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Raleigh Offers New Product to Help Local Farmers Flourish

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RALEIGH — About 35 million gallons of wastewater flows into Raleigh's wastewater treatment facility every day. A product made from the treatment process is now being offered to local farmers.

"It's the combination of thebiomass, the bacteria, the bio solids that we use in the treatment plant to actually clean the wastewater," says Marc Fender, of theRaleigh Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city held a field day Friday to let farmers know about the resource.

"We are trying to get the word out that we have this product. It's beneficial to a community," says Fender.

The main value to farmers is the lime, or alkaline properties, in the product, which improves a crop's ability to take up and use fertilizer more effectively. Plus, most Wake County soils need lime.

"We look at soil samples, for example. Two-thirds of the people who are pulling soil samples need lime, because the lime is below 6.0. So everyone out there who is farming needs lime from time to time," says Wayne Batten, Wake County Ag Agent.

Area farmers have experimented with the product already.

"We have seen tremendous increases in yields in crops that we grow by using this product," says Byron Kirk, a Wake County farmer.

Raleigh Plus is extremely inexpensive at only $3 a ton.

"With the farm economy the way it is now, every little bit helps. I would recommend this to other farmers and producers of different filed crops," says Kirk.

Officials say the public can also use the Raleigh Plus.

The wastewater plant generates about 30 tons of Raleigh Plus each day, but much of it is used on the 1000-acre farm operated by the plant.

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Dan Wilkinson, Reporter
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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