Along with fellow researchers at Central Queensland University (including Dr Tanka Prasai, Professor Kerry Walsh, Professor David Midmore and Dr Surya Bhattarai), Ben helped produce compelling findings that could influence the way Australian farmers formulate chicken feed.
The team combined the additives biochar, bentonite and zeolite to existing chicken feed mixtures. Their observations determined that:
- These additives produced manure with greater structural integrity, which produced a stronger granule.
- Achieving a good granule strength allows for use of normal fertiliser spreaders, offering a viable option for farmers seeking organic fertilisers that are cost-effective and simple to distribute.
- Bentonite additives increased water retention in manures, decreasing litter wet areas.
- Other work has demonstrated animal production benefits with use of the additives.
For more information, visit the Journal of Environmental Management online.