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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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The first consideration about manure is to change the mindset of manure being a waste product to being a resource. With that assumption, there are multiple variables that influence manure transportation and application considerations.

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Labor is an important discussion point when looking at any aspect of your operation. Labor is even more significant when it comes to the manure management system you select.

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As the general public outcries against applying manure products via irrigation methods grew louder, a unique work group formed to review related issues, discuss the technical details and develop guidance on the practice that is also growing in interest among dairy producers.

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A first-of-its-kind field study was recently completed to estimate the risk of acute gastrointestinal illness from airborne pathogens during manure irrigation and to identify the other variables, such as distance and weather conditions that affect airborne pathogen transport. It coincided with a larger effort, known as the Manure Irrigation Workgroup, to explore benefits, concerns and remaining questions associated with manure irrigation.

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For the most part, manure has been an underused resource by dairy farmers. Some never realize its full value and potential while others simply don’t know where to go for assistance.

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As more and more is learned about nutrient application and soil conservation, three innovative Wisconsin farmers have changed how they apply manure.

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