ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Sample Taking System from a Compost Heap. P3; 69

Sarmentero, P.1 ; Sánchez, J.1 & Sánchez, S.2

1Departamento de Química y Análisis Agrícola E.T.S.I. Agrónomos. Avda Complutense s/n. Madrid. 28040. Spain. 2E.U.I.T. Agrícola. Avda Complutense s/n. Madrid. 28040. Spain.

A new sample taking system has been designed in order to obtain representative sample from the core of compost heap without disturbing its structure. The system consists of two wooden structures, placed inside and in the middle of the heap. The first one is formed by the four edges of a parallele piped, that is as tall as the heap and has a square base. The second one is a cube of wooden structure with nylon net covered faces, that can be vertically introduced in and out the first structure.
The samples have been prepared with 150 g of sheep manure inside of the nylon net bag, below the cube that constitutes the second structure. Both of them are covered in composting mass. In order to obtain a sample the heap is opened by removing the composting mass and elevating the cube. When it is out from the heap we can take the sample directly from the core of the composting mass. Finally, the cube is introduced in the first structure and covered again by the heap. The new system has been tried out on four composting heaps made of sheep manure and straw, with our objective successfully achieved.
The representativity of the samples obtained has been verified by taking, from the last nylon net of each heap, another five samples, without nylon net bag, from the surroundings within a radius of 20 cm. Each sample were analyzed for dry matter, total nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonium-nitrogen, nitrite-nitrogen, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron and heavy metals. Analysis showed that these samples did not differed statistically from the nylon net bags.

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