Owing to the variability of source ingredients that go into it, and the process itself, completed composts require diverse lab testing before proper use in agriculture and horticulture.
WHAT IS IT? Compost is not a single product nor is it a specific chemical compound. The composting process itself is not a predetermined series of events with a fixed or predictable outcome. Compost is a product somewhere between two states of matter in the process of decaying. The composition of the final product reflects the very broad organic and mineral composition found in all living plant and animal matter.
LABORATORY SCIENCE: Woods End Lab is America’s oldest-running compost testing lab and we have spent considerable time attempting to “break the compost code” scientifically. This has meant learning a diverse set of test procedures. We offer a unique set of tests which reveal both the dynamic process and the quality of the end product.
POPULAR, BUT MISUNDERSTOOD: While popular, compost is often misrepresented both by lay-persons and scientists. The unfortunate result of all this is that compost is poorly appreciated as a growing media, a fact reflected in its weak showing in professional markets. The peat and chemical industry have seized advantage of the situation to advance their own sustainable views. Part of the compost stigma derives from political-industrial “recycling mandate” dictating compost’s image – in contrast to a natural scientific view. When the principle force behind composting is a “waste diversion” priority with money earned in handling and trucking, the product itself becomes a disposal issue. In contrast, where there is genuine market demand from growers, based on appreciation of compost’s good properties (and recognition of its limits), then compost quality becomes valuable, and compost testing such as Woods End offers, comes to the foreground.
We divide the the testing of composting and compost into three categories:
- Source materials – “Pre-compost state”. Tests to characterize ingredients, cleanliness & mix recipes to establish the process.
- Composting Process - “Active State“: Tests to manage quality during the process, odor control, and the timing for completion.
- End product – “Completed State” - Tests to evaluate quality and properties of the end-product, such as nutrient value, stability, herbicide contamination and microbial hygiene.
For an Overview of Available Analyses, go to the HOME page and click on Downloads.
To Evaluate What you Need: Please contact us (or call 207 293 2457) for a no-obligation discussion of your testing needs.
Laboratory Certificates and Approvals
Woods End maintains appropriate laboratory inspections, approvals and certifications in the following programs. The laboratory is USDA-APHIS inspected and is recognized by OMRI for organic soil amendment approval testing. We are approved by MSC- (Mulch and Soil Council) for mulch and soil amendment testing and by ALP (Agricultural Laboratory Proficiency) for soil testing. For biodegradability in compost we are BPI approved for compostability. We submit to MAP Manure Analysis Proficiency for farm manure validation, and we are CAP (Compost Analysis Proficiency) recognized for compost analysis.
Are You Satisfied with your compost product?
Woods End will help you find the right one – or create it.