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Hangzhou Foods
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NY9406 Downy Mildew on seedlings - factsheet
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Summer Root Rot in Parsley
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Vegetable Disease Program
Vegetable Diseases in Australia
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VG00013 Leek Diseases
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VG00031 Peas - downy mildew & collar rot
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VG00044 Clubroot - Applicator design
VG00044 Clubroot - Chemical control
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VG00044 Clubroot - Nutritional amendments
VG00044 Clubroot - Strategic application
VG00044 Clubroot – Introduction
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VG00044 Clubroot – Prevention & Hygiene
VG00044 Clubroot – Understanding Risk
VG00044 Total Clubroot Management
VG00048 Alternate fungicides for sclerotinia control
VG00048 Brassica green manure conference paper 2004
VG00048 Brassica Green Manure Update 16
VG00048 Brassica Green Manure Update 18
VG00048 Diallyl Disulphide - DADS - trials
VG00048 Lettuce - Sclerotinia biocontrol
VG00048 Lettuce Sclerotina - Biocontrols
VG00058 Pea - Collar Rot
VG00069 Cucumber & Capsicum diseases
VG00084 Beetroot for Processing
VG01045 Bunching Vegetables - disease control
VG01049 Compost - Benefits
VG01049 Compost - Choosing a Supplier
VG01049 Compost - Getting Started
VG01049 Compost - Introduction
VG01049 Compost - Safe Use
VG01049 Safe Use of Poultry Litter
VG01082 Broccoli Adjuvant Poster
VG01082 Broccoli Head Rot
VG01096 Article - White Rot research
VG01096 Integrated Control of Onion White Rot
VG01096 Poster - Alternative fungicides
VG01096 Poster - Diallyl Disulphide - DADS
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VG01096 White Rot - Spring Onions
VG02020 Capsicum - Sudden Wilt
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VG02105 Vegetable Seed Dressing Review
VG02118 White Blister
VG03003 Lettuce - Varnish Spot
VG03092 Lettuce - Shelf Life
VG03100 Retailing Vegetables - Broccolini®
VG04010 Maximising returns from water
VG04012 Hydroponic lettuce - root rot
VG04013 Brassica White Blister
VG04013 White Blister - Control Strategies
VG04013 White Blister - Race ID
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VG04013 White Blister - Symptoms
VG04013 White Blister - Workshop Notes
VG04014 Better Brassica
VG04014 better brassica - roadshow model
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VG04014 Clubroot Guidebook
VG04014 Clubroot Poster
VG04015 Benchmarking water use
VG04016 Celery leaf blight - Poster
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VG04019 Nitrate & Nitrite in Leafy Veg
VG04021 Vegetable Seed Treatment
VG04025 Parsley Root Rot
VG04059 Diagnostic test kits
VG04061 White Blister - alternative controls
VG04061 White Blister - Workshop 2007
VG04062 Beetroot Study Tour
VG04067 IPM - Lettuce Aphid
VG05007 Onion White Rot - post plant fungicides
VG05008 IPM - Cultural Controls
VG05014 IPM - Native vegetation pt1
VG05044 IPM - Consultants Survey
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VG05044 IPM - Lettuce Aphid Trials
VG05044 IPM - Lettuce Disease Poster
VG05044 IPM - Predatory Mites
VG05044 IPM - Project Summary
VG05045 Parsnip Canker
VG05051 Climate Change
VG05053 Rhubarb Viruses
VG05068 Baby Leaf Salad Crops
VG05073 Mechanical Harvesting
VG05090 Green Bean - Sclerotinia
VG05090 Rhizoctonia Groups
VG06014 Revegetation for thrip control
VG06024 IPM - Native vegetation pt2
VG06046 Parsley Root Rot
VG06047 Celery - Septoria Predictive Model
VG06066 LOTE Grower Communications
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VG06087 IPM - Toxicity testing
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VG06092 Pathogens - Gap Analysis
VG06092 Pathogens of Importance - poster
VG06140 Beetroot - colour quality
VG07010 Systemic aquired resistance
VG07015 Curcubit field guide
VG07070 Conference Notes 2008
VG07070 Foliar diseases
VG07070 Nitrogen & lettuce diseases
VG07070 Predicting Downy Mildew on Lettuce
VG07070 White Blister - Chinese Cabbage
VG07070 White Blister - Cultural Controls
VG07070 Workshop Notes - 2008
VG07070 Workshop Notes - 2010
VG07125 IPM - soilborne diseases
VG07126 Biofumigation oils for white rot
VG07126 New approaches to sclerotina
VG07127 White Blister - Alternative Controls
VG08020 Optimising water & nutrient use
VG08026 Pythium - field day
VG08026 Pythium - workshop 2010
VG08026 Pythium control strategies - overview
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint - workshop
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 1 - definitions
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VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 3 - calculators
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 4 - estimate
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 5 - users
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 6 - options
VG08426 Parsnip - Pythium Notes 2010
VG09086 Evaluation of Vegetable Washing
VG09159 Grower Study Tour- Spring Onions & Radish
VG96015 Carrot Crown Rot
VG96015 Carrot Defects - Poster
VG97042 Export - Burdock, Daikon and Shallots
VG97051 Pea - ascochyta rot
VG97064 Greenhouse Tomato and Capsicum
VG97084 Green Bean - white rot
VG97103 Celery Mosaic Virus
VG98011 Carrot - Cavity Spot
VG98048 Lettuce - Adapting to Change
VG98083 Lettuce - rots & browning
VG98085 GM Brassicas
VG98093 Microbial hazards - review
VG98093 Safe vegetable production
VG99005 Quality wash water
VG99008 Clubroot - rapid test
VG99016 Compost and Vegetable Production
VG99030 Globe Artichokes - value adding
VG99054 Onions - Theraputic Compounds
VG99057 Soil Health Indicators
VG99070 IPM - Celery
Victorian soil health
VN05010 Folicur - alternative carriers
VN05010 Onion White Rot - Fungicides
VN05010 Onion White Rot - summary
VX00012 Metalaxyl breakdown
VX99004 Clean & Safe Fresh Vegetables
Whitefly & Viruses
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Mail Box 111,
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542 Footscray Rd,
West Melbourne, VIC, 3003

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VG01049 Safe Use of Poultry Litter

For generations, vegetable growers have enjoyed the many advantages that poultry litter has to offer including

  • its soil-conditioning ability

  • slow and fast rate of nutrient release and trace elements

  • low cost and ease of application

However, in July 2001, the use of poultry litter in vegetable production was a contentious issue due to concerns about food safety and the possibility of litter contaminating crops.

It was known that litter contains bacteria that have the potential to cause human illness, such as Salmonella and contamination of lettuce with manure had been implicated as the cause of bacteriological food poisoning outbreaks.

Furthermore, glasshouse trials at the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria had shown that slight damage to vegetable plants could allow Escherichia coli to persist in the plant for at least three weeks.

It was not known at the time whether these bacteria could also survive on field grown crops.

While many growers were being discouraged from using poultry litter, the risk to human health was largely unknown.

The future of this practice was thought to be uncertain unless the risks to the community were known and strategies for reducing the risk were developed.

Authors
Kevin Wilkinson
Dean Harapas
Emily Tee
Bruce Tomkins
Robert Premier

VG01049 Safe use of Poultry litter - Fowl manure - Chicken manure - Compost
Download 222kb

Conclusions

Bacteriological testing on all 7 farms showed low E. coli counts and no Campylobacter or pathogenic Salmonella on any crops at harvest.

Litter deliveries were variable in E. coli counts and the presence of Salmonella .

No Campylobacter or Listeria was found in litter deliveries either.

Non-pathogenic Salmonella was found on a coriander crop that could be traced back to fresh litter that had been side-dressed 18 days prior to harvest.

The coriander field was only 50 metres away from the poultry litter stockpile. Contamination via rain, wind, turbulence from vehicles passing by and movement of litter for treatment of other fields may also have occurred.

Field and glasshouse trials showed that E. coli could persist longer on damaged Cos lettuce leaves than undamaged leaves when damage and contamination occurred close together.

If contamination was delayed until 3 days after the damage occurred, the survival of E.coli (measured three days after application) was similar to that of undamaged plants.

This result indicates that farm practices that may contaminate plants, such as side dressing with fresh litter, should not be done after practices or weather conditions that could cause minor injury to the plants.

Aging for 12 weeks and turning the heap was found to marginally improve the hygienic condition of poultry litter.

The process of aging occurs under sub-optimal conditions resulting in low rates of decomposition. Turning the heap is ineffective under these conditions because the progress of stabilisation is too slow to prevent continual re-contamination and persistence of pathogens on the outside edge of the pile.

An aging process is not equivalent to controlled composting which is characterised by rapid rates of decomposition achieved through stringent, documented process control.

Whilst controlled composting will undoubtedly produce the safest product from poultry litter, our results suggest that it is not necessary to recommend it for all applications.

However, in the medium term, poultry litter recycling is likely to come under closer state environment protection regulation to bring it in line with other organic recycling activities (e.g. green waste composting sites).

The likely result of this will be the establishment of controlled composting facilities for poultry litter.

To ensure that poultry litter will be a viable option for vegetable growers in the medium term, further studies are needed to develop poultry litter processing guidelines that meet QA and environment protection guidelines without causing detriment to its value as a fertiliser.

As composting will increase the cost of poultry litter, these studies are urgently needed to minimise the cost of processing and maximise the return for the grower.

Recommendations

  1. To avoid the risk of pathogens contaminating and persisting on crops, it is recommended that fresh litter should not be used as a side-dressing. Only fully composted poultry litter should be used for side-dressing.

  2. Whilst it has not been possible to determine the minimum distance required to prevent cross contamination, storage of litter as far away as possible from mature crops is recommended.

  3. Aged litter should not be regarded as equivalent to a fully composted product. Where fully composted litter is appropriate or desired, the supplier should demonstrate that it was produced under documented process control following established best practice and HACCP guidelines (e.g. AS 4454-1999.

  4. Develop processing guidelines for poultry litter that meet QA and environment protection guidelines without causing detriment to its value as a fertiliser.

Acknowlegements:

Peter Franz, Department of Primary Industries (Victoria), Knoxfield, for providing statistical advice for the persistence of enteric bacteria on leafy vegetable trials.

Dr Graham Hepworth, from the Statistical Consulting Centre at The University of Melbourne, for experimental design assistance, analysing data and providing statistical advice with regards to the persistence of enteric bacteria in poultry litter trials.

Francha Horlock, Janet Tragenza (Department of Primary Industries (Victoria), Knoxfield) and Iphie Papapetrou (Box Hill Institute, Victoria) for providing technical advice and assistance.

Agnes Tan and Nela Subasinghe from The Microbiological Diagnostic Unit, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Melbourne for microbial diagnostic advice and services.

Dr Barry Macauley from the Department of Microbiology at Latrobe University provided valuable assistance in the interpretation of the experiments examining the reduction and persistence of enteric bacteria during aging of poultry litter.

This work was funded by: Horticulture Australia Pty Ltd, Department of Primary Industries (Victoria) and the Australian Vegetable Growers through the AUSVEG levy with voluntary contributions from: VegFed (NZ), CL & AK Warlan, Lightowler Fowl Manure Pty Ltd, TD & EC Ould Pty Ltd


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