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Pathogen Die-Off Rates Following Manure Application under Ontario Field Conditions - Relationship to Pre-Harvest Wait Times

Huber, Ann
The Soil Resource Group
Start date
End date
  1. Measure die-off rates of manure-derived indicator (E.coli) and pathogenic organisms (e.g. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria under field conditions following spring, late summer and fall manure application using the sentinel chamber technique.
  2. Compare these die-off rates to population changes in the bulk soil which result from die-off and transport mechanisms.
  3. Assess the effect on pathogen survival of manure surface application versus incorporation.
  4. Compare the survival of indicator and pathogenic organism under identical field conditions.
  5. Compare die-off rates to pre-planting and pre-harvest waiting times.
  6. Measure concurrent changes in nutrient (N, P) levels at the same field sites to assess the contradictory impacts on nutrient and pathogen risk management.
  7. Provide information for manure and compost management recommendations to improve food safety by reducing the risk of food-borne illness resulting from pathogen contamination of food crops
More information
Expected Benefits:
Using the proposed methods will enable:
  1. comparing pathogen dynamics under spring, summer and fall field conditions, addressing tradeoffs between spring, late summer and fall application,
  2. comparing the survival of captive pathogens under contrasting application practices (surface, immediate incorporation) and separating survival from transport factors,
  3. determining the additive or contradictory effects of application practices by concurrently monitoring soil nutrient dynamics at the same field site, and
  4. provide information for pre-harvest wait periods and management recommendations.
The Information will be useful to producers, extension and regulatory agencies in reducing the risk of fresh-food based food-borne outbreaks
Funding Source
Ontario Min. of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs
Project number
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins