University of Guam, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center - Research for Guam's Future
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Fields of Study

Soil Science: Organic Waste Management

Soils are the primary resource for agricultural production and their protection and improvement are essential for agriculture and forestland sustainability. Application of organic waste to soil can potentially improve soil conditions and provide nutrients needed for plant production. However, poor methods of application of organic waste can lead to nutrient loss from agricultural land by runoff and leaching. These potential non-point source nutrient losses can contribute to environmental degradation, eutrophication of surface waters, and possible human health risks. Because of this growing environmental concern regarding organic waste disposal, we have established field and laboratory studies in order to develop improved methods to utilize organic waste products for soil and crop benefits while minimizing environmental degradation. Among the techniques, we have developed a composting and recycling program at our research stations for producing compost for land application of agricultural and forest land to improve soil quality for better crop productivity and agricultural sustainability.

Composting at the Yigo Experiment Station.


In addition, using compost in highly erosive areas (badlands) in southern Guam can decrease erosion and allow quicker establishment of vegetation. It has been documented that compost application on agricultural and forest lands reduces soil loss considerably compared to bare soils, and sediments reaching nearby surface waters decrease drastically when compared to silt fences, and other methods. It has been reported that once incorporated with the soil, compost can increase infiltration up to 125 percent. Composting and land application of compost is one of the research and educational programs at the University of Guam Soil Science Laboratory.

The following researchers are involved with this Field of Study:

Mohammad  Golabi - Publications


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