Delaware company takes note of financing tool for farmers using freezers in poultry disposal


Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.17.52 PMMaryland poultry growers  have an alternative to composting dead birds, thanks, in part, to a company operating in Delaware.

On-farm freezer collection units are now eligible for cost-share funding, but growers have until  Dec. 18  – the application deadline for the first round of funding.

The collection system is offered by Greener Solutions, a company based in Millsboro,  DE.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) added a new animal mortality system option to its fiscal 2016  list of conservation practices eligible for cost-share assistance through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs, like EQIP, offer farmers and producers opportunities to voluntarily address natural resource concerns on their agricultural and forest lands,” said Dr. Terron Hillsman, NRCS Maryland State Conservationist.  “Once a conservation plan, specific to each individual producer’s operation, is developed, field office staff can assist the producer in determining which system best addresses the resource concern and fits the producer’s farming operation.”


This management system has been used by growers in other parts of the country for more than 20 years. Dead birds are placed inside specially designed collection units available for purchase from local ag-equipment retailers.

A customized collection vehicle arrives between flocks to empty the units.  Routine maintenance of the units is provided as part of the collection service offered by Greener Solutions, the company that introduced this option to the Peninsula.

Growers using this new practice have been able to greatly reduce the time and money they previously spent on composting, realizing thousands of dollars a year in savings.

“For us, it’s a great management tool,” said Brent Willin of State Line Farms.  “The guys can pick up the birds, open the lid and throw them in. .… The last time we touch the birds is when they drop into that freezer … it’s a really nice process,” he said.

Another benefit of freezer collection units is better biosecurity.  By using sealed containers that lock in pathogens and lock out scavengers and flies, growers can significantly reduce their risk of loss to disease, including avian influenza.

This new BMP is particularly important to growers in Maryland, where the impact of the Phosphorus Management Tool or “PMT” will be to limit or even ban land application on many farm fields.  This is a big problem for composting as a practice because the end result must be land applied.

Benefits  for all growers include the elimination of the smells, flies and scavengers associated with composting, so both the grower and the grower’s neighbors enjoy a greatly improved quality of life.

The trade association, Delmarva Poultry Industry,  recently added freezer units to its list of Best Management Practices for Good Neighbor Relations, Greener Solutions reported.

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