Advanced Composting Technology and Soil Health


Dr. Girish Panicker, professor and director of conservation research, delivered two invited lectures at the 31st International Horticultural Congress held in Angers, France.


His first speech on Long Term Application of Animal and Forest Waste on a Vineyard and Its Effect on Yield and Soil Health was in collaboration with Cornel National Soil Health Lab, Dr. Frank Matta and Dr. Juan Silva of Mississippi State University, and Dr. Leonard Kibet of Alcorn.


The two decades of research on Alcorn's vineyard to keep the soil and the humans healthy has been evaluated and rated by Cornell Lab as "excellent."


His second speech was on Slow Release and Environmentally Friendly Compost Production with Magnesium and Poultry Manure. Alcorn developed this technology in collaboration with U.S. Army scientists, Dr. Charles Weiss and Dr. David Ringelberg. The new technology promotes the bacterial production of low-solubility ammonium magnesium phosphate (Struvite) in an alternative organic composting process. This struvite-based composting system reduces the ammonia air pollution problem and prevents groundwater pollution. The struvite-enriched compost is a new storable and marketable organic fertilizer product that any animal farm can economically produce and sell.


"Groundwater pollution and climate change are some of the world's major problems today," said Panicker. "Groundwater and surface water supplies are threatened with contamination. One of the most serious sources of non-point pollution is animal waste."


Both of these research papers are accepted for publication in ActaHorticulturae, a peer-reviewed international journal of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), Belgium.