From the Field: Maintain Biosecurity and Your Litter Management Program

by Steve Carpenter
Territory Manager

Proper biosecurity procedures are a crucial, especially under the threat of AI. But we at Jones-Hamilton know that your litter amendment has an important role to play in ammonia control and pH manipulation even when biosecurity measures put your farm on lockdown. We also know that due to our ability to work flexibly with producers, PLT is the only litter amendment producers were able to use during the most recent AI outbreak in the southeast.

Jones-Hamilton and our network of applicators are committed to the importance of biosecurity, so when applicators couldn’t come to the farms to apply PLT this winter, we took another route. PLT applicators in the hot zone swapped bulk application for 50 pound bags, and met producers off-farm for delivery. We even met every producer at a different location so there was zero chance of cross-contamination. This meant producers could gain all the benefits of PLT without any external threats. Since PLT is the only litter amendment without a hazardous rating, only these producers were able to keep their litter management program in place during the outbreak; everyone else was shut down completely.

Even when there are no outbreaks reported, PLT applicators always follow biosecurity procedures.  All spreading equipment is disinfected between farms and between houses, if necessary.   If growers are on the farm to open end doors, the driver doesn’t even have to get out of the truck.

When applicators are onsite they always wear boots, coveralls and hairnets, and disinfect their feet and truck floorboards between applications. On farms where the producer is present to open and close doors, applicators don’t even have to get out of the truck.

We know it’s easy to get complacent during calm periods, but maintaining biosecurity procedures is always important. Remember:

  • It takes everyone to keep good biosecurity procedures in place
  • Producers and all workers should wear boots into houses
  • Foot disinfectant pans should be kept in good shape and always be available