By Matt Donald, pig & poultry producer, north Yorkshire
Following a recent depletion of poultry, we started the full clean down. Being all in all out means it gives us chance to get the whole site spotless. Equipment is removed, sheds are blown down and then we muck them out in house as everyone wants a change from collecting eggs. We manage to use some of poultry litter ourselves on arable land and the rest is sold to a neighbour; we are lucky to have such dry litter which helps with keeping haulage costs low.
As an industry we must continue to push the value of poultry litter, with precision applications onto growing crops, it is a great source of Nitrogen, Potassium, Sulphur and Phosphorus which can drastically reduce the need for manufactured product. Other demands for our ‘by-product’ can also be both anaerobic digestion and litter burning for generating green energy. All of these options are a fantastic example of reducing emissions and helping poultry farmers meet net zero targets.
For us specifically it is the value as a fertiliser and with compound nitrogen prices remaining nearly twice the price they were two years ago, poultry farms should be aiming for double the value of their manure over the two year period also. The P, K and S alone will more than cover spreading costs and a contribution towards haulage. Understandably, we all need good working relationships with neighbours and sometimes the value of them being there with trailers the day you want them, is worth far more than an extra pound or two per Tonne. Just make sure you achieve a reasonable value for this nutrient rich product we produce, after all it’s an added bonus at the end of a flock.