Nutrient Management
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Smotherman Farmsí program for litter management is to de-cake between each flock removing 450 cubic yards of material each flock and to completely clean-out at the end of the 10th flock.  This program yields 4500 cubic yards of de-cake litter and approximately 5000 cubic yards of clean-out material. 

  Smotherman Farms has a trade-out agreement with a local farmer/rancher, David Ballew, to handle and spread the de-cake litter.  David operates 1000+ acres of farm land used for grazing, hay production and small grain production.  David applies the de-cake litter primarily to his irrigated pastures where he produces 4 to 6 cuttings/year of improved costal Bermuda grasses.  David and I closely monitor the application of the litter through soil sampling and testing.  Below is an example of the soil testing reports of the sites that have had Smotherman Farmsí de-cake litter applied to them. David maintains the equipment necessary for hauling and spreading of the material.  The material is removed from the farm site at virtually the same time it is being removed from the poultry houses. The bi-annual cleanout material is removed and sold to Dr. Gobbler, Inc. (formerly MiDa Bio, LLC.). Dr. Gobbler is a 3rd party vendor/spin-off of the Cargill company operation.

Smotherman Farms was awarded EQIP funding from the NRCS to build a litter storage facility.  The NRCS has approved building specifications and plans for this facility and construction is to be scheduled.  This facility will safely allow the material to be stored onsite while it is awaiting removal.

In March/2005 we purchased and installed a dual-burner incinerator to dispose of mortality at both of the owned farms.  Previously we had used composting to handle the mortality at the grow-out and an anaerobic in-ground digester at the brood farm.  While composting is still an acceptable method of disposal, we felt that incineration provided the most sanitary method of disposal.  Our farms had been fighting several years of Turkey Corona Virus and it made sense to completely remove the possibility of re-infection from the composting facility.  Another benefit from the incinerator installation was a major reduction in the varmint and scavenger population around the farms, another possible disease vector.

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               Last modified: April 19, 2008