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5 Things I can't do without: Dave Eisentraut

Progressive Dairyman Editor Karen Lee Published on 30 June 2014

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Almost 16 years ago, Dave Eisentraut of Eisentraut Ag Services began custom-hauling manure.

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In the first year, he handled four million gallons of manure and now moves 200 million gallons on an annual basis.

Based in Waldo, Wisconsin, his business covers a 40-mile radius in the eastern portion of the state.

Every custom operator relies heavily on his or her equipment, and Eisentraut is no exception. When the manure storage is full, the fields are dry and the sun is out, he knows his equipment needs to be ready to go.

As he looks over his inventory, Eisentraut explains to Progressive Dairyman Editor Karen Lee that there are some pieces of equipment he simply couldn’t do his job without.

Dave Eisentraut by tractor

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1. Draghose systems
Manufactured by Eisentraut and his crew, these are made of many different components. The high-pressure pumps come from Cornell Pump Company, engines from John Deere or Cummins, hose from Balzer Inc. and shanks from Case IH or Summers Manufacturing Inc. The frames and carriages, they fabricated themselves.

Eisentraut says he couldn’t do without these because they are in high demand. “There are a lot of systems out there, and they are all overbooked,” he says. “You can always hire tanks and trucks, but these are hard to get a hold of when you need it.”

2. Dredge truck

This truck was also custom-built by Eisentraut. The truck is equipped with a 102-foot boom that folds out. On the edge is a dredge and pump that can be submerged into the bottom of a manure pit for agitation. Its versatility allows it to also reach over the top of above-ground storage silos.

3. Lagoon pumps and agitators

He has nine of these from Houle that range from 50 to 60 feet in length. Having several in his fleet, Eisentraut is able to run a couple of different locations at the same time.

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4. Krohne calibrated liquid flow meters

By getting an accurate count of the volume of manure he is moving, Eisentraut is able to calculate a precise application rate per acre, thus ensuring his customers are able to abide by their nutrient management plans.

5. Case IH Steiger tractors

These heavy-duty tractors are called upon to pull the injection toolbars and move the draghose back and forth to the field.

Dave Eisentraut by a hose

Bonus item:

More than Manure nutrient manager

Although he hasn’t used this product from SFP enough to place it in his top five, Eisentraut is discovering its value when it comes to manure handling. “It cuts agitation time in half. The lagoons are cleaner and pump out faster,” he says.

“It definitely makes it a lot easier and more efficient.” After using the product at two different locations, he finds it would work best to break down solids at thicker manure storage facilities. In addition, he says it controls odor by calming down the volatile form of nitrogen, also known as ammonia. PD

PHOTOS: Photos by Peggy Coffeen .

Karen Lee
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