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California launches new manure technology review


April 11, 2008
By Marg Land


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As the nation’s leading dairy state, California provides 21 percent of the U.S. milk supply.

As the nation’s leading dairy state, California provides 21 percent of the U.S. milk supply. However, as the numbers of milk cows and people continue to grow, particularly in the state’s dairy-rich San Joaquin Valley, managing and treating dairy manure to prevent air and water pollution is a major concern.

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The California Dairy Manure Technology Review is inviting vendors to submit information on their manure treatment technologies for an objective assessment by a panel of experts pulled from government, industry, academia and environmental groups. The panel will serve as a clearinghouse for information on technologies that are most likely to work, given California’s climate, economic factors and regulatory requirements.

Intent on identifying the most effective manure treatment processes and equipment, University of California – Davis Campus is collaborating on a technology review project with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as well as other regulatory and industry organizations. The California Dairy Manure Technology Review, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is inviting vendors to submit information on their manure treatment technologies for objective assessment by a panel of experts from government, industry, academia and environmental groups.

It is hoped this second round of review will build on information shared during the first technology assessment, held in 2005. The new panel has refined the review’s request form and intends to consider the multimedia impacts of various dairy management strategies plus make a broader impact analysis of technologies, focusing not just on manure management but other emission sources as well.

While not endorsing any specific technologies, the panel will serve as a clearinghouse for information on technologies that are most likely to work, given California’s climate, economic factors and regulatory requirements. “We are asking vendors to provide us with scientific data on what their technology accomplishes and how it works, as well as how much it costs and whether it has already been certified for use,” says Deanne Meyer, a Co-operative Extension livestock waste management specialist, University of California, in Davis’ animal science department.

“We hope that this review process will identify technologies that provide dairy farmers with options that protect the environment and meet all regulatory requirements,” Meyer says. “We also hope this database will help dairy operators, researchers and industry groups find locations and partners for technology demonstration projects.”

Interested vendors can submit information on their technologies using forms available at: www.manureproducts.info. The deadline for submissions was March 27, 2008 but late submissions will be accepted and reviewed based on available resources. It is hoped the information gathered during the review will be shared with the industry during a mini-symposia, scheduled for later in 2008.

This latest technology review is the second for the state of California. In 2005, the CARB hosted a San Joaquin Valley Dairy Manure Technology Feasibility Assessment Panel to help determine which technologies and management techniques were most likely to improve the management and treatment of dairy manure in the San Joaquin Valley. Panel members were drawn from government, industry, academia, plus environmental and conservation groups. They evaluated material submitted from 44 technologies to assess performance claims. In December 2005, a report was released from the panel, entitled: An Assessment of Technologies for Management and Treatment of Dairy Manure in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The report is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/ag/caf/dairypnl/dmtfaprprt.pdf -end-


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