Monica Hampton

Monica Hampton

Monica Hampton

Speaker / Workshop Instructor | TerraNutri, LLC

Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton is a CEO and Co-Founder of TerraNutri, LLC. Dr. Ozores-Hampton obtained her B.S. in Horticulture from Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile; her M.S in Biological Science from Florida International University, Miami, FL; and her Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. A former Associate Professor of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida, Immokalee, FL. Known as the ‘Compost Queen’ by the industry, she specializes in nutrient management, plant-soil nutrient cycling, and mineral nutrition in plant science and production. She has experience in designing, permitting, compliance inspections, reporting, and operating composting facilities and has developed compost quality assurance/quality control and testing programs using many compost feedstocks in horticulture crops. She has dedicated decades to research, teaching & extension work in compost production and utilization in horticulture crops.

Session Code: 4C

Track: CREF Research

Session Name: Biochar & Compost Use

Session Time: Thursday, February 8, 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: Use Biochar and Composted Yard/waste Biochar on Citrus and Tomatoes in Florida

Presentation Description: Biochar is a solid by-product of organic matter heated in a closed container with low or unavailable oxygen. This process is known as Pyrolysis. It releases volatile compounds (hydrogen, carbon monoxide, aliphatic, and aromatic hydrocarbons), water vapor, and charcoal or coal during the process. The horticulture industry (fruits, nuts, vegetable, sod, and ornamentals plants) is applying biochar to their production fields due to the benefits in soil health such as decreased bulk density, root penetration, increased aggregate stability, increased water infiltration, water holding capacity or retention (decreasing nutrient leaching), and pore distribution, increase percent organic matter, active carbon (carbon sequestration), reduce toxins and pollutants, that can help manage soil disease pathogens, increase beneficial nematodes, increase nitrogen-mineralization rate, microbial biomass, respiration rate, and microbial biomass genetic diversity. Biochar was applied alone or with yard waste compost in citrus and tomatoes. In citrus, data indicated no differences in tree growth; however, 1,000 lbs/acre of biochar produced the highest fruit yields, compared to 500 lbs/acre of biochar and 2 tons/acre of compost with 5 and 2.5% biochar, probably compost application rates were low to have a significant yield impact. In tomatoes, biochar was blended with fertilizer at 150 and 300 lbs/acre to reduce the expense of an extra passing in the field. Results indicated that only one of five trials produced positive yield improvements, probably because the biochar rates were low to increase marketable tomato yields. Biochar and compost biochar mixes can positively impact tomato and citrus production when optimal application rates or frequency are applied.

Workshop Time: Tuesday, Feb 6, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Workshop Title: Compost Use in Crops and Landscape

Workshop Description: The horticultural industry is the primary consumer of compost in the world. Therefore, the composting process represents the most widespread recycling technology in organic waste in agriculture. Compost can be used in horticulture, including food, ornamental, and turfgrass crop production. Parameters such as soil type, climatic conditions, crop type, compost quality, rate, timing, and application methods will determine the crop’s success with the compost application. Farmers/growers can use compost as a soil conditioner or nutrient source to supplement the crop fertility program. Nevertheless, compost will improve soil quality and fertilizer use, improving crop production systems’ performance.