Part 1: Wool Pellets Open a New Market for Sheep Producer

Part 1: Wool Pellets Open a New Market for Sheep Producer

Lorrie Boyer
Lorrie Boyer
Reporter
Today marks the beginning of a two-part series featuring Croydon, Utah sheep producer Albert Wilde, who has carved out a unique niche with his sheep operation and wool. Seven years ago, Wilde started pelletizing waste wool from his sheep to create organic fertilizer, targeting markets such as greenhouses and direct-to-consumer gardening. This niche business has an intriguing origin story.

“I was making compost, and my wife was like, is there some in or some way that you could make it so I wouldn't have to water my plants as often on our porch. And she was kind of thinking of a drip irrigation system that I didn't even think of that I was just like, oh, well, we've got wastewater and wools water so I went and grabbed some of the fleece and put it around your plants. We were able to go on vacation for seven days that summer, come home, no one had watered the plants and they still looked fantastic. So then we started looking to see how we can make it more usable for you know, for anyone because for my experience, it was way too hard just to take you know, it's 40-some trees and stuff in the soil. So a friend of mine had a pellet mill and I asked him and he said Yeah, bring the wool down and we'll try and validate it, and like Okay, so that's kind of how we got going.”

During the initial trial with greenhouses, Wilde found that the wool pellets when added the potted plants expand and require less wool while still retaining the same amount of moisture. He realized that perlite could be eliminated because the wool provides the necessary porosity.

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