Conservation Matters June 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Poultry Litter Field Day set for July 10 in Riesel

Poultry Litter Field Day set for July 10 in RieselManagement of poultry litter will be the focus of a field day to be held July 10 at Riesel High School, 600 E. Frederick St. in Riesel.

The field day is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and the Texas A&M University Poultry Science Department. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided by the Texas Poultry Federation. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with presentations to start at 8:30 a.m.

Poultry production has expanded significantly in Central in Texas in recent years, said Matt Brown, TWRI program assistant.

“Poultry litter—the combination of bedding material and manure—is a great source of plant nutrients,” Brown said. “However, if improperly managed, litter removed from these poultry facilities and applied to the land can represent a threat to water quality through bacterial and nutrient runoff from these fields.”

Certain best management practices can reduce the environmental impacts of poultry litter, he said.

Brown said program attendees will learn about in-house windrow composting, a management strategy used by commercial poultry producers to reduce pathogenic microorganisms in litter.

Presentations also will address the economic and environmental impacts of poultry litter application, bacteria found in poultry litter, the effect of composting on litter nutrient levels and odor, spreader calibration and litter application, and various additional litter management practices.

“Attendees need to come prepared to travel, because following the presentations participants will see a demonstration of the windrow process at the Agricultural Research Service Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory located a few miles from the high school,” he said.

The group will return to the high school for lunch. An agenda and more information can be found at

Holders of Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicator licenses will be offered two continuing education units in the general category. RSVP by July 8 to Shane McLellan, AgriLife Extension agent for McLennan County, at 254.757.5180 or

The In-House Windrow Composting of Poultry Litter project is managed by TWRI and is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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