Composting converts crop residues into better organic fertilizers. To create a compost:
- Ensure that the field is level, well drained, and under shade.
- Chop compost materials into small pieces (3−5 cm).
- If possible, build compost heaps in layers consisting of rice crop material, combined with legume or manure wastes, on a 2:1 ratio.
- Keep compost heaps moist—not to wet and not too dry. Make sure that no water drains from the compost pile. If rice straw cracks when bent, then the compost must be too dry.
- Sprinkle compost heap with decaying material (e.g., cow urine), a dilute solution of N fertilizer such as urea, and/or with a micro-organism solution (e.g., tricho). This will decompose the materials faster.
- Mix and turn the heaps every two weeks.
- Compost should be ready within 4−8 weeks if moisture and temperature conditions are good.