The California Integrated Waste Management Board funded a life cycle analysis (LCA) to determine the best options for managing organics that currently are landfilled. A life cycle assessment includes a wider range of costs and benefits than a traditional cost analysis. An LCA conducted by the Recycled Organics Unit of the University of New South Wales was used as a roadmap for the sampling. This LCA modeled the benefits associated with compost used as a mulch in vineyards and as a soil conditioner in irrigated cotton fields. The benefits associated with compost use were calculated based on a review of published literature. Compost application improved the soils for almost all variables tested. For organic carbon content, compost increased carbon concentrations at the orchard site from about 0.4% to 2.7%. In the row crop, soil total carbon in the high rate of compost was 1.1% in comparison to 0.7% in the control.
COMPOST BOOST TO CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE Sally Brown; Matthew Cotton BioCycle; Jan 2010; 51, 1; Docstoc pg. 27 Reproduced with permiss
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