You must be wondering if you can compost corns or not. In this article, we’ll answer your question.
Corn cobs require a little extra time than your usual kitchen waste, but it is 100% compostable. The United States is one of the largest corn producers in the world. According to the Department of Agriculture of the United States, total production of 13.016 billion bushels of corn was reported in 2019, which hiked up to 15.1 billion bushels in 2021. Corn contributes to the economy of the country, is the leader of various mouth-watering recipes from different regions around the globe, and last but not least, corn is a grand contributor to agricultural waste.
This might direct you to the need for corn composting and the benefits that favor it in a sustainable way.
Why do we need to compost corn?
Due to the higher yield of agricultural waste generated in larger quantities during and after corn harvest, it is essential to throw some light on environment-friendly ways to manage it. Agricultural and food waste attracts serious issues such as environmental pollution and also releases toxic or inorganic gases.
Yes, corn cob, corn husks, and corn silk are the remaining parts that end up in landfills in a large mass. They occupy space and have a slow rate of decomposition.
Corn compost will not just save the space at landfills but also provide an effective and environment-friendly soil supplement for your plants. Compost quantity can be decided based on the requirement, whether you will use it in your garden or the agriculture field.
How to prepare for corn composting?
Every part of corn can be composted, and people have ample recipes to use corn cobs, so we have better ways to save the land. There are a few tips and tricks for you to follow that will make the whole process of corn composting easy for you-
1. Proper drainage
2. Few hours of sunlight
3. Shred the corn cobs for faster decomposition
4. Keep the compost pile moist. Don’t let it dry completely or drench it with water.
5. Make sure the compost pile is getting enough air. Lift and turn a week thrice to ease the aeration.
Be patient. Corn cobs require a little more time than other food scraps because of their structural and chemical composition.
How much time does it require to degrade corn?
The internal structure and strong fibrous composition of the corn cob require extra time for decomposition. It might require a month or two, but if prepared properly (consider the preparation rules above), it fastens the process.
Corn in compost serves as a ‘home’ to worms, bacteria, and mold that participates in decomposition. These corn cobs provide structure to the compost and facilitate aeration in a heap.
Benefits of corn composting
Corn is a potential supplier of soil nutrients, and corn composting is an effective way to utilize agricultural waste.
You don’t have to separate a certain category as rotten, fresh, dried, or any type of corn cobs are suitable to go in the compost pile. Corn compost and corn cobs are known to release nutrients into the soil for a long time.
Corn composting does not produce any foul smell individually. Furthermore, corn compost is an ideal supplement for the root system, and it prevents pest attacks.
With additional benefits, corn compost is a suitable and cost-effective option to boost plant health.
Cons of Corn
Do you know the art of composting gets better with every new batch you prepare? Although corn cobs do not fascinate some compost handlers, it is wrapped with huge benefits.
If you plan to throw corn waste in the trash, it will end up somewhere in a large heap and will take at least one year or even more to decompose completely. According to research published in Nature Sustainability, high usage of synthetic fertilizer and manure on corn yield is manipulating soil health and the health of consumers. High use of nitrogen-based chemical supplements releases ammonia later and causes severe health issues and air pollution.
The solution to this can be the use of corn compost in lands dedicated to corn agriculture. This balances the management of corn waste at a higher level and restores the nutritional quality of the soil.
Why should we encourage composting?
Chemical pest controlling options and synthetic fertilizers leave carcinogenic and neurological imprints on consumers’ health. Prolonged use of non-biodegradable components often creates a bed for life-threatening diseases in the body. Composting is an appropriate way to reduce and manage kitchen leftovers and garden waste. It initiates an organic lifestyle with health and environmental benefits. Various benefits encourage us to take a step towards composting-
1. Chemical-free practices decrease or vanish the synthetic portion in plants, agriculture fields, etc. Unlike chemical-based fertilizers, it does not let the crop or plant attain resistance against a pest.
2. Composting prevents huge quantities of garden or agricultural waste from entering the landfills.
3. Large amounts of organic waste in landfills produce harmful gases and increase greenhouse gases such as methane.
4. Sometimes, this waste clogs pipelines or ends up in river streams as tons of household waste are produced daily. Composting can avoid such conditions.
5. Composting is a reliable and pocket-friendly option for home gardens and small fields.
6. It increases soil health and quality and maintains nutrient supply.
7. Decrease moisture loss and serves as a shield to protect crops and plants from disease by building their immunity.
The ‘over-pouring’ artificial practices in agro-field cannot be solved overnight. However, the signs and symptoms crawl into our world slowly but constantly. Eco-friendly options can stop health and environmental degradation, and we must create a safe passage with transforming options such as recycling, composting, and renewable practices to protect the environment.
Composting provides favorable conditions and approaches to serve the benefits of natural fertilizers, improved water retention, and required soil structure. This leads to an increase in agricultural production and nutrient-rich food.
A minimalistic approach, green living, and balanced life are still a dream for many. We must ask ourselves, are we doing the required management and planning to save our planet? If not, are we even ready for the future?