USA Gypsum released an ammonia control poultry litter treatment suitable for organic poultry producers following several years of university tests and field trials to confirm performance and best management practices.
Growing poultry to meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program is challenging and common poultry litter amendments used by non-organic farmers to control ammonia and pathogens have been prohibited for organic farms due to their use of synthetic chemicals, the company said.
USA Gypsum said its pH Shield contains natural acidified calcium sulfate, a slightly hydroscopic mineral, which reduces ammonia release from the litter, while increasing water holding capacity, which results in less free moisture without becoming too dusty. Unlike synthetic acids, pH Shield is non-corrosive, safe to handle and does not add sodium or heavy metals such as alum, the announcement said.
University trials confirm that pH Shield compares favorably in containing ammonia with no adverse effects to the birds.
The company noted that pH Shield contains gypsum, USDA Conservation Practice Standard 333 for the purposes of improving soil health including improved filtration, reducing subsoil aluminum and reducing the transport of pathogens. Gypsum also decreases dissolved phosphorous run off, a leading cause of water pollution, creating dead zones in surface waters, which impairs water used for industry, agriculture and drinking.
University research concluded that pH Shield provides ammonia control equivalent to other commercial ammonia control products, can be used in organic poultry production and provides the added benefit of reduced risk of phosphorus loss in runoff, USA Gypsum said.
Founded in 1998, USA Gypsum is a leading producer of gypsum-based products for use by industry and farmers in the form of gypsum fertilizer, soil conditioners, amendments and animal bedding. Located on 24 acres in Denver, Pa., the 35,000 sq. ft. plant includes blending, packaging, storage and bulk shipping capability. USA Gypsum ships its gypsum products across the U.S. and Canada.