Farm Duckweed Harvesting

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2007: $8,519.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:


  • Animals: poultry, swine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, tissue analysis
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement

    Proposal summary:

    The goal of this project is to see if harvesting duckweed from a small farm pond can reduce soluble nitrate and phosphorus in runoff water and, at the same time, serve as an animal and poultry feed supplement.

    The project coordinator operates JJJ Farms near Kingston, raising pork marketed into a “no-crate, no-confinement” market niche, with a secondary market in poultry. In the 1-acre pond, planted and protected for wildlife habitat with vegetative filter strips to protect the pond, optimum conditions will be created for growing duckweed, which will be harvested, weighed and fed to the pigs and poultry. Pond bottom aeration diffusers will keep the nitrate and phosphorus in solution and push the duckweed to the surface for easier harvesting.

    The pond water will be tested for changes in soluble nitrate and phosphorus and the harvested duckweed assessed for nutritional value for the animals.

    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.