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Chicken poop drives the yield up

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Sustainable Industries

A four tonne per Hectare Barley crop would make any farmer smile, but would you believe it’s in Gabbin and the only nutrient that’s been applied is composted Chicken Manure.

This is the result when Gabbin Farmer Rob Grylls ran a plot trial to test a new source of composted chicken manure.

Rob established several plots that he applied with three different treatments.  To the first he applied conventional fertiliser plus nitrogen, to the second he applied 60% conventional fertiliser, 40% chicken manure down the tube plus his own compost tea and nitrogen and to the third he broadcast only composted chicken manure at 500kg per hectare.

The conventional only plots yielded 1.5-2.5 tonne per hectare, the mixed organic and conventional plot yielded 2-3 tonne p/ha and the chicken manure only yielded 3-4 tonne p/ha.

Rob is however quick to qualify that there are different soil types across the plots so warns that people should not take the results simply at face value but he does make it clear that he is nevertheless pretty pleased with how the composted manure has performed.

“I was amazed by the response to the compost on the clay soil, but it makes sense because the compost helped store moisture which is clays most limiting factor.”

Wheatbelt NRM is working with Rob to share the experiences and outcomes of his compost trials with the wider community. Sign up to our ‘Farming if Focus’ newsgroup to find out more - http://wheatbeltnrm.org.au/farming-focus 

This project is supported by the ‘National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative.’

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