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Egg farmers battle soaring fertiliser prices with investment to turn chicken manure into fertiliser

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With hovering world fertiliser prices hitting the hip pocket of Australian farmers, a transfer from a gaggle of egg producers has led to a $38-million funding to remodel spent chickens manure and different waste into a brand new sort of fertiliser.

Incitec Pivot Restricted will now grow to be the bulk shareholder of Australian Bio Fert Pty Ltd, an organization that has spent years creating a poultry waste resolution.

A brand new plant shall be constructed close to Lethbridge, in south-west Victoria, the place the corporate is hoping to provide 75,000 tonnes of fertiliser a yr, utilizing waste supplies with carbon and fertiliser merchandise.

Years spent discovering resolution

Brian Ahmed, the president of the Victorian Farmers Federation egg group, is on the board of Australian Bio Fert Pty Ltd and stated he and several other farmers had spent years looking for an answer.

“The Setting Safety Authority (EPA) was very aware of utilizing uncooked manure on land due to the pathogen content material and different issues.”

“Final yr in Lethbridge, there was an avian influenza outbreak due to open-air composting – so this may cease it as a result of every little thing is being completed indoors.”

Mr Ahmed stated after constructing quite a lot of relationships with engineers and business teams over time, he’s joyful to see Incitec make the transfer.

a man is smiling at the camera with cartons of eggs laying behind him
Brian Ahmed says the new facility will assist deal with biosecurity issues. (Provided: Brian Ahmed)

Works approval

Final yr, topic to situations, the EPA granted a Works Approval for Australian Bio Fert to assemble a poultry natural waste facility in Lethbridge.

Incitec Agronomy and Innovation vp Charlie Walker stated the big funding would produce a constant, high quality product obtainable for farmers.

“The area round Lethbridge has fairly numerous meat, rooster and egg producers and stretches out about 50 to 60 kilometres – a extremely important poultry area,” Mr Walker stated.

Mr Walker stated the corporate would break up the waste materials and mix it with fertiliser merchandise and carbon.

“We’ll chop up the waste materials right into a sure diploma of fineness into the torrefier, that applies warmth and produces a black powder, then we are able to mix it with the opposite components,” he stated.

“We’re higher synchronising the availability of vitamins in alignment with plant demand, whereas a typical software of compost or standard fertiliser get a giant wave of nutrient availability after which it dies out.”

Aggressive costs

Mr Walker stated as soon as the fertiliser was made, the worth could be aggressive with different fertilisers available on the market.

The corporate at the moment has a pilot plant close to Bacchus Marsh, west of Melbourne, and hopes to extend manufacturing there so it could actually quickly produce product with business growers.

“The target is for the plant to be commissioned across the center of subsequent yr, at which stage it would have 75,000 tonnes of producing capability per yr,” he stated.