June 22, 1999 | By: Mark Eclov
Lexington, KY

Poultry litter is a valuable nutrient if applied in the right amounts and in the correct manner. With six major poultry production companies now contracting with over 500 Kentucky producers, a lot of that natural resource is now being produced within the state.

Kentucky farmers generating and/or using this resource are being urged to participate in an environmental stewardship program offered by the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with the Kentucky Poultry Federation and the State Department of Agriculture.

"Our educational task force's goal is to have all producers finish their water quality act plan as well as learn about the proper application of this natural resource," said Tony Pescatore, Extension poultry specialist in the UK College of Agriculture.

A four-hour program is being offered to all producers contracting with the six major poultry production companies in Western Kentucky. Producers who are currently using the litter for fertilizer may also participate.

The training session offers a wide range of useful production tips. Producers will get information on how to identify environmentally sensitive areas on their farm and develop a plan to protect those areas.

The program also includes sessions on proper nutrient and PH levels, the steps used in determining how much litter should be applied in a given year and ways to cut down on runoff, volatilisation and odor problems.

"We will also provide specific information such as how to calibrate spreaders and even touch on such human issues as helping producers to develop good communications with their neighbors to address concerns before they become unmanageable problems," said Pescatore.

The training sessions have been underway for a few months and will continue until all appropriate producers have been offered a chance to participate. Pescatore expected follow-up training sessions to be offered after the initial training has been completed.

County Cooperative Extension offices in Western Kentucky, especially in areas with producers currently contracting with major poultry firms, will have additional information on the remaining training session offerings.

Contact: 

Writer: Mark Eclov Phone: (606) 257-7223 meclov@ca.uky.edu

Source: Tony Pescatore Phone: (606) 257-7529 apescatore@ca.uky.edu