See what farms are using for nutrient management, from anaerobic digesters and storage to field application and emissions.


Almost seven years ago, Progressive Dairyman told its readers about a new, biodegradable pot being produced by Freund’s Farm in East Canaan, Connecticut. They called them CowPots.

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anaerobic digester

Anaerobic digesters are being more widely utilized on large dairy farms to produce energy from biogas and to stabilize solids (i.e., reduction of volatile solids, pathogens and weed seeds) for use as animal bedding or soil amendment.

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woodchip bioreactor

Dairy farmers may not have to dig too deep, learn to maintain new equipment or radically change production practices in order to reduce nitrogen runoff from agricultural fields. Good manure management, along with help from a few friendly microbes, may be the next big thing in cleaning up our waterways.

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manure bedding

When designing a new building or retrofitting an existing facility, there are boundless questions that have to be thought through and answered. One of the many areas, and one that I would argue is the most crucial, is the manure management system.

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Sustainability is a core mission for the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. To demonstrate this objective, the university commissioned the building of three anaerobic digesters in the state.

The first was a dry fermentation digester in the city of Oshkosh. The second was a small, plug-flow system at a dairy with 130 head of cattle near Oshkosh, and the third was a large farm, complete-mix digester system at Rosendale Dairy in Pickett, Wisconsin.

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In the dairy industry, we know manure is valuable. But how valuable? Typically we look to nutrient composition as the major indicator of dollars and cents. However, examining when, where, how, how much and even how well manure is applied can help dairy farms of all sizes start to realize its real value.

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