Final Report for FNE97-186
Bob Walker was farm manager at the Triform Camp Hill community in Hudson, New York. The idea of his project was to try several methods of preventing leaching and ammonia volatilization losses of nutrients from cow manure.
Bob placed straw on the floor of his barn, and regularly added more throughout the winter of 1997-98. In one part of the barn he supplemented this with peatmoss, to absorb the cow droppings, and in another part soil. Gypsum was also added, at various rates, to both areas, in order to immobilize ammonia as ammonium sulfate. The piles of manure were to be removed in the spring, composted, and covered with geotextile. He then meant to conduct chemical assays of the variously treated composts, and assess them according to plant response (lettuce) and rates of nutrient release.
Bob tells me that in the spring of 1998 the farm hands inadvertently mixed the different treatments together, in the process of cleaning out the barn. Bob had meant to start the experiment over again from scratch, the following winter, but he evidently quit and moved away from the Camp Hill community instead.