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Environment & Energy

How Does the PA Farm Show Get Rid of All That Manure? With Lot of Trucks

Thousands of dollars are heading out of the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg on pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and tractor trailer loads.

It’s the cost of getting rid of animal manure left in and around the Farm Show complex.

The job of orchestrating the process falls to Jim Sharp, show manager for the past 11 years.

He said as many as 28 tractor trailer loads will carry waste out of the complex, and all that manure is kept in separate piles based on the type of bedding used by the animals.

"If they’re using pine shavings, which is a dry wood product, that’ll go into a separate pile," Sharp said. "If they’re using a lot of straw, if they’re heavy in straw, that’ll go into a different pile. We also use bark mulch for beef cattle and that goes into a separate pile."

It’ll cost around $10,000 to haul away about 10 truckloads of bark mulch, which gets recycled.

Less than $1,000 is budgeted for getting rid of about two loads’ worth of pine wood shavings shipped to a landfill.

The soiled straw costs nothing, because it’s headed to southeastern Pennsylvania, where it’s a valuable fertilizer for mushroom farms.