Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2007
Publication Date: July 1, 2007
Citation: Brooks, J.P., Adeli, A., Rowe, D.E. 2007. Antibiotic resistant and pathogenic bacteria associated with rain runoff following land application of poultry litter [Abstract]. Proceedings 37th Annual Mississippi Water Resources Conference. p. 115-119.
Poultry rearing in the United States is approximately a thirty million dollar per year industry. The land application of poultry litter as an organic fertilizer is an ideal choice for the disposal of this high nitrogen, high organic waste, however microbial runoff following rain events is a concern. Poultry litter was applied at a high and low rate to bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) plots held within runoff trays designed to simulate environmental conditions, by simulating slope, soil type, and climate. In addition to the litter applied runoff trays, control trays in which no fertilizer was applied and chemical fertilizer applications were used as comparison controls. A rainfall simulator was used to simulate precipitation events. Following each rain event, runoff samples were collected for microbial analysis. Total Heterotrophic Plate Count bacteria, antibiotic resistant bacteria, fecal coliforms, enterococci, staphylococci, and Clostridium perfringens were investigated. Results indicate that microbial runoff from these troughs occurred through a total of 5 rain events lasting over 25 days. Clostridium perfringens correlated with litter rate and presented as the most logical runoff indicator. Antibiotic resistant isolates rarely demonstrated resistance to more than 4 antibiotics. This study will be followed by a field trial using a similarly designed experiment under “real world” conditions.