Perdue Moves Forward With Poultry Litter Composting

A Delmarva Farmer article (2017-11-03) reported that Perdue AgriBusiness has invested $12 million in a new composting facility for poultry litter at its Perdue AgriRecycle facility near Seaford, Delaware. Composting represents a new approach to poultry litter disposal, which has traditionally heated and pelletized into fertilizer. As the article explained, composting uses less energy, causes less wear on processing machinery, can treat larger volumes of poultry waste, and creates a smaller environmental footprint than pelletizing. From the article:

“Sixteen years ago [pelletizing] was state-of-the-art technology. We take a continuous look at technologies. There are any number of technologies for alternate uses of poultry litter. We’re looking for commercially viable technologies with which we don’t end up with an additional by-product,” [Perdue Farms Director of Corporate Communications Joe Forsthoffer] continued. …

Composting has the advantage of reducing the energy required to convert the raw poultry litter to a marketable product, and uses a biological process rather than mechanical.

Composting also expands the capability to handle other poultry byproducts — not only litter, but hatchery waste and the fat and blood nutrients from processing plant waste water which used to be land applied. …

“[Our poultry compost] is a very stable product,” [Perdue AgriBusiness Vice President of Ag Services Scott] Raubenstine continued. “There are 12 specs we must hit before we sell it. We feel it is the best in the country, and this is the cleanest facility in the country.”

The article also explained Perdue’s composting process and stated that the entire process takes 60-70 days. The article noted that the composting facility is now fully operational and the poultry compost is being tested both locally and in New York.