Use of Conventional Poultry Manure by Organic Farmers
Define the conditions, under which conventional poultry manure can be used by organic farmers under NPOP, Govt. of India and NOP, USDA.
Organic farming requires (almost) closed nutrient cycles and optimum use of natural resources, including mechanisms like biological nitrogen fixation.
On the other hand, unlike certain areas, where the soil is reasonably fertile and good animal husbandry also exists among organic producers, organic growers in other parts of India do not sufficient animals for the organic matter. In some regions, poultry manure is the only dung with good nutrient contents, which is commercially available in major quantities.
Normative framework :
NPOP: Appendix 1
Compost made from any carbon-based residues (animal excrement including poultry) is restricted.
Terms, clarifications, abbreviations :
- “Restricted” means that the conditions and the procedure for use shall be set by the certification programme. Factors such as contamination, risk of nutritional imbalances and depletion of natural resources shall be taken into consideration.
- Factory farming (ADITI interpretation): Factory farming does not respect the minimum requirements on animal welfare.
- Intensive husbandry: Forms of rearing, which do not fulfil the criteria for “extensive”, but unlike factory farming safeguard the minimum requirements of animal welfare.
- Extensive husbandry: since not clearly defined for poultry, ADITI interprets ―extensive poultry production‖ as follows: only free range rearing in small scale, for home consumption or local sale.
- Composting: Aerobic decomposition of organic waste, during which humic substance concentration increases and C/N ratio decreases. A minimum humidity is required for composting, thus dried manure cannot be accepted as “composted”. For proper composting with low nutrient losses, among others a high initial C/N ratio is required. This can be obtained only, when poultry manure is mixed with materials rich in C, like sawdust or straw. Depending on climatic conditions and previous decomposition inside the stable, minimum composting time varies between two and six months.
Poultry manure from extensive husbandry:
- Only manure from extensive/organic animal husbandry, according to the definition above, may be used uncomposted.
Minimum Requirements For poultry manure from intensive husbandry:
- The NPOP criteria on organic input assessment and approval may be used to assess and approve the product.
- Composted poultry manure may be used from intensive farming, if the following minimum criteria are fulfilled (i.e. such production is not regarded as factory farming):
- No animals in cages.
- No landless operations.
- No use of highly fluorized aromatic substances as antibiotics.
- No regular preventive, only occasional therapeutic use of coccidistatics.
- Latest use of insecticides or acaricides at least 5 months before application of the manure on the field.
- The manure must not be disinfected with formaldehyde or potentially harmful disinfectants.
- Not more than 30 kg broiler chickens/m2, i.e. 12 animals per m2 for broiler chicken in the last fattening period or the corresponding number of animals for a younger stage.
- Not more than 9 laying hens/m2
- Floor needs to be covered with straw or another appropriate material.
- The stables have to receive light, if there is artificial light, the animals must have a night dark break of at least 6 hours.
- Application of poultry manure or other manures from external sources may not exceed 100 kg N/ha/year.
- The operation has to prove in their fertilisation planning that they are making serious efforts to reduce external fertiliser inputs. Except in well arguable cases, the external nutrient input from poultry manure should not exceed 50% of the total N requirement of the crop.
- The poultry unit has to be inspected. In case of different suppliers, representative farms of each type/size need to be visited.
- All important information on animal husbandry and manure production has to be gathered, covering all the above listed minimum requirements for animal protection and manure production/application. The findings have to be described in the inspection report (or internal reports).
- In critical cases, samples of the poultry manure must be taken for analysis.