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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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Who knew manure had so many uses? From energy production to bedding for stalls, there seems to be no limit for the usefulness of byproducts from dairy cow manure. Researchers at Michigan State University are developing yet another use for manure – construction material. Laurent Matuana, associate professor, and M. Charles Gould, extension educator of nutrient management, are working to develop medium density fiberboards (MDF) and wood-plastic composites (WPCs) made from the dried manure fibers from anaerobic digesters.

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The process of manure management is heating up – literally. After four years of development and design, EcoCombustion Energy Systems Corporation has commercialized a manure-burning system dubbed Elimanure.

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To comply with the new water quality regulation, some dairy producers in California will have to control manure production and minimize nitrogen intake and excretion in lactation animals.

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Dairy producers in California have the opportunity to review the information submitted on December 2007 to prepare a new Dairy Facility Assessment to comply with the Waste Discharge Requirements (Order No. R5-2007-0035). The next reporting requirements include updating information on waste management plan (WMP) and nutrient management plan (NMP). The WMP and NMP are the most important objectives for dairy producers. In the next years they must be prepared to have sufficient storage capacity to contain all manure, avoiding any possible illegal discharge (on or offsite), and applying manure according to crop requirements.

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With the increased cost of commercial fertilizer and the ever-increasing pressure on producers to protect and preserve water quality, University of Wisconsin (UW) – Discovery Farms staff get a lot of questions on how farmers can reduce their losses of manure.

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Record keeping and inspections are inextricably linked through the permit and nutrient management plan (NMP). In large part, only records can show an inspector that the operation is following its NMP and permit.

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