Grants help take rich poultry litter to crop farmers

ARKANSAS - The dusty work of cleaning out chicken houses and trucking poultry litter from Jeff Smith’s farm near Hiwasse eventually will contribute to the growth of wheat, corn and soybeans on a farm near Welch, Okla.

Manure-rich litter from other Northwest Arkansas poultry farms is being sent to fertilize hay pastures near Charleston and to make the rice crop better on farms near Pocahontas.

More poultry litter is being shipped out of protected watersheds in both Northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. It’s Sheri Herron’s job to coordinate transfer of poultry litter out of the Illinois River and Eucha-Spavinaw watersheds in both states. Herron is director of BMPs Inc., a nonprofit corporation created by poultry companies in 2003 to assist in the effort.

Similar work occurs in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and other states where a concentration of poultry farms has led to pollution of nearby waterways. But the idea of trucking litter out of watersheds is in its infancy in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

calendar icon 17 October 2005
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