Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
In the news: July-August 2010

June 28, 2010  by Manure Manager

Xebec Adsorption Inc. – a provider of biogas upgrading, natural gas and
hydrogen purification solutions headquartered in Montreal, Quebec –
recently announced it has signed a cooperation agreement with Qingdao
Tianren Environment Co. Ltd.
Xebec signs agreement with Chinese biogas company
Xebec Adsorption Inc. – a provider of biogas upgrading, natural gas and hydrogen purification solutions headquartered in Montreal, Quebec – recently announced it has signed a cooperation agreement with Qingdao Tianren Environment Co. Ltd. to develop anaerobic digestion systems that produce renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fuel from waste materials.

Under the terms of the agreement, Xebec will supply biogas purification equipment for future biogas-to-CNG projects developed by Tianren. In addition, Xebec and Tianren will cooperate in other areas, including the development of financing alternatives for Chinese biogas project developers and the deployment of Tianren’s anaerobic digestion technology in markets outside of China.

“Xebec’s strategy is to partner with market leaders in the Chinese biogas market in order to accelerate the deployment of Xebec’s biogas purification solutions,” said Kurt Sorschak, president and CEO of Xebec.

“The biogas market in China is poised for significant growth,” he added. “Currently, there are more than 5,000 biogas digesters in China, producing some 13 billion cubic meters (m3) of biogas annually. According to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, this number is set to increase to at least 40 billion m3 of biogas by 2020.”


Manure and hay – A summertime option

Apply manure soon after cutting hay to avoid burning emerging growth.


Just as planting operations begin to wind down in the coming month, first crop hay will be upon us. Making manure applications to production hay fields is an option for many growers if they have the ability to deliver “light and uniform” rates. This practice not only supplies needed nutrients, but may help alleviate some manure storage issues during the growing season.

For solid manure, try to limit rates to 10-12 tons per acre. A 10-ton-per-acre dairy manure application will supply 30 pounds of nitrogen, 30 pounds of phosphorus, and 70 pounds of potassium. Liquid applications should be in the 3,000- to 4,000-gallon-per-acre range. A 4,000-gallon-per-acre dairy manure application will supply 28 pounds of nitrogen, 20 pounds of phosphorus, and 64 pounds of potassium.

Apply the manure as soon as possible after cutting to avoid burning the emerging growth, and target your older fields. Not only does this limit damage to your new hay fields but the grasses present in older stands will benefit from the nitrogen in the manure.- By Paul Kivlin, University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program

Neighborly practices reduce conflicts
Warmer spring and summer weather means increased farm activities and non-farm families spending more time outside where odors are present – a recipe for potential conflict, said Nicole Olynk, Purdue University agricultural economist.

Citizen complaints against farmers most often stem from odors, but many times relate to surface or ground water, or a combination of the three. And while traditionally most complaints have related to animal agriculture, crop farmers are not exempt.

“Crop farms are not immune to negative perceptions of cropping practices,” Olynk said. “Recent times have seen debates surrounding livestock production practices and related animal welfare and humane treatment concerns. But also in the forefront of citizens’ minds are environmental impacts of agricultural practices.”

One way farmers can reduce friction is being mindful of the ways non-farm neighbors perceive on-farm practices. Small acts of neighborly kindness, such as helping neighbors after snowstorms or inviting them to visit the farm, may build goodwill. Slight modifications to farming practices can also help ease tension.

“Simple changes on the part of farm managers, such as avoidance of spreading manure on weekends or holidays, keeping lines of communication open with neighbors to answer questions regarding practices and being cautious about moving machinery on roads during peak times can go a long way in building good community relations,” Olynk said.

A 2009 study by Joleen Hadrich and Christopher Wolf at Michigan State University looked at citizen complaints against farms in Michigan from October 1998 to December 2007. The study found that odor and surface water complaints were by far the most common, and that complaints were highest in spring and summer months when farm work is at its highest and non-farm families spend the most time outdoors.

The study also showed that while livestock operations tended to have more complaints than crop farms, neighbors generally considered manure on fields a cropping-related issue.


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