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The Manure Spreader: The big wind

Tim Moffett Published on 18 July 2014

Recently, I performed at an annual farm-related event. Someone thought it would be a nice idea to let two politicians give their spiel before I was to speak. It was like riding my bicycle behind a manure spreader.

These same politicians are the ones telling me I have to have an approved permit to spread my cows’ manure on my own farm. Great, I’ll get mine right after they get theirs. I used to think a permit was just a fish that thrives in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.



Come to think of it, I need a permit to catch a permit. If I catch too many permits, I also need a permit to sell the permits. According to my research, which is sometimes accurate, the word “permit” was named after the Greek god Permithias.

Permithias was known as a trickster and someone who slowed down progress and civilization. It’s also a known fact that the word “permit” is derived from the word “what-is-all-this-paperwork-for-anyway.”

Certain people are trying to pass a bill to charge farmers, whether they be hog, chicken, horse, cow, rabbit and even fish farmers, on the amount of flatulence each animal produces. What? Seriously, how do you know when a fish breaks wind? I guess you count the bubbles.

According to scientists sitting in a controlled environment, animal gasses are destroying the air we breathe. I had one of those scientists come out to the farm and ask me how I keep track of all my animals’ flatulence. I told him it was easy; I make sure they are always facing away from me.

He then asked me how I test for intensity. I handed him a tuning fork and walked away. Sometimes, you do things for your own laughter. Now, politicians want to charge us on the amount of damage each animal is contributing.


Does this mean an animal which produces more methane should be culled first? What happens when the animals find out? I think this will hurt any type of production because I’ve been in church and there is not a lot else you can do while concentrating on holding one in.

Does this new mandate only pertain to farm-raised animals? I know some farmers’ wives are going to use this as opportunity to get rid of some dead weight.

Can someone please tell me the difference between the ecological disasters my cows’ flatulence causes versus a third-grade field trip my nephew came home from at the county fair?

For an hour-and-a-half before he went to bed, he sounded like a 1922 Allis-Chalmers single-piston tractor trying to start on a cold morning. If the choice is between outlawing alfalfa in our feed rations or corndogs at the fair, I think common sense tells us which way to go.

Politicians say the solution to all this is methane digesters. For those of you that don’t know, a methane digester collects manure and converts the energy stored in its organic matter into methane, which is used to produce energy for on-farm or off-farm use.

The problem with a methane digester is: If it is placed near any politicians, you would not be able to hear them. Politicians favor methane digesters because when they talk, all their words get put into one place on the congressional floor and it seems to give them energy to go on, and on, and on and … I can see why they like methane digesters. PD


For more tips on methane check out my website.