2013 Annual Report
Conduct field studies to evaluate survival of surrogates in raw manure-amended soils used for growing fresh produce.
Contribute to development of a systematized protocol to determine safe practices for use of raw manure as a soil amendment in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in a manner compliant with safety standards of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, and mandates put forth in the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.
For field studies, USDA-ARS and UMES will collect raw manure from local animal production facilities, will characterize (and supplement, as necessary) the microbial load of the manure, will apply manure to production fields consistent with current industry practices, and will monitor local weather and environmental impacts and the resultant survival and persistence of microorganisms of interest.
USDA-ARS and UMES, in consultation with FDA, will determine selected manure types/categories for study, appropriate field application methods, sampling times, analytical protocols and methods.
USDA-ARS and UMES will provide the FDA Project Officer, on at least a quarterly basis, a status report on the current state of the study, with information on data generated from completed milestones, status of current efforts, any technical difficulties encountered and plans to alleviate the issues while moving forward, and brief “next-step” discussions. No more than six months after the completion of field studies from all locations, USDA/ARS and UMES shall provide FDA/CFSAN with a final report on the project.
1)silt loam in Princess Anne, MD (University of Maryland Eastern Shore, UMES);.
2)sandy silt loam, Beltsville, MD (USDA-ARS-Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC); and.
3)clay loam, Southeast Agriculture and Extension Center, SEAREC (Manheim PA). The research experiments are being conducted on uniform size field plots at all sites with application of either low or high populations of multiple-strains of E. coli to the replicated plots. Data collection, microbial and molecular analysis is ongoing at all sites and also involve separate plots with spring and fall applications of manure and subsequent leafy green cropping to evaluate transfer of E. coli from soil to leafy greens. In addition to determining E. coli population dynamics at the three separate field sites, a genetic fingerprint assay to distinguish among the five strains has been developed and is being used to assess survival of specific strains at each of the locations. It is anticipated that the data collected from these studies will directly impact the proposed produce safety rules issued by FDA. Preliminary results indicate that seasonality, manure and soil type influence the survival of E. coli in manure-amended soils used to grow produce and that manure prolongs survival of these bacteria. Companion studies in fields and greenhouses at the ES location are given in the progress report for project 1265-32420-005-22S, titled: Survival of Fecal Organisms and Indicators in Agricultural Soils Amended with Raw Manure.