes in compost secrete chelating agents, which unlock the storehouse of tied up nutrients in the soil and makes them available to the plants.
Improves Soil Structure: Digested organic matter binds with soil particles to form what is called “clay-humus complex”. These aggregates are able to hold more water along their surface and create more oxygen space in the soil. Although unfinished compost has a tendency to be hydrophobic or repel water; a well-finished compost will easily hold 4 times its weight in water. The end result is that the increase in humus levels and better soil structure/aggregation will improve moisture retention, drainage, and reduce compaction for healthier root growth and less weed pressure.
Neutralizes Soil Toxins and Harmful Compounds: Research has shown that a good compost has the ability to neutralize various soil toxins and heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, by complexing them so they cannot be up taken by the plant. This is significant not only for the conventional farmer making the transition to organic farming, but for all farmers as we become forced to deal with ever increasing environmental strains on our soils such as pollutants, pesticide residues, acid rain, etc.
Inoculates Soil with Beneficial Micro flora: A quality compost will act as a carrier for hundreds of millions of aerobic bacteria and fungi per gram of finished material. When brought out onto the soil, and with continued service of their needs, these microbes will perform several functions: First, they will stimulate soil digestion and therefore help complete our broken carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrient cycles. Crop residues can once again be broken down, and N bound, until required by plants. Nitrogen fixing bacteria reduce chemical dependence. Second, as mentioned before, they service the nutritional needs of the plant at the proper rate and time they are required; there is no waste in a biological system.
Antibiotic and Cleansing Effect on Soils: Current research is proving that a quality compost, with its related beneficial micro flora, has both a healing effect on plants and a cleansing action on soils. To date, over 3200 strains of microorganisms have been researched which produce natural soil antibiotics, enzymes, and vitamins as by-products of their metabolism. Long-term studies have already shown that compost is an effective tool in battling nematodes, bacterial/fungal diseases, and other persistent problems – a long accepted fact by users of compost and compost teas.
Lower Input Costs / Environmental Costs: Rising pesticide, fungicide, and fertilizer inputs, veterinary bills, and costs for environmental compliance; these are all figures that must be factored in with current “soil mining” practices. As more farmers see the big picture and realize the non-sustainability of current techniques – composting clearly shows its merits on the bottom line.
The list goes on and on. The important thing to remember is this…Not all composts are the same and poorly produced compost may actually do more harm than good!
Some of the criteria for quality compost are:
- Aerobically produced.
- A high ratio of humus to total organic matter.
- No Sulfide, Nitrite or other harmful plant compounds.
- Low Ammonium levels.
- Nitrogen fixed stably into humus and microbial biomass.