Completing Your Poultry Waste Plan

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The poultry industry is growing again in North Carolina and poultry producers are needing waste plans completed. For producers in need of a waste plan, here is the information I will need to complete the cover sheet of your plan: name of farm, land owner’s name, mailing address, county, phone number, type of poultry, integrator name, and the one-time placement number of birds.

If you are using a 3rd party applicator to remove your litter, there is a form both the farm owner and the 3rd party applicator will need to agree upon, sign and date. If you are applying the waste yourself, please bring the maps provided by the county Farm Service Agency office of where you plan to apply the litter. These maps need to show field location, crop acreage, and be labeled to identify crops and spreading rates for each field. Nitrogen requirements will also be needed from the North Carolina Nutrient Management Program, where RYE (Realistic Yield Expectation) data is found online. I will determine the dominant soil type of each field and be able to complete the plan with this information.

Soil samples are currently required every three years from all fields that receive litter and must be processed by an approved lab, but you are welcome to test more often than this. You can have your samples processed in Raleigh at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture agronomic division laboratory. These records must be kept for three years, or if you are participating in a funding program with NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) you must keep your records for five years. There are fees associated with soil testing during peak seasons for the laboratory, so be sure to check the rates before sending your samples.

Waste analyses are required within 60 days before or after a litter application (120-day window) and must also be kept three years or five years if participating in funding from NRCS. The maximum spread rate and nitrogen balance can be determined by using the PAN (Plant Available Nitrogen) numbers. Both the soil test results and the waste analysis results are now only available online unless you request a hard copy.

The last part of the plan are the spreading records forms (Dry 1, 2, and 3). These forms can be found at your local Cooperative Extension office, or you can request an electronic copy. There is also an Excel computer spreadsheet version that will do calculations automatically to ensure no errors. You will need the following information to complete these forms: date and amount of litter removed, date and location of spreading, date, fields and amount spread, as well as the nitrogen balance. Make sure you keep these forms updated on a regular basis and that everyone who applies the litter is filling out the correct forms.

What does your waste plan do for you and your farm? It gives you the necessary information to properly apply litter at agronomic rates on your fields. This way you are sure you are not over-applying nutrients and the plants are able to completely use the litter as fertilizer. Making sure your waste plan is complete and accurate is the first step in making sure you are properly spreading litter from your poultry operation.

If you need a waste plan completed, you can contact Margaret Ross at or by phone at 252.670.8254.