Researchers at OSU have completed and published a full validation study of Woods End’s Solvita compost maturity test kit. Preliminary results of the research were first presented at the International Compost Symposium at OSU in May, 2002. The full paper is published this month in Compost Science and Utilization. “We’re very impressed by the Solvita kit” said Fred Michel of OSU at the gathering in Columbus. The results in CSU by reveal how the Solvita kit performs with three types of manure composts throughout the composting process. In one instance, with pig manure composts which developed high ammonia, Solvita gave a more accurate estimate for maturity than did conventional respirometry methods, the study reports. This is because Solvita checks volatile ammonia as well as CO2 before rating a compost “mature”. The article by OSU researchers concluded the the Solvita kit was well suited for on-site, on-farm use.
In a related article in the same issue of CSU, Dan Sullivan of Oregon State University compares Solvita to other tests, with favorable results.

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