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Manure

See what farms are using for nutrient management, from anaerobic digesters and storage to field application and emissions.

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For all dairy farms, big and small, managing and disposing of manure is a never-ending job. It’s bothersome to have around and the odor can be offensive, by far the number one reason the non-farming public criticizes animal agriculture.

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The weather. A short application window. The volume you have to handle. When it comes to manure handling, whether you’re a smaller operation milking 50 cows and using a skid steer to load your spreader or a custom operator using a large-wheel loader, everyone faces these same challenges.

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Liquid manure can be costly to handle and haul long distances, causing dairy farms to consider alternative options to just storing everything in a lagoon.

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With the objective to develop novel waste-to-resource technologies capable of converting organic wastes into value-added fuel and chemical products, Dr. Dana Kirk, Ph.D., P.E. in biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University, had his work cut out for him.

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Composting is a microbial-driven process. Like other living creatures, microbes need the right environment to survive and thrive. For successful composting, it is necessary to provide nutritious microbial “food”, suitable moisture, pH, temperature and oxygen.

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Nutrient removal systems for manure management have been around the dairy industry for more than 10 years, yet very few dairies in the U.S. are currently utilizing these systems. The cost of equipment, operating expenses and additional labor needs are major considerations when it comes to an installation.

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