Fraser River - Waste not
Poultry manure is recycled into non-polluting pellets
The effort to clean up the Fraser River has yielded some unusual solutions to
Testing near the agricultural area around Abbotsford in the lower Fraser valley revealed
that the groundwater contains too high a level of nitrates. Heavy use of poultry manure
by berry growers was found to be a major source of groundwater pollution.
Ceasing the production of berries or poultry would not be a workable solution. Berry
crops account for more than seven percent of farm income in the lower mainland area
of British Columbia, while poultry accounts for another 21 percent. Growers have been
urged to reduce their use of fertilizer by adjusting it scientifically to the actual
need of the soil. Poultry producers were given a new market for bird manure.
Bird manure is treated to remove disease-causing organisms and odour. The manure is
then pressed into pellets to be sold as an ingredient of commercial fertilizer.
Another potential market for this manure lies in the recycling of it into cattle feed.
The digestive systems of poultry are inefficient and expel valuable nutrients in the
birds' manure. Processed poultry manure is used as a cattle feed in the United States,
but not yet in Canada.
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