A fundamental question has arisen in my mind. Which is more carbon
conservative, raw application or composting and then application. It seems
the critical issue is which environment is most condusive of organic
matter humification... i.e. the microbially mediated synthesis of complex
polymers resistant to further decompostion. The compost pile/windrow is a
concentration of microbial activity with elevated temps... does
this imply a less carbon conservative system ? or rather an environment
more condusive of humus synthesis. Clearly finished compost is
significantly humified and much more resistant to decomposition when
applied as compost then if applied raw.... but perhaps 60 % of the carbon
was lost in the composting process...
Any ideas ?
U of MD, Agronomy