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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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The addition of anaerobic digestion with biogas utilization or sale (hereafter a biogas system) to a dairy or other livestock operation can significantly reduce odor problems and possibly increase net farm income. In addition, it can substantially reduce the emission of methane.

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Manure can contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and other essential plant nutrients. Concentration of these nutrients in livestock manure can also be highly variable and depends mainly upon the animal species, age, diet and how the manure has been stored and handled. Therefore, laboratory analysis is the best way to determine the level of nutrients in the material to be applied.

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In today’s uncertain economy, business owners from all walks of life are looking for opportunities to create new income streams, cash flow and decrease potential liabilities. Farmers are in a unique position to use carbon credits as a means of achieving all three goals.

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For anyone involved in dairy these days, there are an increasing number of options to “go green.”

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Farmers have long balanced environmental stewardship with profitability as part their daily lives. The idea of doing well by doing good provides part of the foundation to the proposed national cap-and-trade program of the incoming presidential administration and Congress. Many farms across the country have already reaped financial and environmental benefits by developing projects that supply carbon credits into the U.S. carbon marketplace – benefits like revenue, biogas production for energy use on the farm, better neighbor relationship management, decreased odors, rainwater diversion, reduction of the farm’s carbon footprint and many other real savings.

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The increasing pressure on organizations and individuals to take action to slow the effects of climate change, together with the growing carbon market in the U.S., can present new opportunities for dairy farmers. The generation of electricity and carbon offsets from projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) can provide additional revenue and reduce farm operating costs.

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