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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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Imagine a regular day on the farm. You’re going about your chores as usual until the pump in the manure transfer pit under the barn breaks. You go down in the pit to fix it, but suddenly you’re overcome by manure gas.

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On-farm nitrogen management is important to ensure you are meeting production goals, maximizing return on investment and protecting air and water resources. Nitrogen is essential to the growth of all plants and animals and is typically the most limiting nutrient in agricultural production.

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Dairy operations looking to add a manure processing or treatment option to the farm need to first understand what is driving this change.

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Using dried manure solids for bedding is becoming more common among U.S. dairy herds. It allows farms an alternative way to handle manure, and it can help offset bedding costs – a large expense on many dairy farms.

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Reading and interpreting a nutrient management plan (NMP) can be intimidating. The plan has a lot of charts, numbers and symbols. Restriction maps include a lot of squiggly lines, different-colored hash marks and a multitude of setback symbols that aren’t immediately obvious.

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Dirty cows have a negative impact on milk quality, including greater chances of mastitis and a high somatic cell count (SCC). Dirty cows usually mean a dirty tail, and dirty tails can come from dirty stalls. Long tails are here to stay since the ban of tail docking. But thankfully, managing manure for cow hygiene is more automated than it’s ever been.

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