Hort Innovation recently funded the first research study investigating survival of Salmonella enterica in soil contaminated with chicken manure conducted under Australian conditions and it revealed that soil temperature and soil type played a major role in its survival.
The research investigated the effect of soil type, temperature, moisture and, presence or absence of chicken manure on the pathogen’s survival.
The findings indicated that under natural field conditions, Salmonella counts declined over time after a contamination event.
But the rate of decline is significantly slower in clay loam soils, and was reduced by the presence of chicken manure, by soil temperatures less than 37 degrees Celsius, and by the presence of moisture.
In the trial it revealed the bacteria was detectable up to 100 days after contaminated chicken manure was incorporated into clay loam soil.
In contrast, populations quickly declined within four weeks in sandy soils, at temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius and in soil without chicken manure as a source of energy.
Hort Innovation also revealed that the research found that solarisation, black plastic covering the soil, may have potential to promote faster die-off of Salmonella providing soil temperatures under the plastic have several hours at 37 degrees Celsius or above.
It also examined two potential short-term remediation strategies to reduce levels of the bacteria in soil following contamination: cover cropping and/or solarisation.