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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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Plenty of things have changed in the world of dairy farming. Advancements in milking systems mean that robots, not people, can perform the several-times-per-day task of milking cows.

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Utilizing manure as fertilizer is one common approach to capturing the inherent value in manure and reducing the costs of off-farm inputs. But the approach has its limitations; particularly in situations where there is more manure than can be responsibly managed on the available land.

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There are many things a farmer can do to help the environment. In the dairy industry, utilizing anaerobic digesters to capture methane gas and produce electricity is a primary way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While dairy farmers can actively take measures to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, those efforts are not always economically viable.

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One option often considered for dairy farmers currently operating an anaerobic digestion system is the co-digestion of off-farm substrates.

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manure digester diagramWhen Lawnhurst Farms outgrew its bedding recovery unit – a mechanical dryer – it decided it was time to take the next step to produce more bedding for the dairy.

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Manure lagoon

It may not be the most pleasant part of a dairy operation, but it’s one of the most important: What do you do with all that manure?

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