In 2011 Tropical Storm Irene destroyed Dave McCullough’s farm fields in Bethel, Vermont. The White River flooded the field and stripped the native loam off a fourteen-acre farm field, leaving rocks, sand and gravel in its place. Once the debris was cleared, rebuilding the organic matter content in the field became a priority.
With a tight budget, limited options for replacing the lost topsoil and needing the hay crop from the field, Dave McCullough was open to considering non-traditional restoration options. Dave began to consider amending the “soil” left in the wake of the flood as a viable starting point, but needed proven soil amendments to work with.
RMI presented a cost-effective way to restore the organic matter—and the associated water holding capacity and erosion resistance—to the flood damaged field. Dave McCullough blended Paper Fiber, as a source of organic matter, with Biosolids, a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, prior to spreading it on his field. By pre-blending and then land applying the products, Dave was able to incorporate enough organic matter to begin restoring topsoil in his fields, while providing sufficient plant-available nitrogen for his crops. This project was initiated in the spring of 2013 and the benefits will be realized beginning with the first growing season.