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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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You know algae. It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a fish tank when you forget to clean it. It’s the slime that makes you slip on rocks while crossing a stream. You probably think of algae as a nuisance, if you even bother to think of it at all.

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On July 2, 2007, gas in a manure pit claimed the lives of five people on a Virginia farm. The victims included a 34-year-old farmer who climbed down into the pit to unclog a pipe and was overcome by manure gas.

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When I met with Ted Carpenter and Paul Kelly more than 18 months ago, they had an idea that seemed almost too good to be true. I remember leaving the conversation thinking: “If they can prove what they are saying, then what they have to say would really be worth saying!” I am here to make good on my thoughts, because Bio-Environmental Solutions for Today (BEST) has lived up to its end of the conversation.

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David Albers wishes he could say the reason he’s covering his lagoon and capturing methane is because he had a genius epiphany one day, but instead he says he’ll be producing enough commercial-grade methane to power about 1,200 homes because of persistence and luck.

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Sand-laden manure may be handled using a scrape or flush system. The handling systems should allow for the sand and solids to separate from the effluent. The abrasiveness of sand may create problems when mechanically handling sand-laden manure. Manure weighs about 60 pounds per cubic foot (lbs/cf), whereas sand has a density of 120 lbs/cf.

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Calibration of manure application equipment is a critical part of routine farm management as manure management is being examined closely across the country. Knowing and managing how much manure along with its nutrients is being applied to a particular field is paramount for several reasons:

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