Antibiotic Uptake by Vegetable Crops from Manure-Applied Soils

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2008: $139,420.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Satish Gupta
University of Minneota

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Vegetables: cabbages, carrots, garlic, onions, peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Animals: swine, poultry


  • Animal Production: feed additives, manure management
  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Since their discovery, antibiotics have been instrumental in treating infectious diseases that were previously known to kill humans and animals. However, their widespread use as a feed additive in food animal production has raised concerns on the development of antibiotic resistance bacteria in the environment and the appearance of antibiotics in the food and water supply. The main pathway for these impacts is when manure containing antibiotics is land applied. The goal of this study is to determine the extent of antibiotic uptake by vegetable crops from soils that have been fertilized with antibiotic laden turkey manure and hog manure, both fresh and after composting.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Specific objectives are:
    (1) to test the extent of antibiotics (chlortetracycline, tylosin, and sulfamethazine) uptake by eleven vegetable crops (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radish, onion, garlic, tomatoes, green pepper, sweet corn and potatoes) from two different textured soils that have been fertilized with antibiotic-containing turkey manure and hog manure,
    (2) to document the differences in antibiotic uptake by vegetables that have been fertilized with fresh vs. composted turkey and hog manures, and
    (3) to document the presence or absence of antibiotics in certified organic vs. conventional commercial vegetables that have been grown in manure applied soils.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.