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Take a peek inside exemplary operations around North America in our videos and slideshows. Also, discover best practices for your farm from industry experts with our multimedia features.

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

VIDEO:

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."

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View photos from La Clare Farms. The Hedrich family’s business includes an on-site café, retail store and creamery in Pipe, Wisconsin. Their hand-crafted champion cheeses are made from milk from their 600 dairy goats.

Read more about the family's operation. PD

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The 2013 Vita Plus Dairy Summit was an action-packed, three-day event that included farm tours, expert speakers and dairy producer panels, along with plenty of time for socializing. Check out photos from these activities here:

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This video article was #13 of the Top 25 most well-read articles on www.progressivedairy.com in 2013.

A conversation on crossbreeding caught the attention of dairy producers at the 2013 World Ag Expo, and many of those who missed the presentation by University of Minnesota’s Dr. Leslie Hansen, and a panel discussion with California dairy producers Jake DeRaadt and Jack Hoekstra, tuned in online.

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Listen as Dr. Les Hansen, dairy genetics professor from the University of Minnesota, discusses dairy cattle crossbreeding and current research related to crossbreeding.

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