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Forum features local composting

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 11:45 a.m. CDT

The Rock River Open Forum will host a discussion about farm composting and sustainability at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Rock Falls Public Library. 

Guests include Mr. Alan Dale, who farms near Walnut, and owns and operates Rare Earth Diversified Systems, which provides compost for his 2,500-acre grain farm, and also for commercial sale. He will show some slides of his operation and explain his experience and expertise in 15 years of composting.

Mr. Dale obtained a composting permit in 2001, allowing him to combine pig manure, crop residue, and yard waste from local sources, with no odor complaints. Yields are up and fertilizer costs are down. He attended University of Illinois College of Agriculture and has worked as a worldwide instructor for Midwest Bio-Systems (manufacturer of composting equipment) in Tampico, and has managed projects in South America and other countries. He is past president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Go to for interesting information.

Also contributing will be representatives of Pfundstein Farms, a family operation near Sterling that custom-feeds 2,500 head of beef plus 500 head of their own, and who have been composting manure and bedding for several years.

Assuming composting is good, how can we encourage it locally? (Note: Prairie Hill Recycling and Landfill, Morrison, sends its yard waste to DeKalb for composting.) We are pleased to have such expert guests. Local farmers and concerned citizens are urged to attend.

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