Tribune-Courier features editor
Doug and Dianna Hall, owners of the WP Ranch, have found a way to recycle the chicken manure produced by chickens in their four poultry houses. They began looking into the idea of composting their chicken manure about three years ago and according to Lincoln Martin, Marshall County Extension Agent, “They haven’t looked back since.”
After numerous hours of research and trial and error, the Halls are officially selling their final product, Composted Soil Amendment. The process of making the composted soil amendment consists of taking the chicken manure, blending it with water and wood chips, turning it every three days and six to nine months later the final product is ready. The composted soil amendment is made for any types of house plants, gardens and lawns.
“It’s a sustainable process and it’s good for our soil, tries to improve our soil and to stop the erosion. It also makes healthier plants.” Dianna Hall explains, “If we put time and effort to plant our garden without improving our soils, we’re just wasting our efforts, and we come up with diseased plants, unhealthy and unproductive plants.”
The composted soil amendment builds and repairs soil as well as feeds plants. The final product is odor-neutral, pathogen-free and as far as the Halls know it does not harm any pets.
Doug and Dianna opened up the WP, Wing and Prayer, Ranch, LLC in 2000. The family owned and operated farm is located in Benton. Along with their new Composted Soil Amendment, the ranch also produces nearly 15,000 bales of quality bermudagrass hay each year.
Doug Hall is a 2007 graduate of Murray State University with a degree in Agriculture Science and has been a grower for Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation since 2000. Doug began commercially growing bermudagrass hay in 2007 with 30 acres of hay fields, expanding to 50 acres in 2009.
Dianna is a 2010 graduate of Murray State University with a Master’s Degree in Agriculture Science. She has been an avid gardener as well as an environmental, wildlife, and farming advocate for nearly 35 years.
The Composted Soil Amendment is available at three locations, Marshall County Co-op in Benton, Beans To Blossoms in Murray and Phelps Farm Store in Paducah. It is also available on their website, wpranch.mycafecommerce.com.