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Photos courtesy Overton Environmental Enterprises Inc. Shedding Light on Engineered COMPOST TEAS By Dale Overton, B.Sc. O ver the past decade, turfgrass managers have been introduced to a new line of biologically based products. One of these products is compost tea, which is broadly defined as ‘a liquid extract of compost.’ Compost tea has been heavily criticized and labelled by many industry professionals as ‘snake oil.’ As is the case with many emerging technologies, minimal scientific data, a lot of hype, lack of quality control, and user knowledge has led to this reputation. This article will provide insight and credibility to engineered compost teas and the rationale for incorporating them and their efficacy in a turfgrass management program. Not all are the same Not all compost is created equal and the same can be said for compost tea. Engineered compost teas (ECTs) are made from high- quality diversified ingredients, which are subject to various quality control/assurance procedures. The point of incorporating an ECT into a management program is to reintroduce and inoculate leaves and rootzones with a multitude of plant beneficial organisms. 26 March 2014 CG_Mar2014.indd 26 2/26/14 2:00 PM