Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators in Jordan have teamed up to develop ways to better manage poultry litter.

Research leader Matt Smith and microbiologist Walter Mulbry at the ARS Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., visited Amman, Jordan, to help determine which practices would best manage large quantities of poultry litter. Training programs on composting were developed to increase soil organic matter, increase water retention, and decrease purchased fertilizer use.


During their first visit to Jordan, Smith and Mulbry went to six farms to conduct on-the-ground fact-finding in preparation for upcoming training programs. They found that the Jarash Valley area of Jordan has intense production of poultry and olives. The researchers obtained details about poultry production and determined whether other resources, such as olive tree clippings, would be available for use in composting the litter.

Mulbry set up compost piles for further study and conducted workshops to equip farmers and poultry producers in Jordan with the knowledge and tools necessary to solve their agricultural problems and pass that information on to others.