Benefits of Organic Compost
Our soils are the second largest store of carbon behind the oceans and we can use compost to lock carbon in the ground and prevent unneccessary release of greenhouse gases, such as CO2. This is a process known as carbon sequestration and makes organic compost a key weapon in the fight against climate change.
Because increasing organic matter and locking carbon in soils counts as CO2- emission reduction, it means in simple terms that for every one tonne of compost applied to the earth, 375 kg of CO2 is kept out of the air - or up to 900 kg where it is used as a replacement for peat-based fertilisers.
And as stable organic matter degrades slowly, typically by around 2% per year, even 10 years after compost is initially applied, around 300 kg of CO2 will still be trapped in the soil.
As well as helping to reduce compaction and loosen soils (resulting in reduced fuel bills for working land), compost contains plant nutrients which benefit the growth of crops in the short term, reducing the need for chemicals and synthetic fertilisers and helping to achieve further significant cost savings.
The fertiliser replacement effect differs for each nutrient. For example, compost will release 15% of its available nitrogen but up to 100% of its potash content in the first year of application.
Compost also supplies useful quantities of phosphate and magnesium while it has a liming value that balances the acidifying effects of chemical fertiliser additions to soils, thereby reducing the need for ground lime.