Global
French swine farmer Bernard Rouxel joined the initiative of French pig cooperative Cooperl to start with a new plan to valorise manure in an innovative manner. 
Published in News
Cow manure can do a lot more than create wrinkly noses. It is poised to be pivotal in a biogas revolution and contribute to a fossil-free fuel future. Pioneering Arla farmers are starting to make the most of their cow's manure by turning it into biogas, which is now powering an Arla milk truck in Sweden.
Published in Biogas
African Swine Fever has caused the loss of hundreds of millions of pigs across China and Southeast Asia, creating a massive shortfall in animal protein supply for these regions through 2020, and possibly for years to come. That shortfall will have significant implications for the U.S. animal protein and feed sectors.
Published in News
Farmers rely on phosphorus fertilizers to enrich the soil and ensure bountiful harvests, but the world's recoverable reserves of phosphate rocks, from which such fertilizers are produced, are finite and unevenly distributed.
Published in Profiles
The National Pork Producers Council's board of directors recently announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia.
Published in News
At the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Animal Welfare Forum in Paris, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in collaboration with the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the updated IDF Guide to Good Animal Welfare in Dairy Production.
Published in Dairy
Using manure more efficiently and saving on input costs were two of the key areas focused on at the international EuroTier trade show held in Germany in late 2018.
Published in Manure Handling
NSF International, a global public health and safety organization known for food safety and quality, launched new Global Animal Wellness Standards to address the full lifecycle of all key species and establish best practices for how animals are kept, raised and responsibly managed. The standards are the first of their kind in establishing a universal approach to animal health and wellness.
Published in News
The Güres Group, a poultry farm in Manisa, Turkey, has been experiencing a growth spurt for over five decades. Ahmet Remzi Güres, one of the founder deputies of the Republic of Turkey, started out with only 600 hens in 1963. Today, the farm produces one billion eggs a year.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
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.
Published in Biogas
Puck Custom Enterprises is continuing to expand its international presence after partnering with two organizations to bring its manure application and agitation equipment to Serbia.
Published in Companies
The BlueBox Ultra has been specially developed for the biological treatment of manure and fermentation residues and works the same way as a municipal wastewater treatment plant.

In the bioreactor of the BlueBox Ultra, the manure is converted into water, which contains only traces of nitrogen and phosphorus and is therefore ideally suited for irrigation.

Since nitrogen and phosphorus are almost completely removed, only very small surfaces are required for application. The BlueBox Ultra eliminates the need for expensive and environmentally harmful manure transports, where manure sometimes has to be transported over hundreds of miles.

"I no longer want to have to carry out expensive manure transports," explains farmer Jorn Ahlers, who runs a farm with a biogas plant in Lower Saxony. "I am convinced of the technology and user-friendliness of the BlueBox and I am confident that the system will go into operation on my farm this year."

"In recent months, we have presented our ground-breaking manure solution to many farmers and operators of biogas plants in Germany, especially in the manure hot spots of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bavaria. The sale of the first manure treatment plant in Germany is of course an important milestone for us," says David Din, CEO of Bluetector. "Our BlueBox enables farmers to convert their manure into water with a low-cost bioreactor without the need for costly and maintenance-intensive equipment such as reverse osmosis or centrifuges."
Published in Biogas
Two farms operated by China's fourth-biggest pig producer Jiangxi Zhengbang Technology were found to be illegally dumping manure and allowing noxious sewage to seep into farmland, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.

It was a rare rebuke of one of the country's rapidly growing farming companies, and comes as China sustains a years-long effort to tackle its notorious pollution problem that includes frequently calling out companies that have failed to comply with regulations. | READ MORE
Published in News
The BioEcoSIM process for the treatment of liquid manure developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is being introduced to the market by SUEZ Germany as an operator of large-scale plants.

This creates an opportunity for farms to dispose of surplus manure and digestate. Slurry treatment products are phosphate fertilizers, ammonium fertilizers and organic soil improvers.

Around 200 million cubic meters of liquid manure from livestock farming end up in fields and meadows in Germany every year.

More than 90 percent of the "black gold" consists of water and contains considerable amounts of the important plant nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus. However, if more liquid manure is applied to the fields than the soil can bind and plants can absorb, microorganisms convert the ammonium nitrogen in the soil into nitrate that seeps into the groundwater.

The problem: Where large quantities of liquid manure are produced, there is often a lack of arable land that needs to be fertilized. For this reason, fattening farms use so-called slurry exchanges to order tankers to transport their slurry to areas requiring nutrients – often several hundred kilometers away. | READ MORE
Published in News
Regina, Sask – Despite their reputation, flatulent cows aren’t capable of destroying the world, an environmental politics professor argues in a forthcoming research paper.

But still, livestock are saddled with an outsized share of the blame for climate change. And if that misunderstanding persists, and pushes policymakers to force a societal shift from meat-eating, it could lead to disaster, says Ryan Katz-Rosene at the University of Ottawa’s school of political studies. READ MORE



Published in Air quality
The Nutrient Management Centre at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough, is currently being commissioned with a key goal to explore technologies which offer opportunities for better nutrient management of slurry and digestate.

Screw Press Separation and Centrifugation are the two established technologies currently being investigated for their impact and effectiveness in removing, off farm, large quantities of solids from farm slurries and digestates i.e. feedstock.

Separation of feedstock produces a solids fraction containing a high proportion of phosphorus (P) which is more economical to transport off farm for both agricultural and non-agricultural purposes.

This is especially important for Northern Ireland, since oversupply of P to grassland has increased soil P levels beyond crop requirement optimum, leading to increased risk of P runoff to water courses and a negative impact on water quality. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in News
Rooterdam, Netherlands - Construction has begun on a floating farm that will be moored in a harbour in Rotterdam.

Three floating platforms will support 40 cows that will live partially on the 1,200 sq m farm. They will produce around 800 litres of milk per day, which will be sold locally, and will be able to cross to terra firma.

The cows can also find shade behind trees on board the farm and will be milked by a robot, allowing them to choose when they will be milked. The building will be made of concrete, with galvanized steel frames and a special membrane in the floor that lets bovine urine soak through. | READ MORE
Published in News
Beef and dairy farmers around the world are looking for ways to reduce methane emissions from their herds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – a global priority. To help meet this goal, researchers from Canada and Australia teamed-up for a comprehensive three-year study to find the best feeding practices that reduce methane emissions while still supporting profitable dairy and beef cattle production.

"We need to know how feed affects methane production, but we also need to know how it affects other aspects of the farm operation, like daily gains in animals, milk production, and feed efficiency. Farmers want to help the environment, and they need to know what the trade-offs will be, which is why we took a holistic approach looking at the overall impacts," explains Dr. Karen Beauchemin, beef researcher from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Researchers and farm system modellers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agriculture Victoria (Australia), and the University of Melbourne, worked together to examine three feed supplements.

Methane inhibitor supplement 3-nitrooxypropanol (3NOP) could reduce costs and increase profits

3NOP is a promising commercial feed supplement that can be given to cattle to inhibit the enzyme methyl coenzyme M reductase – an enzyme responsible for creating methane in the animal's rumen (first stomach). After blocking the enzyme, 3NOP quickly breaks down in the animal's rumen to simple compounds that are already present in nature.

AAFC's Dr. Beauchemin studied the short- and long-term impacts of feeding 3NOP to beef cattle and shared her findings within the broader study.

"We now have clear evidence that 3NOP can have a long-term positive effect on reducing methane emissions and improving animal performance. We saw a 30-50% reduction in methane over a long period of time and a 3-5% improvement in feed efficiency," Beauchemin says.

Producing milk, gaining weight, and creating methane all take energy that a cow fuels by eating. Cattle eating a diet that contained the 3NOP supplement produced less methane. And, because there was less methane more energy could be used by the animal for growth. When using this supplement, cattle consumed less feed to gain a pound of body weight compared to control animals.

"What is also great is that the inhibitor worked just as effectively no matter what type of feed the cattle were eating," Beauchemin explains. "We don't know the actual market price of the supplement yet because it is still going through approvals for registration in Canada and the U.S. That will be important for farmers who want to calculate the cost-benefit of using 3NOP to reduce methane emissions from their cows and enhance profits."

The Story of Nitrate
Microorganisms in the cattle's rumen need nitrogen to be able to efficiently break down food for the animal to absorb. Nitrate is a form of non-protein nitrogen similar to that found in urea, a compound used in cattle diets. When nitrate is fed to cattle, it is converted to ammonia which is then used by the micro-organisms. During this process, nitrogen in the nitrate works like a powerful magnet that is able to hold onto and attract hydrogen. This leaves less hydrogen available in the rumen to attach to carbon to make methane, thus reducing the amount of methane produced.

Researchers in Canada found that adding nitrate to the diet of beef cattle reduces methane production by 20 percent in the short-term (up to three weeks), and after 16 weeks it still reduced methane up to 12 percent. In addition, feeding nitrate improved the gain-to-feed ratio. However, administering the correct dosage is extremely important, as too much nitrate can make an animal ill. So it is recommended this method should be used with care and caution.

Dr. Richard Eckard, a researcher from the University of Melbourne explained "I understand that in Canada, most forages are not that low in protein. But in the rangelands of northern Australia, the protein content in the forage is extremely low. It is possible that adding nitrate to Australian cattle feed may be able to improve the feeding regime from the current use of urea, but it depends on the price."

To supplement or not supplement with wheat, corn, or barley?

In the short term, wheat effectively reduced methane production by 35 percent compared with corn or barley grain; but, over time cattle were able to adapt to the change in feed and the methane inhibitory effect disappeared. Essentially, after 10 weeks, methane production was the same for corn, barley, and wheat.

The study also showed genetic variation in cows where about 50 percent of the cows that were fed wheat remained low in their methane emissions, even for as long as 16 weeks. However, the other cows adapted to the wheat diet and had methane emissions similar to, or even greater than those fed diets containing either corn or barley. Based on genetics, some cows are more adaptable than others and, in the long-term, it is more difficult to reduce the amount of methane they produce.

For dairy cows, Dr. Peter Moate, Dairy Researcher with Agriculture Victoria, was particularly intrigued about the link between milk fat, yield and methane emissions.

"We found that feeding cows wheat increased milk yield but fat levels decreased. For the farmer, it really depends on what they want to achieve in order to say whether this makes sense economically," explained Moate. "Overall, feeding wheat didn't have the long-term ability to reduce methane emissions, so it really couldn't be recommended as a best practice to achieve this type of goal."

Lessons learned
"Our better understanding of feeding regimes will make a difference for farmers, but more importantly this research has really helped us understand more precisely the volume of greenhouse gases (GHGs) the industry is producing under different feed regimes. This is powerful information for policy makers," stated Beauchemin.

This is particularly true for countries that have implemented or are thinking about putting a price on carbon or a carbon trading scheme in place to reduce GHG emissions.

"By adopting different farming methods to reduce GHGs, farmers may be able to sell these "carbon credits" for revenue. But the key is to prove that these farming methods work and warrant being officially recognized for carbon credits. This work is one step closer in this process" explains Beauchemin.

While this project has wrapped-up, the work has not ended. Researchers in both countries unanimously agree that they will continue to help farmers and the industry find solutions to reducing their carbon footprint.
Published in Beef
January 19, 2018, Derbyshire, UK – A British motorist learned a lesson in manners the hard way recently after trying to overtake a tractor pulling a manure tanker on a busy road.

According to a report in the Derby Telegraph, as the driver tried to overtake the tractor, the vehicle collided with the slurry outlet on the tanker. Unable to detach from the outlet, the tractor dragged the car along the road. Even more alarming was the fact the car began to fill with pig manure.

The Derbyshire Roads Police Unit was met with a bit of a mess when they arrived to investigate the collision on the A515. But they had lots of fun posting photos of the incident on Twitter with the punch line: “Think you have had a bad day?”
Published in Other
November 27, 2017 – The costs of managing horse manure were found in a Swedish study to be similar to feeding costs.

University of Gävle researchers Åsa Hadin, Karl Hillman and Ola Eriksson set out to examine the prospects for increased energy recovery from horse manure, carrying out a case study in a Swedish municipality. The trio examined management practices, environmental impact and costs. READ MORE
Published in Other
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