THE recent influx of chicken farms into the Murray Bridge area has raised the ire of many residents, but at least one farmer says she has found a silver lining.
Burdett farmer Michelle Thiele says chicken manure sourced from nearby chicken broiler sheds has proved a boon for her crops and has helped repair damaged soil on her property.
“We have a problem in this area where we don’t have much organic carbon in the soil,” she said.
“If we can lift that then there’s going to be an improvement in the soil.”
Ms Thiele said her experiments with chicken manure instead of the usual granular fertilisers had produced encouraging results so far and appeared to be combating the fungi rhizoctonia which had the potential to damage crops.
“We have seen a visual difference in quality which is estimated to be at least a 10 per cent improvement,” she said.
But the early success of chicken manure appears to have hit a road block.
Ms Thiele said she has been told by the Murray Bridge council that stockpiling chicken manure would require development applications.
For her property, Ms Thiele said that would mean about $1000 in fees but she was more concerned by the delays the application process would entail.
“It’s possible we would have to make applications for every paddock so that’s at least eight DAs,” she said.
Ms Thiele said the bureaucracy involved in using chicken manure, which she said had not applied to traditional fertilisers, would make the practice unfeasible.
Murray Bridge council operations and infrastructure manager Simon Bradley said the council had investigated Ms Thiele’s inquiry and had advised her that her request would likely require a referral to the Environmental Protection Authority because of the amount of manure she wanted to stockpile.
“Should Ms Thiele be using less than 200 tonnes then there is a potential that development approval may not be required, however, given the information provided, this was the advice that was given,” he said.
Great results: Burdett farmer Michelle Thiele, with son James, says she is thrilled with the effect chicken manure has had on her crops, but says council red tape is making it difficult.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.