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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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After six months of using new web-based nutrient management tracking software, California dairyman Brian Medeiros is still trying to make the software his go-to record-keeping source, not just a digital, always-available electronic copy of his paper records.

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Fresno State University dairy tests pilot system

You’ve probably heard the horror stories about drinking water and streams being contaminated by dairy wastewater.

Fortunately, while regulations have tightened, the technology to treat and re-use wastewater from dairy farms has expanded. The latest innovation is a sustainable, energy-efficient approach that uses worms and their castings (manure) to generate clean, re-usable water.

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In the past 30 years, manure storage has changed, particularly when it comes to size. As storage facilities grow, thorough agitation becomes a challenge. It’s not just storage size that has changed, though; the consistency and content of manure has changed, too.

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“I would house twice as many cows if I didn’t have to deal with manure.” This statement by Dean Strauss of Majestic Crossing Dairy expresses a concern shared by many large dairies – effective management of waste. It can be costly, time-consuming and downright dirty.

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Many states in the Mississippi River Basin are developing a statewide nutrient reduction strategy at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency. This initiative outlines strategies or management practices to reduce nutrient loading into the Mississippi River and, ultimately, in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Recent deaths of farmers and cattle have raised awareness of the all-too-common dangers of working around manure storage facilities. People “being overcome” or feeling dizzy around manure storage areas happens too often. Headlines often list the reason as asphyxiation or toxic gas.

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