Improving Poultry Litter as a Fertilizer. And…?
A few years ago, a major soft drink brand ran an entire ad campaign cleverly promoting the imaginary, multiplied benefits of their zero-calorie beverage. The ads featured a young man who, by drinking their soft drink experiences incredible results in various aspects of his life. How? By refusing to be satisfied with any one great thing. The beverage supposedly teaches him to demand more. Always look for the “AND”!
While this sounds enticing, it is not always reasonable, that is, unless you have a truly great product. Litter Life keeps answering the bell, proving again and again to be that truly great product, and its benefits are real, not imaginary.
- Lower ammonia levels? Certainly!…and?
- Significantly fewer diseases and bacteria?Absolutely!…and?
- Drier floors? Obviously!...and?
- All natural, organic, and environmentally responsible? Wow!…and?
Shouldn’t this be enough from one product? Southland Organics doesn’t think so.
When you choose Litter Life, you get superior birds grown in a superior environment, and…you get a litter that is richer in nitrogen for those farmers that count on you for a quality fertilizer on their fields. That’s right! Southland Organics’ Litter Life significantly reduces nitrogen loss in your litter, even while reducing the ammonia. That sounds too good to be true. Right?
Let’s check the science:
To continually improve and to further understand the chemical and biological benefits of Litter Life we desired to perform a leachate study on poultry litter treated with Litter Life. Leachate is water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents. Think of your morning coffee running through coffee grounds. This study is important to us for several reasons: to understand that we were improving the local groundwater environments by eliminating runoff and pollution, to understand the nutritional value added to the treated litter for future use as a fertilizer.
This past spring we contracted IAS Labs and Agronomist Sheri McLane to perform the leachate test. We knew what we had witnessed again and again from Litter Life, but we wanted the hard data to back the success our growers have been experiencing. The results were as we expected - great!
"the extra application from Litter Life was able to reduce nitrate loss from leaching by 45%. Litter Life greatly reduced nitrate leaching."
~ Sheri McLane, Agronomist
First off let's see what we were measuring, Ammonium and Nitrate. To understand the results we need to understand the two forms of nitrogen.
Ammonium is a highly volatile compound that is very pH sensitive. At a pH of 7.2 or higher, it converts to ammonia gas and volatilizes into the atmosphere. As a poultry farmer, you understand this all too well. Considering the natural litter pH in a broiler house ranges between 9 and 10! (http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1199/ANR-1199.pdf) The rationale conclusion is that ammonium converts to ammonia gas at all natural stages and will not be present in leachate.
Nitrates are what we are seeking for use as a fertilizer. Nitrates are ammonium that has been oxidized by microbes into plant ready food. Litter Life excels by converting ammonia into fertilizer and holding it in the litter
"The application of Litter Life significantly reduced the leaching for nitrates when compared to . . . no Litter Life." The astonishing result is that Litter Life treated litter released a mere 11.2ppm Nitrate higher than a mineral clay soil!
You are a poultry farmer, not a litter farmer. You’re growing birds, not grass. However, it is likely there is a farmer whose family may be counting on you to provide a top-quality litter for their fields, and now we have the scientific proof to show what we have seen and heard from our growers. The positive effects of our Litter Life continue to manifest themselves. It continues to do you what need...AND so much more!
It is common knowledge that traditional litter treatments always come with exceptions...the but. Sure, they offer a very temporary control for your ammonia issues, but…well, you already know the buts. Litter Life, on the other hand, keeps performing as the AND product, which keeps you performing as the AND farmer.
Want to read the full lab report?
Also in Poultry Farmer Resources: Biosecurity in Poultry
Ever thought much about poop? Yes, that's right—poop. Your chickens' poop, that is. What comes out of your birds is just as important as what goes in, and it's time for their poop to start getting the attention it deserves...