June 21, 2017, Fair Oaks, IN – On June 16, Midwestern BioAg was joined by more than 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of its new TerraNu fertilizer manufacturing plant. The event, hosted at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, IN, featured remarks from Midwestern BioAg leadership and Mike McCloskey, co-founder and chairman of the board at Fair Oaks Farms. READ MORE
June 8, 2016, Calgary, Alta. - Livestock Water Recycling is one of seven Calgary based technology companies who will receive over $2.5 million in federal government support to help bring their technology to the global marketplace.The LWR System is a disruptive technology that is used by dairy and hog producers to recover nutrients and recycle water from livestock manure.There are many benefits to managing manure in this way; these include cleaner sand for bedding, increased crop yields due to strategic nutrient application, and a much easier path to expansion should a producer so choose.This funding will be used to further develop a new module for RO cleaning that will reduce consumable costs and increase flow capacity. Not only will this advance manure treatment, but could potentially have applications across a variety of industries beyond livestock production.David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, made the funding announcement last week on the Minister's behalf during a visit to Innovate Calgary.The funding supports western-based companies that develop cutting-edge technology, create jobs, and spur the economy. The Government's Innovation Agenda aims to make Canada a global centre for innovation – one that drives economic growth by creating better jobs, opportunities, and living standards for all Canadians.
May 31, 2017, Orange County, Cali. - In the "Back to the Future" film franchise trilogy, Dr. Emmet Brown replaced the plutonium-based nuclear generator in the De Lorean time machine with a "Mr. Fusion" generator from the future that uses garbage as fuel. CR & R Environmental Services has a similar dream for the future – turning waste into energy through an advanced technology called anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion produces "biogas" from organic waste in a zero waste, 100 percent renewable process.At a recent Economic Workforce Development Committee luncheon hosted by the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce at the Diamond Club at Storm Stadium, Alex Braicovich, senior regional vice president at CR & R, shared the vision, the process and the progress of their initiative of "Turning Today's Waste into Tomorrow's Energy."CR & R, a full service, privately held, integrated waste management company based in Orange County, California, was founded in 1963 with one truck in a waste-hauling operation and later added two recycling trucks. Today, the company has grown to include 50 municipal contracts in Southern California and southwestern United States. They have 12 processing contracts and utilize 1,000 trucks every day with 1,600 employees that serve 2.5 million residential customers and 50,000 commercial customers. They have two solid waste facilities, five transfer stations and two landfills – a large one in Yuma, Arizona, and a smaller one serving Catalina Island.The company has always been on the leading edge, including having the first recycling buy-back center in Orange County, the first three-can, fully automated curbside collection system, the first network of Material Recovery Facilities and one of the first bio-filtration systems. READ MORE
May 25, 2017, Calgary, Alta. - Livestock Water Recycling has been named finalist for a Water Industry Achievement Award for Water Resource Management Initiative of the Year. Organized by WET News and Water & Wastewater Treatment, the awards celebrate innovation and best practices in the water sector, and are highly prized within the industry. Dairy and hog producers install the LWR System when they want smart, flexible, on-site nutrient recovery that allows them to expand their herds. The LWR System holds the industry record for the most installations and is helping producers make valuable nutrient products that are easy to export while recycling clean water that is used to clean sand, irrigate crops, and even water back to the livestock. "We are always pushing ourselves to consistently deliver leading-edge technologies to our customers while going above and beyond the call of duty," says Director of Operations, J.R. Brooks. "It is truly an honor to be recognized on this short list of companies who are each changing the water treatment landscape in their respective fields." LWR has created the only proven system on the market that segregates and concentrates manure nutrients while recycling clean water that can be used back on the farm. Today, over 590,000,000 million gallons of manure can be treated annually through LWR Systems that are currently installed across North America. Not only are nutrient values maximized, but this method of manure treatment currently results in the potential recovery of over 400 million of gallons of clean, reusable water. Enough water to fill 639 Olympic sized swimming pools, or the equivalent of the annual water consumption of over 13,000 Americans - and that number rises with every new installation. "To be recognized among the water industry's elite is a result of our ongoing desire to provide the livestock industry with proven, reliable technology that truly adds value to farming operations. We are excited to showcase our technology on the world stage" adds Brooks.
May 15, 2017, Raleigh, NC – PrairieChar, a Kansas company developing a system to convert animal manure into useful products, won the $10,000 cash prize and $3,500 in legal and financial advice at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's 2017 Ag Biotech Entrepreneurial Showcase.PrairieChar Chairman and CEO Robert Herrington said he started the company because his wife made him buy her a horse farm. He suffered a broken back when a tree fell on him as he was clearing a pasture. Lying in bed recuperating, he called friends in California and asked them to send him business plans to review. One caught his eye."We're in the manure business," Herrington said of what has become his new adventure. "We take something you don't want and turn it into something you do."Manure is a cost center in the cattle, swine and poultry industries. It causes disposal and environmental problems. In North Carolina, one of the top swine producers in the nation, manure from swine and poultry adds up to 40 billion pounds a year. Swine manure put into lagoons causes odor and environmental problems that Herrington believes can be solved with PrairieChar's technology.PrairieChar, which Herrington said was engineered to be a scalable, cost-effective solution, is developing machines the size of cargo containers that can be placed next to a manure pile. The manure never has to be transported more than 300 feet. The company's revenue-share model means it gets the manure for nothing and farmers turn a cost center into a revenue stream.The machines turn the manure into two valuable sterile products, he said. The process eliminates emissions into the air and removes soil and water hazards. One product produced is a "100 percent OMRI organic fertilizer that can reduce conventional fertilizer needs."The other is a sustainable, renewable coal substitute that produces an ash that is actually valuable instead of being an environmental hazard like coal ash. It is 90 percent pure phosphate that can be sold for 25-cents to one-dollar a pound."We can change the way we're dealing with environmental issues," Herrington said. "We could convert manure into 33 million tons of our products annually."It would also create jobs paying $50,000 to $70,000 annually in rural America, he added.The machines cost $550,000 to build. The company recently opened a Series A round looking for $5 million. Although the company currently plans to begin operations on cattle manure in Kansas, Herrington said that if enough of its funding comes from North Carolina, it will target swine manure "sooner rather than later."
May 10, 2017, Bonduel, WI – While AgSource Laboratories is not "older than dirt," the organization does have a 50-year history of analyzing soil and contributing to the overall health and productivity of thousands of acres of land.What started as a county extension milk lab has grown into a full service agronomy lab, complete with nutrient management planning and GPS soil sampling services.AgSource Laboratories, in Bonduel, Wis., became a part of AgSource (then called ARC, Agricultural Records Cooperative) in August 1967. That first year, the lab processed just 5,301 soil samples. Today, the lab can analyze that many samples in under two days."We're very proud of the lab's long history," notes Steve Peterson, AgSource Vice President of Laboratory Services. "Bonduel has been a great community to work in. Thank you to our friends in Bonduel and thank you to our customers for 50 terrific years!"Over the years, the laboratory has specialized in forage, soil, plant tissue and manure testing. While forage testing is no longer offered, agronomy services have expanded to include VRT fertilizer recommendations, GPS soil sampling and nutrient management planning."Every day in the lab is different, which keeps things fun," comments Peterson. "It should be interesting to see how we continue to adapt and grow in the future."AgSource Laboratories, in Bonduel, Wis., will officially celebrate 50 years of soil testing services this August 2017. Customers, friends and community members are welcome to attend several special events this summer at the laboratory, located at 106 North Cecil Street. Stay tuned for more fun, 50th celebration announcements.• June Dairy Month Ice Cream Social – Wednesday, June 14, 2-4 pm• Anniversary Celebration Open House – Wednesday, August 16, 2-5 pmFor more information, visit,
June 2, 2016, London, OH – A little over two months remain before this year’s edition of the North American Manure Expo (NAME), being held August 3 and 4, 2016, near London, Ohio. Registration is free and available online here. Two action-packed days have been planned. On August 3, attendees can choose from one of three tours, including dairy, beef plus composting and nutrient management. Pit agitation and solid/liquid manure separation demonstrations will also be held at a local dairy in the afternoon. The Manure Expo grounds open at 3 p.m. with educational sessions involving a presentation from Livestock Water Recycling, Puck Pump School plus information on small farm manure management and cover crops. On August 4, the grounds will open at 7:30 a.m. and feature a full day of educational sessions covering everything from anaerobic digestion to water quality. Manure application demonstrations, including solid and liquid manure spreaders, compost turners, subsurface drainage plus spreader calibration, are also planned. The event is being held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home of Ohio’s Farm Science Review, located near London, Ohio. For more information on the 2016 North American Manure Expo, including a detailed agenda of tours and educational sessions plus directions to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, please click here. The North American Manure Expo provides a perfect opportunity for custom applicators and livestock producers to advance their knowledge of manure-nutrient utilization while showcasing the latest technology in manure handling, treatment and application. The 2015 expo, held in Chambersburg, Penn., was a winner of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. The 2016 edition of the show promises to be just as exciting and educational. The 2016 North American Manure Expo is being hosted by The Ohio State University and the Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association. The event is owned by the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin. Annex Business Media, publisher of Manure Manager magazine, serves as the show manager.
February 3, 2016, Chambersburg, PA – A roughly four-hour forum on the Wilson College campus Saturday on so-called “factory farming,” drew 75 people or more. The basic problem voiced was how to feed a growing world population with diminishing resources without turning much of the planet into a poisonous, stinking mess. READ MORE
February 2, 2016, Columbus, OH — Scientists are actively pursuing answers to how nutrients are moving and leaving farmers’ fields in the western Lake Erie basin, and the results could be a little surprising. Mark Williams, a Columbus-based soil drainage researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gave Ohio Farmers Union members an update on research regarding tile drainage and surface runoff. READ MORE
July 31, 2015, Aledo, IL – In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 500 farmers died on the job, while another 70,000 suffered disabling injuries. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) was in Aledo July 30 to attempt to keep area farmers from becoming one of those statistics. Brad Kruse of NECAS emphasized manure pit safety during his about two-hour presentation. As part of the presentation, he brought the NECAS Confined Space Manure Pit Simulator. READ MORE
February 3, 2015, Green Bay, WI – As the animal agriculture industry evolves, the handing of manure is becoming more complex with waste streams processed for energy, fertilizer, bedding and potable water production. To keep abreast of the latest technologies and techniques in animal waste management, University of Wisconsin-Extension invites you to the 2015 Midwest Manure Summit being held February 24 and 25, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisc. During this two-day event, industry leaders will discuss manure separation and treatment technologies, including: water recycling systems, liquid-solid separation systems, anaerobic digesters, odor management, manure irrigation, and more. Nationally recognized speakers include: Dr. John Chastain, associate professor, Agricultural Waste Management, Clemson University who will be discussing Planning a Solid-Liquid Separation System to Meet Manure Treatment and Management Goals Dr. Kevin Janni, professor, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota speaking on Manure Odor Management Dr. Mark Powell, soil scientist, USDA-ARS, US Dairy Forage Research Center presenting on The Rations We Feed Dairy Cattle Impact Manure Chemistry and Nutrient Dynamics in Soil, Water and Air Doug Renk, biological commissioning engineer, BIOFerm USA, discussing Compact, Containerized Anaerobic Digester: On-Farm Energy Creation for Small-Medium Dairies Dr. Ariel Szogi, soil scientist, USDA-ARS, Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center will be presenting on Nutrient Recovery Technologies from Animal Manure Farm tours of two local dairies, one utilizing a methane digester for manure treatment and energy production, round out the second day the summit. Early bird registration for the 2015 Midwest Manure Summit is $195 for the two-day conference, which includes printed proceedings, lunches, transportation to and from the featured farms, and refreshments. One-day registration and late registration (after February 16, 2015) is also available. A complete agenda, speaker list, and registration details can be found in the brochure or on the summit website at Questions regarding the Midwest Manure Summit can be directed to its co-chairmen: Liz Binversie, Brown County UW-Extension agriculture educator, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 920-391-4612, or Eric Ronk, Calumet County UW-Extension agriculture agent at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 920-849-1450 Ext: 2. The 2015 Midwest Manure Summit is sponsored by UW-Extension, Bauer North America, DAIRYBUSINESS, Komro Sales, Manure Manager, AgSource Laboratories, Livestock Water Recycling, Inc, and Puck Custom Enterprises, Inc.
October 2014, Miami, FL – Unless you're one of few people who didn't recoil in horror at Two Girls, One Cup, it’s likely you don’t find poop particularly sexy. But the folks at Miami’s Fertile Earth Foundation are working to show the public that “waste” has a purpose, and embracing its awesomeness can help save the planet. Starring 12 super-sexy, eco-conscious ladies slathered in South Floridian shit, the 2015 Ladies of Manure calendar is coming soon. READ MORE
June 9, 2017, Washington, D.C. - Nominations are now being accepted for the 20th annual Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year Award, which is co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Herd Management magazine. The winner will be honored at Dairy Forum 2018, January 21-24 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs in Desert Spring, Calif. Nominations must be submitted by August 25, 2017, and there is no fee to enter.The call asks for nominations of active U.S. dairy farms that are improving on-farm efficiency through progressive management practices, production technologies and/or marketing approaches. Nominees will be judged on current methods as well as their positioning to meet future economic and business challenges.The award recipient will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Dairy Forum to attend a special presentation ceremony held during the program. The person nominating the winner will receive complimentary registration to Dairy Forum.In addition, the winning operation will be highlighted in the January 2018 issue of Dairy Herd Management. Dairy Forum is widely recognized as the most important processor and producer conference of the year for the U.S. dairy industry. The 2017 event drew an impressive crowd of more than 1,100 industry participants.  For more information, visit: 
June 8, 2017, Linn, Kan. - Handling manure can be costly. A farm in Kansas was spending up to $90,000 each year to pick up manure solids, but now the costs have dropped significantly.Since November of 2000, Lee Holtmeier has been managing the Linn Willow Creek Dairy LLC outside Linn, Kan. Prior to that, he'd worked 20 years for Farmland Foods buying hogs and grew up auctioneering cattle and hogs at his family's sale barn business in Nebraska. The only experience he'd had with dairy cows is when he started breeding cattle for Willow Creek Dairy when the dairy began operations in 1999.While he didn't know some of the intricacies of dairy farming, Holtmeier did know how to manage people and spot problems. "We've changed a lot of things and moved some things around," Holtmeier says of his time at the farm the past 17 years.One of those major changes was improving how manure was handled. Prior to 2007, the dairy was spending anywhere from $80,000 to $90,000 per year hiring dump trucks and excavators to take out the manure solids from three settling bays and three lagoons in the spring and fall. Not only was it costly, it also had a larger environmental footprint with several heavy machines being run to pick up manure. READ MORE
March 11, 2014, Twin Falls, ID – Researchers are beginning to put that principle to work to help create “designer” manures to prevent build up of macronutrients in the soil, but feed costs will limit how widely the practice is adopted. Increasing potassium and sodium levels, which are both salts, increases the concentration found in urine but also does not impact milk content, explained Rick Norell, University of Idaho extension dairy specialist in eastern Idaho, during the UI nutrient management conference held recently. READ MORE    
December 23. 2013, Stanislaus County — They have helped save endangered geese, and controlled manure and reduced water use, all the while producing food in and near Stanislaus County.Six operations in the region are among 45 recognized statewide by the American Farmland Trust in a report called Profiles in Stewardship. The Washington, D.C.-based group highlighted efforts by farmers and ranchers to protect the environment and livestock. READ MORE
November 8, 2013 – Making plastic from renewable resources is no new feat.But for the past six years, scientists at the University of Idaho have been working diligently to tap into one biomass resource that has yet to be exploited in the plastics industry: dairy manure. READ MORE
Customers often ask custom manure applicator Eric Dresbach to point out where he has land applied the manure from their hog or dairy farms because when they inspect the job, they can’t smell it. He takes that as a compliment. It means that his philosophy of providing good training for staff and delivering quality service for more than 25 years is working. He believes that if applicators want to be treated like professionals, then they have to behave like professionals. He adds that the JCB tractors, Houle honey wagons and Dietrich shanks, which he uses exclusively in his fleet to apply the manure exactly where it is needed to maximize nutrient value to crops, also deserve a lot of credit. Dresbach owns W.D. Farms Inc, located in Circleville, Ohio, about 25 miles from Columbus. They custom apply between 30 and 40 million gallons of liquid manure annually, typically transporting the manure to fields five to eight miles from the manure source, and have worked in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Normal business radius is about 200 miles from home base. The company employs five to 10 people, depending on the time of year. After finishing college in 1980 with a degree in agronomy from the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI), a branch of Ohio State University, Dresbach began farming in partnership with his dad and brother. “The early ’80s was a tough time for a beginning farmer, so I started a grain and fertilizer trucking company called W.D. Farms in the fall of 1985,” he says. He bought out his partner in 1995 and at that time began focusing entirely on custom manure application. “Our specialty is liquid manure,” says Dresbach. “It can be anything from up close ‘pump and dump’ with tractors and honey wagons to where we put it in a semi, run it up the road, transfer it to a honey wagon and then apply the product. We have become a very good traveling circus because of this practice.” The majority of the company’s business is done with hog producers. He and his staff also provide their services to the dairy industry. They typically inject hog manure and broadcast dairy manure. Dresbach prefers to describe his company as a custom provider of “organic nutrient recycling” rather than custom manure application because this description presents manure as having value as a natural fertilizer. But he also recognizes that it requires careful management. “We always do what is right no matter what and always assume someone is watching.” That’s the first principle that the company has posted on its website, closely followed by, “we believe in good housekeeping at all times.” Dresbach knows that his service isn’t the cheapest among custom manure applicators in his area, and that can be a tough position to take in a weak economy with the agriculture industry struggling. But he is more interested in building a clientele of repeat customers who understand the value in his service than in racing around a field doing a mediocre job just to pad his bottom line. “In the long run, we’re the cheaper option,” he says, “but in the short run, it’s more dollars today but you have someone who cares.” He agrees with local agriculture extension experts who say that the value of the manure depends on the quality of the application. When the manure is properly injected, the nitrogen is retained in the soil and neighbors are happy because there is minimal odor emanating from the field. “I tell my employees that I don’t care if you are over the hill and behind the woods and you are faced with a situation where you could do it right or fast and easy,” says Dresbach. “You do what’s right.” Dresbach is the president of the Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association, representing manure haulers in Ohio and Indiana. He is also a past board member of the Great Lakes Bio-Solids Management Association (USEPA Region 5). He, his tractor operators, and two of his three teenage children who are actively engaged and interested in being part of the business, have taken training to receive their Ohio certified livestock manager licenses. The Ohio Department of Agriculture requires this license for anyone handling more than 4,500 dry tons per year or 25 million gallons of liquid manure. Dresbach’s daughter has also started college at ATI, working toward her degree in agriculture business. W.D. Farms Inc. has a fleet consisting of three 7,000-gallon Houle honey wagons with Dietrich shanks for incorporation, pulled by 8310 and 8250 JCB Fastrac tractors. Each piece of the company’s fleet has been carefully selected for the value it brings to help W.D. Farms operate efficiently while performing quality service for customers. “We’ve been very happy with our new 8310 JCB tractor because we get about 15 percent better fuel economy and 42 miles per hour road speed,” says Dresbach. “It’s not unusual for us to move 50 miles at a time, so the road speed is huge and the suspension improves the quality of life for the operators.” The company has been using Houle honey wagons for about 16 years and staff appreciate the suspension-less steering system on the wagons. Dresbach describes it as a hydraulically captured loop system on the three-axle wagons, which allows it to roll over the terrain better, keeping the load more level and thus avoiding a weight shift to a single axle. This reduces breakage and the likelihood of putting a 40,000-pound load on one axle. “It also rides a lot smoother,” says Dresbach. “Combined with the suspension that is also on the tractor, when you come across a rise or a bump, it won’t even chatter. We don’t have drawbar wear and it’s an operator comfort issue.” Also, Dresbach says, with the honey wagons’ front and rear axles that can turn when traveling down the road, the wagons do practically no damage to roads compared to wagons on a fixed-axle system, which sometimes skid especially on turns. This also contributes to reduce wear and tear on their wagons. They’ve had two axle issues in 16 years with the Houle honey wagons. The hydraulic braking system on the tractor is also tied to the braking system on the honey wagon, resulting in improved safety. Behind the honey wagons, W.D. Farms pulls custom-built, nine shank incorporators with Dietrich manure injection systems. The amount that the company is able to apply, given the length of their incorporation system has a definite impact on the bottom line, as they are paid by the number of gallons applied. “Other tanker wagon companies are typically pulling only four or five shanks at 12 or 14 feet, but we are pulling nine shanks at 22.5 feet,” says Dresbach, which means that they can apply more manure in the same amount of time. The honey wagons are also equipped with a custom-built transfer system to pump the liquid manure from the semi-trailer trucks to the wagons. Dresbach has high praise for the Dietrich shanks, which shatter and fluff the soil and allow the manure to be applied exactly where it is needed. “We have very little manure showing on the surface,” says Dresbach. “It’s in the right place and undercover so that it doesn’t run off. That’s the only shank I will run.” The company’s fleet also consists of a 9220 John Deere tractor and four semi-trailer trucks with double conical tanks for long distance transport. Using this type of tank on each semi means it has a lower center of gravity, making transport more stable and the solids flow out of the tank from a lower centralized point. Dresbach says it is easier to keep the tanks clean, especially when transporting material with high solids content. They also have a VMI dredge to recover valuable solid nutrients from the bottom of lagoons. It is a valuable organic fertilizer because it can be up to five times richer in nutrients than standard hog manure. This piece of equipment is also helpful to remove settled sand in dairy lagoons, as more dairies move toward sand bedding for their animals. Rounding out the fleet is a collection of Houle, Godwin and Cornell agitation and transfer pumps. Dresbach says he has chosen to build his business around a tanker fleet because many of his customers, particularly dairy farmers, don’t own extra cropland next to their farms where the liquid manure could be land applied. That area of the United States in particular has attracted many dairy farmers from the Netherlands who are focused specifically on their dairy operations. Many have purchased 70 acres of land and have established a 2,000-cow dairy on that piece of land, which means that they must negotiate with other landowners to land apply their manure. In this case, a drag hose system would only be part of the solution because liquid manure often needs to be transported several miles away for application, and the farms where it is applied tend to be a collection of several smaller parcels of land. In fact, that is a big part of Dresbach’s business – facilitating a dialogue between the hog or dairy farms and crop growers to arrange for custom application of the manure, which he says can be one of the most challenging parts of his job. “You have to get all parties on board on timing, rates, and financial contributions from both sides to pay my bill,” says Dresbach. Dresbach says that his hog producer clients tend to recycle their manure generally on their own cropland as organic fertilizer. Most are contract growers who have attached a hog operation to their corn crop business to add another income stream to their farm. When a situation arises where some of the manure can be transported short distances, W.D. Farms will partner with a colleague who operates a drag hose system. 

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