Maneuvering manure as Pa. Farm Show packs up

    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.

    As the 98th farm show comes to a close Saturday, the job of orchestrating the process falls to Jim Sharp, show manager for 11 years.

    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, he said.

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

    It will cost about $10,000 to haul away about 10 truckloads of bark mulch, which will then be recycled.

    Less than a thousand dollars 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.

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