Manure Manager

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From the Editor: European expertise


With the New Year in full effect, so too is the conference and trade show season. All across North America (and the world), industry folk have been braving the winter temperatures to take in the latest educational sessions, network with a few like-minded individuals or maybe just collect a few free pens. Regardless of the motives, trade show season is full of opportunity.

In the initial 2019 issue of Manure Manager, our cover story gets in on the action of the season, taking you to the floor of the world’s leading event for animal production – EuroTier. Innovations from around the world were put on display by hundreds of exhibitors, showcasing the latest in manure management processes and equipment. For all the details, check out the feature on page 10.

“I often hear the comment from journalists that new concepts shown at EuroTier are a good indicator as to what will come to North America later,” said Malene Conlong, the event organizer’s communications manager. “A good example of this is group housing for sows, which began in Europe and is now being adopted in the U.S. as swine farm operators react to changing consumer demands on animal welfare.”

EuroTier is held in Germany every two years. The theme for this year’s event was digital animal farming – management support, animal health, food safety.

“New concepts around digitization can bring added value to agriculture, help integrate agriculture into a dynamic rural area, and highlight its role as an indispensable part of society,” explained EuroTier’s project manager, Dr. Karl Schlösser.

Along with covering nearly every aspect of livestock production, EuroTier also showcased another side of manure innovation, playing host to EnergyDecentral, the leading trade fair for bioenergy and decentralized energy concepts.

EnergyDecentral was hosted by the German Biogas Association. With 4,700 members, the German Biogas Association is Europe’s strongest organization in biogas. Germany itself tends to be leading the way when it comes to biogas technology and production. With the help of strong initiatives from the government, Germany has approximately 9,500 biogas plants in operation throughout the country and overseas demand for German biogas technology remains strong.

So, perhaps Conlong is correct in saying that many concepts displayed at EuroTier are a good indicator as to what will be coming to North America in the future.

And while German may be leading the charge when it comes to biogas production, North American farms are certainly heading towards more innovative ways of utilizing manure. For instance, Reinford Farms in Pennsylvania, who have been creating their own energy since installing an anaerobic digester on the 720-head dairy operation in 2008. The farming operation uses approximately 48 tons of manure in their digester per day and currently there are no fossil fuels used on farm for heating or electricity.

Click here for the profile of Reinford Farms, who have found their own success with biogas production right here at home.