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Newtrient will help farmers realize and maximize manure management opportunities

Steve Rowe for Progressive Dairyman Published on 08 April 2016

For the most part, manure has been an underused resource by dairy farmers. Some never realize its full value and potential while others simply don’t know where to go for assistance.

We formed a new company, Newtrient, to change this reality. The company was launched last July by Dairy Management Inc., the National Milk Producers Federation and 12 cooperatives representing about half of the nation’s milk production.

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Our goal is to drive the advancement of relevant technologies and products made from manure. We also want to advance regulatory structures that will enable dairy farmers to adopt sustainable practices that are economically and environmentally sound.

Newtrient aims to offer new possibilities in manure management and resource recovery that helps all dairy farmers preserve and enhance their social license to operate.

About Newtrient

This could mean looking at technologies or simply confirming that a farm can operate in balance with its milk, meat and manure production, and the needs of its soils and crop production.

For many, there is money to be made, and we want to make sure dairy farmers are in the best position to benefit from these returns.

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A 2013 study conducted by Informa Economics identified a potential market opportunity of $3 billion via several areas of value, including:

  • Food waste repurposing
  • Nutrient harvesting
  • Soil amendments
  • Environmental asset trading

The work of Newtrient also helps farmers because today’s consumer – domestically and abroad where we ship U.S. products – makes more purchase decisions based on trust compared to years past.

And research shows us that sustainable farm practices and environmental stewardship are among the keys to trust. Dairy farmers have a long history of environmental stewardship and a great story to tell, but there is more that can be done.

This is where Newtrient comes in with a goal of helping all dairy farms of all sizes understand the possibilities while navigating ever-changing regulatory pressures and technological complexities.

More than digesters

When we formed Newtrient, some referred to us as a “digester company.” But methane digesters are only part of the possibilities. The recovery of phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and fiber from manure can be accomplished in a variety of ways to generate value for farmers. These include:

  • Accelerating manure management technologies regarding energy production, nutrient recovery and value-added technologies

  • Creating products and markets to utilize manure-based byproducts

  • Advancing public and private environmental asset trading opportunities

  • Monitoring and selectively providing regulatory, legislative and risk management expertise for manure-based opportunities and challenges

  • Helping dairy farmers and technology providers assess and understand their business opportunities and challenges related to manure management

The possibilities are numerous, from something as basic as sourcing composted cow manure for products available in a lawn and garden store to more complex opportunities.

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Newtrient, with support from industry and government partners, developed a biogas opportunities road map that showed biomass, produced primarily from manure, can be an environmentally sound and economically competitive option to wind or solar.

How you can get involved

Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer and chairman of DMI, which manages the national dairy checkoff, is excited about Newtrient’s possibilities because of our collaborative nature and innovative spirit.

“We, as dairy farmers, are the original environmental stewards,” Rovey said. “Newtrient positions us so we can get credit for this while increasing our efficiencies that will make this a more sustainable planet.

The time is right for us to do this for the 45,000 dairy farm families across the country. I am extremely optimistic about Newtrient and what it’s doing and what it has the potential to do.”  PD

Steve Rowe
  • Steve Rowe

  • President and CEO
  • Newtrient LLC
  • Email Steve Rowe

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