Farmers Use Chicken Manure to Improve their Crops

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Farmer Mike Phillips is learning new technology to use on his farm, which has been in his family for decades.

"We're learning more, which there in turn, we can hand that information to the farming community to help them become more profitable, and yet, trying to look at the environment, as well," said Phillips

Farmers from around the Valley went to Phillips' farm to learn about using resources farmers already have, like chicken manure.

Farmers are starting to put the manure in the ground and that strengthens crops. It also reduces runoff, which could eventually pollute the Chesapeake Bay.

Two discs cut the ground and the plants. Then the chicken litter comes out of a sheath and goes into the ground, and that is what reduces runoff.

Rory Maguire, a Virginia Tech professor, hopes more farmers use this technology. He said it is good for business.

"If you don't stay up with the time, you've got very tight finances. If you can do something that makes you more money with resources you already have, then that can be very beneficial for the farmer financially," said Maguire.

Phillips has benefited from this technique and he hopes to teach other farmers to keep farms ready for business.

"Now I'm doing something my mentors used to do, and a lot of those guys were trying to teach you something. They wanted you to take it to the next level, and that's where we're at today," said Phillips.

Farmers also learned about soil quality and growing crops. A few federal and state organizations hosted the day out at the farm.

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