As part of the Greenleaf Project, run by the Organic Resource Agency (ORA), the farm has been using green waste compost on one of its fields for the past five years.
According to Bixley Farms manager Tim Cane, there has been a clear improvement in the field since the compost was added. Visitors, which included local authority representatives, farmers and members of the waste management industry, were shown the crops and invited to compare them with control plots, which were not given the green compost.
Cane told visitors he had put the compost on a field which he knew was difficult to manage. After application, he found that the compost had improved its performance.
Speaking on the day ORA consultant Hugh Davidson explained how using green compost in commercial scale, long-term trials had shown improved crop yields and improved soil nutrient content.
Also speaking, ORAs sister company in Luxembourg Iglux managing director Klaus Gröll presented data from green compost trials which have been running for 14 years. It found similar positive results to Bixley Farms. This included increasing yields, especially in dry years, and increasing soil fertility as well as enabling a reduction in artificial and mineral fertilisers.
ORA director Dr Hugh Bulson said: From the industrys point of view it is a practical demonstration of the beneficial use of green compost in commercial agricultural production. It demonstrates how compost can become an integral part of improving the fertility of soil for the long term.
Previously funded through the Landfill Tax Credit, the project will now been funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, so it can continue to divert garden waste away from landfill.
ORA is the UK partner in an independent European consultancy and engineering group, which has been involved in the development of closed and open composting facilities with a combined capacity of more than 830,000 tonnes per year.