Horticultural Weed Barrier Mats From Dairy Manure

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2002: $8,800.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Matthew Freund
Freunds' Farm, Inc.


  • Agronomic: sunflower
  • Additional Plants: herbs, ornamentals
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, feasibility study, agricultural finance, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: row covers (for pests), sanitation
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    The use of plastic ground covers presents recycling and disposal challenges at the end of the growing season, and this project will explore developing manure-fiber-based paper products that can substitute for polyethylene. Trial manufacturing will include testing forming equipment and developing manure recipes using bulking and binding agents; the project will also support the nutrient management needs on a 230-cow dairy farm. The goal is to develop a prototype mat for evaluation and test marketing. Outreach will be through farm tours, news releases, the local dairy committee, and a web site.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.