Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
In the news: September-October 2010

September 23, 2010  by Manure Manager

WUD receive grant to develop seepage technology
In the article “Pig Pavement” in the May/June 2010 issue of Manure Manager, we quote Innoventor’s Rick Lux as saying “We liked the technology, and licensed it,” when referring to a process developed at the University of Illinois to turn hog manure into bio-oil. To clarify, that license was granted to Innoventor by a third party (WWBE) under an agreement that was terminated in February 2010. Innoventor’s paving trials with Pace Construction in April 2010 were conducted using its own bio-oil conversion process.

WUD receive grant to develop seepage technology
The Western United Dairymen (WUD) was recently awarded a grant to support development of a water balance approach for seepage measurements from liquid dairy manure storage ponds.

The $111,692 grant is a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“This project will demonstrate technology anticipated to help dairy producers find a more economical method to determine if lagoon ponds are leaking,” explained Paul Martin, WUD’s director of environmental services.


While the project has the goal of assisting California’s Central Valley dairies that are dealing with issues of ground water nitrate levels, it’s hoped dairies in other regions will also find the technology useful.

WUD is partnering on the project with UC Davis, Dairy CARES and Luhdorff and Scalmanini, Consulting Engineers. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant provides half of the funding necessary. The balance of the funding will come through partner in-kind services, and a cash match of $80,000 will be provided from industry sources through the Dairy CARES coalition.

The project involves demonstration projects at five dairies. Following the demonstration and data collection phase, the partners will produce a technical field manual to facilitate widespread technology transfer.

BKN biostrom AG, EnviTec Biogas AG sign agreement
BKN biostrom AG has signed an agreement with EnviTec Biogas AG for project management, development and long-term maintenance of biogas facilities within their joint venture company, ETBKN Holding GmbH & Co. KG.

In the coming years, both parties aim to conduct biogas projects with a volume of at least 15 megawatts through the joint venture company. EnviTec Biogas AG will hold the majority stake.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

UC publication helps policymakers and lenders
A new University of California publication, entitled California Dairies: Protecting Water Quality, outlines key management practices that protect surface and ground water quality.

The guide is aimed at lending institutions, consulting engineers and crop management companies that work with dairy producers, as well as regulatory bodies like county environmental health departments and regional water quality control boards.

Because each dairy is different, the guide describes a variety of management measures and summarizes four critical components that must be in place to protect water quality.

The 16-page guide was produced with funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s “Buy California” Initiative, the United States Department of Agriculture, the US-EPA Clean Water Act, and UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP).

Free copies of the guide, ANR Publication 21630, are available through Tiva Lasiter at, or phone 530-752-0190.

NRCS, California dairies invest $12 million in water quality
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm Bill conservation programs will invest approximately $11.8 million in 2010 into contracts with California dairy and other livestock farmers to implement conservation practices that will help them comply with regulations, manage and use the manure from their animals to fertilize their crops and improve water quality.

The $11.8 million is made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) and the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). EQIP contracts are made directly with agricultural producers, while AWEP and CCPI rely on industry and conservation groups to play a coordinating role to accomplish water quality and other conservation goals.

NRCS has focused effort to work with dairy operators for the past five years as the industry works on improving nutrient efficiency and complying with increasingly strict regulations.

“The dairy industry has been very responsive in working with us to develop and implement plans that take advantage of natural fertilizer occurring in livestock manure, and developing structures and management techniques to keep it away from water sources,” said Ed Burton, state conservationist for the NRCS California office.

In the past five years, NRCS has targeted roughly $47 million towards addressing the issue. Typically, producers put up half the cost of conservation projects, meaning the total NRCS industry investment approaches $100 million.

NRCS is working closely with Western United Dairymen, the University of California Cooperative Extension Service and others to bring information, training and financial assistance to dairy operators.


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