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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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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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When you travel through Vermont, tree-lined farms and hills dominate the landscape. Throughout this patchwork lies hundreds of producers that, until now, have been cut off from the advancing world of manure digestion, simply because people have said their operations are just too small. With the backing of a renewable energy company, Avatar, and a desire to prove everyone wrong, Dr. Guy Roberts is about to change the face of anaerobic digestion and its implications for smaller operations.

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Agricultural practices have become more intensive to provide for the nutritional needs of an increasing human population and as a response to economic pressures on individual farms. Higher production levels are possible on farms through the use of chemically fixed fertilizer and feeds imported to farms from other regions. However, such practices also may increase the potential for losses of reactive nitrogen to air and water.

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