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Trials show duck poo a feather in your fertiliser cap

If you are a farmer considering duck manure as an organic addition to your soil, two field days in the northern Wimmera area  will give you the inside information on trials.

The field days will be held on a property where clay incorporated surface-applied duck manuring is being trialled, and another where sub-soil manuring and surface-applied duck manuring is being tested.

Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Julio Vargas, who will present at the field days, said the two properties are near a large-scale duck processor in Nhill.

“The company processes thousands of ducks a week and produces around 25,000 tonnes of organic matter (duck manure mixed with wood shavings) a year,” Mr Vargas said

“The trials are conducted under the Increasing soil carbon stocks on lighter soils in the Northern Wimmera project, which aims to use ‘organic amendment’ to improve production and soil characteristics.”

Mr Vargas said both trial sites are showing improvements.

“One of the trial sites has shown the application of 10t/ha of duck manure, either incorporated or surface-applied, performed better in improving soil condition, and soil organic carbon, compared to the control site and lower rates (3t/ha) of manure application.

“In the replicated site, the clay spaded and the clay delved treatments increased the nitrogen availability to crops, soil carbon and soil organic matter, resulting in higher production at harvest for wheat compared to treatments that had no clay applied.

“The two field days will give participants a good insight into how the project trials are going, and what they can expect to gain by using duck manure.”

Other presenters on the day will include Agriculture Victoria Drought Extension Program Coordinator Mel Cann and Land Management Extension Officer Dr Renick Peries. The project is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, the Victorian Government and the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

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