For the first time, six manure agitation boats participated together in an equipment demonstration. Hosted by Marshland Acres Custom Heifer Raising in Durand, Wisconsin, the event included educational sessions, equipment introductions and the demonstration of six manure agitation boats entering, agitating and exiting concrete manure storage.
We asked an expert,
Q. Why are manure agitation boats growing in popularity?
Manure agitation boats represent a quantum leap in technology – providing significant agitation fuel savings (50 to 60 percent or more) while solving the problem of removing settled manure solids from larger manure storage structures. In addition to helping dairy producers maximize their storage capacity by removing years of built-up solids, they can create a more uniform nutrient content in the manure being applied to the fields.
Like any technology, however, there are risks. Dairy staff and professional manure applicators need to safely operate agitation devices carefully, not only for their own safety but to prevent damaging the manure storage (clay erosion, plastic liner damage or undermining a push-off ramp). Taking time to learn and practice safe operation will reduce risk and are keys to making the overall manure agitation process more profitable.
Probably the most unique aspect of this technology is its home-grown nature – 70 percent of the manufacturers are either professional manure applicators or dairy farmers who set out to find a way to solve the manure solids problem on their own. Innovations such as in-lagoon GPS guidance, automated systems to prevent liner damage and models that drive themselves into and out of the storage are just the beginning of what is to come.
—Kevin Erb, Conservation professional training coordinator, University of Wisconsin Extension
For the first time, six manure agitation boats participated together in an equipment demonstration. Hosted by Marshland Acres Custom Heifer Raising in Durand, Wisconsin, the event included educational sessions, equipment introductions, and the demonstration of six manure agitation boats entering, agitating and exiting concrete manure storage.
The Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW), Minnesota Custom Applicators Association (MCAA) and University of Wisconsin – Extension planned the event.
Read a related article "Several options exist for manure agitation boats."