WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Research recently received increased funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its ongoing Organic Waste Utilization Project. The increase of $74,939 brings the award total to $145,798.
The new funding will focus on research for removing and/or reducing the main obstacle affecting the marketability of compost, which is excessive salt content in the compost. Research will explore manipulations in composting method and of compost contents for their influences in the reduction of salinity in organic-waste based compost. The finished compost product could provide a more marketable product to agricultural-based industries, the landscaping industry, and the N.M. Highway Department. This could result in reducing cost barriers that currently exist in composted dairy waste due to product quality-related issues. Ongoing projects, conducted by Dr. Flynn of the Artesia Plant Research Center , will continue studying removal of nitrates by plants at depth and effects of dairy derived compost on agricultural land.