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Chicken Poo

Richard Bruton

Senior Member
Watching Country File this evening and they are saying there is something of a crisis in agriculture currently due to the prices of fertiliser rocketing (Russia being one of the major producers).

One enterprising farm who has several thousand chickens is using chicken muck instead. Looks like we have our solution to the Wye issue if the right people start talking to each other!
 

David Craine

Senior Member
The solution has always been there, it is just that it is easier to “dump “ the waste than invest in the hardware and create an infrastructure of our own that uses the natural fertilizer that is a by product of a cash crop anyway.

One thing that did occur to me is that we buy in lots of grain etc to feed the chickens, where does that come from ?

David.

BTW . I do not watch Country File, certain presenters get on my wick so its easier to switch the idiot box off .

David.
 

Damian Kimmins

Senior Member
Watching Country File this evening and they are saying there is something of a crisis in agriculture currently due to the prices of fertiliser rocketing (Russia being one of the major producers).

One enterprising farm who has several thousand chickens is using chicken muck instead. Looks like we have our solution to the Wye issue if the right people start talking to each other!
I didn't see it but have been saying that this period of uncertainty represents opportunities for a more sustainable future.
 

Neil Smart

Senior Member
£1,000 a tonne fertiliser....farmers around here are using cow muck etc more than ever, but instead of just sparaying it on the surface they are drilling it in, which is better for the soil and reduces the pong, although al least what they claim.
Agreed Country File is ruined by those presenters, needs a reshuffle.
 

Rhys Perry

Senior Member
Used to use chicken manure when I worked in landscape gardening 20 years ago, it's not new by any stretch.
As for countryfile, it appears to be the presentation style of choice for most things atm, disingenuous over excitement at everything and dumbed down questioning.
That so called farmer does my head in, does he actually do any farming?
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
The system around where we live is mixed farming where cattle are kept in fields and the young bullocks kept in sheds to fatten up. The waste from the sheds is used to fertalise other fields where seed crops and grass are grown to fed to the bullocks. Over recent years it has become increasingly wetter and so many farmers are increasing their grass at the expense of maize and sunflowers. It all works well and they need little or no fertilizers other than the cow dung.

However out to the west and north the land is flatter, the fields larger and the farms are purely crops, not cattle. They need artificial fertilizers and that will drive up prices along with the increased worldwide demand for wheat and maize due to the shortage of grain from Ukraine and Russia. That puts the price of food up including meat from non grazing animals like poultry and pigs that are fed grain.

And, yes Rhys. That tv farmer and the Blue Peter style of presenting gets right up my nose too. For the record: he probably gets handouts from charitable organisations concerned with rare breeds along with the farm machinery manufacturers of the super clean machines that act as backdrops for the show.
 

Damian Kimmins

Senior Member
Yes it needed Putins murderous intent to concentrate minds away from oil, it's amazing the lip service we have paid to reducing fossil fuels.
'We' the end user? Not forgetting the NIMBY's near Basingstoke who turned down planning for a solar farm recently
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
In 21 years of working in the farming industry I've never come across a single instance of manures being 'dumped'. They are nearly always recycled back to the land. As Neil mentions farmers are increasingly using more efficient methods of application to minimise ammonia loss, such as shallow-injection and trailing shoe applicators for slurries.

I have seen Countryfile, so can't comment on it, other than to point out the practice of making the most of the available nutrients in manures is nothing new.

The problem with the Wye catchment specially is that the Upper Wye catchment is dominated by steeply sloping, lower productivity fields in a very high rainfall area. Areas which are inherently unsuitable for poultry manures which are generally very high in crop available (ammonium) nitrogen and very high in phosphate. Even when applied in a timely manner, the risk of run-off is very high. These poultry units are just in the wrong part of the country, they need to be closer to the arable east and the lower risk land which can better utilise the available nutrients.

Even with the current very high fertiliser price crisis it is still uneconomic to transport these manures any distance as the price of diesel is through the roof, and then there is the whole issue of CO2 emissions.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
One thing that did occur to me is that we buy in lots of grain etc to feed the chickens, where does that come from ?
Most of the cereal grains will have been grown in the UK, some imported from across the globe depending on soft commodity prices.

Much of the soya will be from the US and South America (ex-rainforest and cerrado) using Monsanto's 'round-up ready' soy beans.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Adam - as i don't watch the show I can't say he gets on my nerves, but he does farm and on a very big commercial scale. About 1500 acres I think, plus more they contract farm. I'm told he's a pretty good farmer.
 

Paul Bullinger

Senior Member
Loving this thread. Our common link is our love of fishing and barbel fishing in particular. We also have an affinity with waterways and the countryside in particular. Anglers will always try to protect our sport and our environment. There is something else that links us. We all eat. But here's the thing, a THIRD of all food produced is wasted. This is across food "types" ie meats, vegetables, cereals etc.
Maybe an alternative to the huge amount of nitrates etc being used to produce more food (1/3 of which is thrown out) we should just produce less food and use it all? Just a thought.
I think several Business Models will be stuffed if this idea was adopted!!!
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Loving this thread. Our common link is our love of fishing and barbel fishing in particular. We also have an affinity with waterways and the countryside in particular. Anglers will always try to protect our sport and our environment. There is something else that links us. We all eat. But here's the thing, a THIRD of all food produced is wasted. This is across food "types" ie meats, vegetables, cereals etc.
Maybe an alternative to the huge amount of nitrates etc being used to produce more food (1/3 of which is thrown out) we should just produce less food and use it all? Just a thought.
I think several Business Models will be stuffed if this idea was adopted!!!
A lot of commercial food waste is put through AD plants to produce energy with the digestive liquor used as fertiliser for crops. It is rocket fuel, with some of containing nearly 80% ammonium (crop available) nitrogen and useful amounts of phosphate. The big issue is household food waste and the energy used in collecting it, ideally people just need to waste less food.

A bigger problem is the size of our population and the fact that only 60% of our food is produced at home. All that imported food brings with it nutrients that need to be applied to the land via biosplids from WWTW's. Incrementally is it gradually causing national eutrophication. The phosphate levels on the farmlands surrounding our towns and cities are sky high.
 

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
Manure is as old as the hills, the ability to move away from manure based fertilisers which were once exported and traded onto manufactured fertilisers is in part what drove the industrial revolution.
 

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
A lot of commercial food waste is put through AD plants to produce energy with the digestive liquor used as fertiliser for crops. It is rocket fuel, with some of containing nearly 80% ammonium (crop available) nitrogen and useful amounts of phosphate. The big issue is household food waste and the energy used in collecting it, ideally people just need to waste less food.

A bigger problem is the size of our population and the fact that only 60% of our food is produced at home. All that imported food brings with it nutrients that need to be applied to the land via biosplids from WWTW's. Incrementally is it gradually causing national eutrophication. The phosphate levels on the farmlands surrounding our towns and cities are sky high.
Indeed a good proportion of my fridge was dragged across the continent at huge Carbon cost, for our convenience. The British public demand strawberries in December and want to pay tuppence for the privilege, it’s just no good for us. I admit I’m guilty of it. Low price, low profit, low shelf life, large carbon foot print.
 

Paul Bullinger

Senior Member
A lot of commercial food waste is put through AD plants to produce energy with the digestive liquor used as fertiliser for crops. It is rocket fuel, with some of containing nearly 80% ammonium (crop available) nitrogen and useful amounts of phosphate. The big issue is household food waste and the energy used in collecting it, ideally people just need to waste less food.

A bigger problem is the size of our population and the fact that only 60% of our food is produced at home. All that imported food brings with it nutrients that need to be applied to the land via biosplids from WWTW's. Incrementally is it gradually causing national eutrophication. The phosphate levels on the farmlands surrounding our towns and cities are sky high.
My late father used to tell me "you're never too old to learn". How right he was. I had never heard of the word
eutrophication, until you used it Joe. Thank you. I'm going to try and introduce it into a conversation with my wife later! 😂
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
My late father used to tell me "you're never too old to learn". How right he was. I had never heard of the word
eutrophication, until you used it Joe. Thank you. I'm going to try and introduce it into a conversation with my wife later! 😂
I'm wondering in what context you introduced it into the conversation?!
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Indeed a good proportion of my fridge was dragged across the continent at huge Carbon cost, for our convenience. The British public demand strawberries in December and want to pay tuppence for the privilege, it’s just no good for us. I admit I’m guilty of it. Low price, low profit, low shelf life, large carbon foot print.
It's made even worse when it's not eaten and ends up in the bin.

But, I'm guessing that not all imported food necessarily has a high, or should I say higher, carbon footprint? Strawberries grown under the sun abroad v those under glass and hydroponics over here?
 

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
It's made even worse when it's not eaten and ends up in the bin.

But, I'm guessing that not all imported food necessarily has a high, or should I say higher, carbon footprint? Strawberries grown under the sun abroad v those under glass and hydroponics over here?
A fair point. I suppose there’s a few variables there, clearly a Strawberry grown outside in the U.K. in season and sold in the U.K. would be the lowest Carbon cost. However one grown in an artificially heated/lit environment could potentially have a higher cost than one transported from the Med. I’m pretty sure some are even grown in North Africa. Certainly isn’t a home run of clarity.

I’d personally rather see seasonal U.K. produce on our tables but again appreciate that there’s room for nuance. Our food waste is pretty low as a household, it used to be zero but I’ve done away with poultry at home now.
 
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