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Soil Scientist Honored by Research Agency / February 13, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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National news release

Story about Moore's research


Soil Scientist Honored by Research Agency

By Jim Core
February 13, 2002

BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 13, 2002--Philip A. Moore, Jr., a soil scientist with the Agricultural Research Service, has been named the “Southern Plains Area Senior Research Scientist of 2001" for the agency. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency. ARS’ Southern Plains Area includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Moore, based at the ARS Poultry Production and Products Safety Research Unit, Fayetteville, Ark., is being honored for his internationally recognized leadership in developing manure additives and phosphorus indices that have solved major agricultural problems and reduced environmentally adverse affects of manure application.

“Dr. Moore was responsible for conceptualizing the basic hypothesis that alum would reduce ammonia emissions and bind excess phosphorus in animal manures,” said Edward B. Knipling, ARS acting administrator. “He personally conducted or led research to establish the facts. His alum technology is already being widely used in poultry production in this country, and this use will surely increase dramatically in the years to come.”

Moore has worked for ARS since 1992. He also is an adjunct professor at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas.

Knipling will present a plaque to Moore at a 1 p.m. ceremony today at the agency’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville (Md.) Agricultural Research Center. Moore and other award winners will also receive cash awards and additional research funding.

Moore discovered that alum (aluminum sulfate) reduces ammonia vapor into the air and binds phosphorus when applied to poultry litter. When litter is treated with alum, studies found that ammonia levels in chicken houses drop and result in healthier and heavier broilers. This practice saves the poultry industry as much as $10 million a year. In 1998, Moore received an ARS Outstanding Individual Effort in Technology Transfer award for these findings.

The alum treatments also reduced the amount of phosphorus runoff from lands fertilized with poultry litter. Fields fertilized with manure can cause excessive algal blooms in nearby bodies of water because of the high amounts of phosphorus in the manure that can flow into the waterways.

Recently, Moore and cooperators developed an index to calculate the risk of phosphorus runoff from fields fertilized with manure. Nutrient management personnel can now use the index as an assessment tool validated with hard data and extensive testing.

Moore has published more than 220 publications and holds six patents, with several additional patents pending.

A native of El Dorado, Ark., Moore received his B.S. in soil science from the University of Arkansas in 1978 and his M.S. there in agronomy in 1981. He received a Ph.D. in marine sciences with a minor in agronomy from Louisiana State University in 1987. Afterwards, Moore was a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Florida and an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas.

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Last Modified: 2/13/2002
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