Butcher Waste Composting for Field Fertility

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2007: $13,750.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: manure management, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: municipal wastes, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Soil Management: composting, organic matter

    Proposal summary:

    Recent closing of all rendering facilities in Oregon has created serious problems for rural areas that do not have an alternative means of disposing of butcher waste. In this Farmer/Rancher grant, project coordinators Ross and Kelly McGarva plan to establish an effective compost system that will solve the dilemma not only for butcher waste but for the chip and sawdust waste from a local lumber mill. In the first year, the project intends to mix approximately 60 tons of butcher waste and 240 tons of wood waste to test four methods of composting. The second year will focus on perfecting the composting method found to be most effective and applying the composted material to around 40 acres of alkaline soils that are low in fertility and productivity. The project will divert a waste stream from the local landfill, poorly equipped to handle butcher waste, and provide a useful soil amendment.

    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.