Ivermectin residue in vegetable plants and compost

2012 Annual Report for FNE12-750

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2012: $8,976.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Amylynn Kemp
Alpaca Obsession, LLC

Ivermectin residue in vegetable plants and compost


Ivermectin Study Summary

The study is to determine if Ivermectin Residue would be found in vegetable plants and/or the vegetable when utilizing composted alpaca manure as fertilizer.

Objectives/Performance Targets

2012 Testing Performed

Analysis of the alpaca feces was first done in order to establish any rates of residual Ivermectin. Following this, a control group could then be established to begin the project. Testing was also performed on compost to determine how long Ivermectin would be present in an unturned pile of alpaca manure. For this testing, a sample was taken near the top of the pile (estimated to be about a year old) and at the bottom of an unturned large pile (estimated to be approximately 5 years old). In both cases, Ivermectin was found. We also sampled a smaller manure pile that was approximately 4 years old in which no Ivermectin was detected. The level of detection is 0.8 ppb, so this could mean that there is Ivermectin present but it is less than the level of detection. . Soil: Due to possible collection error, there were initially low levels of Ivermectin in the fecal testing. To attain more accurate data, a new pile was tested using alpaca compost from feces that had been taken earlier in the month. We then established the garden at a rate of approximately 3:1 alpaca manure to other top soil to prevent burn in the tender plants as well as to be more realistic in the rate of manure utilized by most gardeners. The soil was collected and it was confirmed that Ivermectin was present. Compost: Utilizing the feces tested above, two compost piles were established in order to determine the length of time and specific circumstances in which Ivermectin is present in alpaca compost. These two samples were taken from compost that is exposed to sunlight and compost that is in the shade.


Initial Analysis Results

Based on the analysis, Ivermectin can be detected in samples from varying conditions. The highest concentration is yielded when collection is done after the first couple of days following injection; the concentrations seem to decrease after the first few days. Initial analysis of the alpaca compost piles confirms that Ivermectin is found in compost pile years after Ivermectin injections are given. This may suggest that smaller and more regularly turned compost piles may sooner help with Ivermectin binding to the soil. Initial results are inconclusive as to timeframe for Ivermectin binding with the soil; it is possible the tested sample was defective which therefore yielded undetectable amounts. Further testing is needed on composted soil to determine at what timeframe the Ivermectin will bind to the soil and therefore be undetectable. In 2012, the study began by taking the alpaca feces with confirmed Ivermectin and establishing two piles: one in the sun and one in the shade. After a month and a half, Ivermectin was still detected in both piles with the sun pile having less amount in ppb compared to the pile in the shade. Soil: Initial results of soil confirmed that Ivermectin would be present in a garden with alpaca compost.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

2013 Objectives

Based on testing performed in 2012, we have a better understanding of when to select the alpaca manure. From this, we can begin the garden earlier in the year in order to complete the plant testing. We will also perform further testing on the alpaca feces in the sun and the shade to determine how many months it takes for the Ivermectin to bind with the soil and become undetectable.


Deanna Panetta

[email protected]
UMass Student
19 Harwich Street
Hull, MA 02045
Office Phone: 7818887771
Stephen Purdy

[email protected]
Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts Amherst
111 North Maple Street
Hadley, MA 01035
Office Phone: 4135493820