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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:09 am 
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Location: Odenville,Alabama
I'm been experimenting this summer and fall, with using 50 lb bags of cottonseed meal and fish meal in all my soil building, composting, and tea brewing experiments. The local farm supply stores tell me that the main use of cottonseed meal to their customers is for feeding extra protein to their cattle and horse customers. The fish meal is sold as catfish food products.

I have used the catfish food products a lot, but the smell is pretty funky (if not covered or mulched correctly), when it goes anaerobic on the soil or in water, or not totally decomposed in a composting method.

I've also observed that the catfish feeds attract lots of pesty maggots to on the soil. However if I bury it under leaves or other mulches, it's ok. Of course in a compost pile, it is never smelly nor does it ever attract pesty maggots.

Cottonseed meal has no smell at all, nor does it attract maggots. Far as available protein level, I don't know if cottonseed meal is "better" than the catfish feeds.

I know some ultra-organic folks hate regular animal feed grade cottonseed meals because of the high pesticides and herbicides residuals in the product. However since I'm a big ACT brewing, and dry molasses fanatic, I've never noticed any serious anti-microbial or earthworm-killing effects from using lots of cottonseed meal this summer and fall.

What is your input about using regular animal-feed grade cottonseed meal products vs. fish meal products in these type of sustainable gardening experiments?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:56 pm 
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I know most soil experts consider cottonseed meal to be a very acidic fertilizer/soil amendment.

However since compost buffers soil pH, if you use lots of mature compost in your soil, or lots of undone compost as a thick mulch on your soil, isn't the acidic effects of cottonseed meal just bogus to totally sustainable farmers?

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William Cureton


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