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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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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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Nearly a decade ago, Prairie’s Edge Dairy Farm LLC in Fair Oaks, Indiana, began looking at manure as more than a byproduct of milk production. The owners decided to install an anaerobic digester to harvest the biogas and begin monetizing the value of the farm’s manure.

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Two Wisconsin farm families are grieving the loss of two young men, one a 29-year-old farmer from Amherst, the other a 16-year-old boy from Owen. 

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