Manure Application/Handling
April 28, 2017, Bradford, IA – Iowa Department of Natural Resources staff have determined that runoff from poultry litter located one mile north of Bradford in Franklin County reached a small tributary of Maynes Creek.

The investigation began following a complaint about chicken litter dumped in a crop field near the intake to an underground tile line.

On April 24, DNR discovered a certified commercial manure applicator from Iowa Falls had dumped the litter so he could remove his manure spreader, which had been stuck in a wet spot near the tile intake. Water samples from pooled water around the litter showed high ammonia levels where runoff entered the tile line.

The tile line was partially plugged, but investigators found some runoff flowed underground. Joined by several other tile lines, ammonia levels in the tile line were low by the time it flowed into a small, unnamed tributary of Maynes Creek. DNR staff found no dead fish in the stream.

"We recognize that accidents happen and some things can't be prevented," said Jeff Vansteenburg, supervisor of the Mason City DNR field office. "When something like this happens, several responses are possible including putting a plastic pipe over the tile inlet to keep runoff from going underground."

The custom applicator has worked to remove the litter and pump up ponded runoff. He has removed contaminated litter and runoff and land applied it to crop fields. Repairs to the tile line should occur this week, weather permitting.

DNR will continue to monitor the tile discharge and consider appropriate enforcement action.
Published in News
April 27, 2017, Lethbridge, Alta – The beef industry is facing opportunity and a dilemma.

Consumption of animal protein is expected to increase more than 60 percent over the next 40 years according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Ruminants are a key to meeting this demand because they can convert forage to protein-rich food and make use of land not suitable for arable crops.

The dilemma is ruminants are also a significant environmental problem, producing large amounts of methane from that forage consumption.

There are no silver bullets to deal with methane and ammonia emissions but there is real promise for significant improvement on the horizon say Dr. Karen Beauchemin and Dr. Karen Koenig, two researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.

Here are three examples.

New product

Perhaps the most dramatic methane control option is a new product in the pipeline designed specifically to manage methane production in ruminants.

"Methane is lost energy and lost opportunity," says Beauchemin. "The inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol (NOP) is a new compound synthetized by a company out of Switzerland specifically to control methane. A feed additive, it interferes with normal digestion process reducing the ability of rumen organisms to synthesize methane, shifting methane energy to a more usable form for the animal."

Research by the Lethbridge team showed adding NOP to a standard diet reduced methane production 40 percent during backgrounding and finishing of cattle. Trials have been done in commercial feedlots and it is moving into the registration channels in North America.

"Obviously there are hoops to go through in registration and questions such as pricing and mode of use in the cow calf sector that would affect industry uptake, but it is a very promising emission control alternative that could be available within three to five years," says Beauchemin.

New techniques

Diet manipulation is also promising. For example, increasing the nutritional digestibility of forages through early harvesting increases animal efficiency and reduces methane emissions, says Beauchemin.

"We're also overfeeding protein in many cases which increases ammonia emissions," says Koenig. "For example, distillers grains, a by-product of the ethanol industry, are commonly fed in feedlots. But the nutrients are concentrated and when added to diets as an energy supplement, it often results in overfeeding protein, which increases ammonia emissions."

One new area of research that may mitigate that, she says, is using plant extracts such as tannins that bind the nitrogen in the animal's gut and retain it in the manure more effectively. That retains the value as fertilizer.

"There are supplements on the market with these products in them already, but we are evaluating them in terms of ammonia and methane management."

New thinking

A new focus in research trials today is thinking "whole farm."

A new research nutrient utilization trial in the Fraser Valley of B.C. is looking at crop production in terms of selection of crops, number of cuts, fertilization and feed quality.

"We are looking at what is needed to meet the needs of the dairy cow," says Koenig. "It's a whole farm system that does not oversupply nutrients to the animal."

Road ahead

Basically, most things that improve efficiency in animal production reduce methane and ammonia production, says Beauchemin and Koenig. They emphasize that while forage does produce methane, forage is a complex system that must be considered as whole ecosystem with many positive benefits.

The biggest opportunity for improvement in methane emissions is in the cow calf and backgrounding sector because they are highly forage-ration based. But the low hanging fruit and early research in emission management is focused on the feedlot and dairy sector because diets can be controlled more easily.

Related scientific paper here "Effects of sustained reduction of enteric methane emissions with dietary... ."
Published in Manure Handling
April 27, 2017, Wilkes-Barre, PA – A state court judge cited Pennsylvania’s Right To Farm Act (RTFA) in recently dismissing a case from neighbors who filed a lawsuit over the use of liquid swine manure as part of the defendants' farming operations.

Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. decided to grant motions for summary judgment for the defendants and against a long list of plaintiffs who are landowners and neighbors of the hog operation. READ MORE
Published in State
April 24, 2017, Lafayette, NY – Here's a statistic to start your day. A dairy farm with 200 cows produces as much manure as the city of Albany and its 98,000 residents produces sewage, according to a leading environmental group.

Communities have experience with managing human waste, but as the state's dairy industry has grown in recent years to meet the needs of yogurt, cheese and milk lovers, so has the problem of manure that poses an environmental threat to waterways and residents.Manure management has become controversial, and farms in Central New York are at the center of the debate. READ MORE
Published in State
April 20, 2017, Ithaca, NY – All living things – from bacteria and fungi to plants and animals – need phosphorus. But extra phosphorus in the wrong place can harm the environment. For example, when too much phosphorus enters a lake or stream, it can lead to excessive weed growth and algal blooms. Low-oxygen dead zones can form.

Runoff from agricultural sites can be an important source of phosphorus pollution. To help evaluate and reduce this risk, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) first proposed a phosphorus index concept in the early 1990s.

Since then, science progressed and methods improved. In New York State, scientists and agency staff developed and released a phosphorus index in 2003. Now, a new project proposes a restructured index to build on phosphorus management efforts in that state and beyond.

"The idea is to account for the characteristics of a field, and help evaluate the risk of phosphorus runoff from that location," says Quirine Ketterings, lead author of the new study.

The new index structure improves upon previous approaches. It focuses on the existing risk of phosphorus runoff from a field based on the location and how it is currently managed. Qualities like ground cover, erosion potential, and distance to a stream or water-body all come into play. The index also highlights best management practices to reduce this risk.

"The new index approach will direct farmers toward an increasingly safer series of practices," says Ketterings. "Higher-risk fields require more and safer practices to reduce and manage phosphorus runoff."

Ketterings directs the nutrient management spear program at Cornell University. She and her colleagues used a combination of surveys, computer-generated examples, and old-fashioned number crunching. They used characteristics of thousands of farm fields to develop the new index. Involving farmers and farm advisors was also a key step.

"As stakeholders, farmers and farm advisors are more likely to make changes if they understand why," says Ketterings. "Plus, they have experience and knowledge that folks in academia and in governmental agencies often do not."

This field experience can be vital. "Involving stakeholders in decision-making and getting their feedback makes the final product more workable," says Ketterings. "It may also prevent mistakes that limit implementation and effectiveness."

Ketterings stresses that the previous index was not wrong.

"Farming is a business of continuous improvement and so is science," she says. "The initial index was based on the best scientific understanding available at that time. Our new index builds and improves upon the experience and scientific knowledge we have accumulated since the first index was implemented. It is likely this new index will be updated in the future as our knowledge evolves."

The previous index approach could be somewhat time-consuming for planners, according to Ketterings. Further, it didn't always help identify the most effective practices for farmers. The new approach addresses both of these issues.

"We wanted the new index to be practical to use," she says. "The best index has no value if people cannot or will not implement it."

In some circumstances of low or medium soil test phosphorus, the original New York state phosphorus index allowed farms to apply manure and fertilizer in what we now consider to be potentially high-risk settings.

"The new index approach proposes soil test phosphorus cutoffs and also encourages placing manure below the soil surface," says Ketterings. "These changes will bring improvements in phosphorus utilization and management across the farm."

Ketterings also thinks that the new index is more intuitive.

"It allows for ranking of fields based on their inherent risk of phosphorus transport if manure was applied," she says. "It really emphasizes implementing best management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from fields."

In addition, the proposed index approach could make it easier to develop similar indices across state lines, according to Ketterings. This makes sense, since watersheds don't follow state boundaries. Growers could use different practices, if deemed appropriate, for different regions.

READ MORE about Ketterings' work in Journal of Environmental Quality.
Published in Other
April 20, 2017, Ithaca, NY – For many parts of New York State, not for the first time, March 2017 provided both deep snow and saturated wet conditions that presented significant manure related challenges, especially to daily spread and short term storage operations. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation recently issued a warning about risky manure spreading.

While the conditions are still fresh, every operation should take stock of manure storage options and look for ways to avoid application in these situations. Over the last few weeks, I have heard more comments than usual from farm and non-farm folks alike about seeing neighbors spreading manure on barely trafficable fields or even from the edge of the road.

If you find your operation in this situation, or if you strained to find fields that can hold up the tractor and spreader without getting stuck, runoff risk is likely to be high and application should be avoided whether you are a regulated farm or not. Spreading just before rain or snowmelt can be just as risky, even if a field can be driven on without getting stuck.

For stackable manure in the short term, temporary pile locations can be identified with the help of SWCD, NRCS, or private sector planners until better storage options can be installed.

New York State and federal cost share options are available annually; meet with your local SWCD and/or NRCS staff to start the process. The Dairy Acceleration Program can help with cost of engineering on farms under 700 cows.

Position your operation for the future: evaluate manure storage needs and implement solutions.
Published in Manure Application
April 18, 2017, Lexington, KY – On April 11, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Waterkeeper Alliance, et al., v. EPA, vacated a 2008 EPA rule that exempted farms from certain hazardous substance reporting requirements (2008 Rule).
Published in Regulations

March 29, 2017, Manitowoc, WI – At a recent forum on soil health and custom crops, two custom manure applicators who serve farms in east central Wisconsin described some of the practices designed to limit soil disturbance during the process.

Jesse Dvorachek, based near Forest Junction in Calumet County, reported that each of his two crews, using a total of 10 to 20 trucks, apply about 200 million gallons of liquid manure per year on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) farms. READ MORE

Published in Dairy

March 23, 2017, Emeryville, CA – New Logic Research recently announced the successful commissioning of a VSEP vibrating membrane system to make clean water from digested cow manure.

The VSEP system, located in the Italian Alps region of Wipptal, takes the effluent from an anaerobic digester and transforms it into clean water which can either be reused or safely discharged to the environment. The project was implemented with the expert assistance of O.B. Impianti, New Logic's distribution partner in Northern Italy.

Although cows have a simple diet, the digestive system of ruminant animals makes for complicated wastewater treatment scenarios. VSEP's vibratory shear mechanism, coupled with a filter pack design means, it can create crystal clear permeate from water heavily laden with biological material like cow manure.

"Digesters are great at making green power and reducing contaminant levels in the waste, but in most cases, further treatment of the liquid effluent is still necessary,” said Greg Johnson, CEO of New Logic. “Many have tried to treat digester effluent with standard spiral-wound reverse osmosis membrane systems only to find that it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible. That's why VSEP is a perfect fit for digester effluent treatment: you get the reverse osmosis separation you desire, but deployed in a robust system designed to tackle the world's toughest applications."

The Wipptal project is a cooperative one, taking cow manure from more than three-dozen local farmers. The liquid manure is transported to the treatment facility where more than 60 percent of it is transformed into clean water, while the remainder is turned into concentrated organic fertilizer. The only pretreatment between the digester and the VSEP is a 100-micron screening device to remove large particles from the feed material.

O.B. Impianti and New Logic are already building on the success of the Wipptal installation – they are currently working on two additional installations on the continent, where EU funding is frequently available for such projects.

Published in News

 

Liquid manure application in the Midwest typically happens in spring and fall each year. The majority of liquid manure application takes place using a tank or a dragline applicator, providing additional nutrients to crops.

Tank applicators transport manure from the livestock facility to agricultural fields and apply manure using a tank-mounted tool-bar. For fields that are close-by, manure can be pumped directly to the dragline-mounted tool-bar. In either case, a pre-determined application rate is used to pump manure through a manifold, which distributes manure to the application points across the tool-bar.      

“Environmental regulations require producers to make sure manure is being applied to agricultural fields in accordance with their manure management plans,” said Dan Andersen, assistant professor and extension agricultural engineering specialist with Iowa State University.

Variations in tank capacities, manure densities and the presence of foam can cause the application rate to be different from the target number, as can variations in drive speed. Application rate should be verified, and both tank and dragline applicators need to be calibrated to ensure accurate application.

Both distribution of manure and calibrating the applicators are covered in a pair of new ISU Extension and Outreach publications – “Distribution of Liquid Manure Application” (AE 3600) and “Calibrating Liquid Tank Manure Applicators” (AE 3601A). Both are available through the Extension Store. A “Calibration Worksheet for Liquid Manure Tank Applicators” (AE 3601B) is also available.

Calibration of the application rate, in terms of gallons per acre applied, can be achieved using an area volume method. For applicators without automated controls, the volume of manure applied in a given pass should be determined. Knowing the density of the manure and the area covered in the pass, the application rate can be determined. Instructions for determining density and coverage area are included in publication AE 3601A.

There are manure applicators that use tractor-mounted automated flow controls to achieve accurate application rates. In these cases, flow controllers use a flow meter with an actuator to govern the flow rate and, subsequently the application rate.

“The majority of flow meters are set at the factory for their rated measurements, which can potentially be different when used for manure application,” said Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The flow meters should be verified to ensure they are providing correct flow rate readouts to the flow controls.”

Achieving calibration of the target application rates only provides an average amount applied on a per acre basis. This application rate is delivered to the manifold mounted on the tool-bar, which then distributes the manure to the application points. This distribution of the manure across the tool-bar swath should be uniform so the variability among application points is minimal. This distribution should be verified only after the calibration for the application rate has been completed.

Split manure application, manure application to soybeans, high total nitrogen testing manures, and use of the Maximum Return to Nitrogen Rate Calculator can all cause the manure application rates to be lower than what was previously being used.

“Distribution across the toolbar points can be verified by capturing the discharge from each point for a known time,” Arora said. “Care should be taken to set up the equipment as close to the field conditions as possible. Aim for as low a variation as possible in the captured discharge so that better distribution is achieved across the toolbar swath.”

 Kapil Arora is an agricultural and biosystems engineering specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Daniel Andersen is an agricultural and biosystems engineer, also with ISU Extension.

 

 

Published in Other

March 15, 2017, Olympia, WA — An engineer told Washington lawmakers March 14 that public funding would spur technology to distill cow manure into dry fertilizer and clean water, making polluted runoff from dairies a problem of the past.

The Washington State Dairy Federation arranged back-to-back presentations to the House and Senate agriculture committees by Peter Janicki, CEO of Janicki Bioenergy in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. READ MORE

Published in Dairy

March 13, 2017 – Steve Eickert, of Andover, Iowa, is planning ahead to ensure safety for employees, pumping contractors and himself a few weeks from now when work gets underway to transfer and apply 1.2 million gallons of manure stored in the pit under his cattle confinement building.

Eickert is among several livestock feeders and commercial applicators working together to improve safety and increase awareness of deadly hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas released during manure handling. READ MORE

Published in Beef

March 9, 2017 – Dane County Executive Joe Parisi recently announced a new program to help clean up area lakes by assisting small and medium sized farms store manure in the winter.

About $1.1 million will be available this spring for farmers to apply to help build community manure storage which will reduce the application of manure during critical times of the year when runoff is most likely to occur. Dane County and its partners spend more than $8 million a year to support the implementation of conservation practices.

“Our farmers are our best partners when it comes to lakes clean-up efforts,” said Parisi. “The county is working to do our part to ensure we preserve our agriculture heritage while protecting one of our most valuable resources.”

University of Wisconsin scientists estimate that 40 percent of manure containing phosphorus runs off snow or frozen ground between January and March and ends up in the lakes. Funds will be allocated using two methods: traditional cost share agreements and requests for proposals. The traditional Dane County cost share will fund a cost share for community manure storage. The request for proposal will allow producers to submit project proposals describing innovative ideas and strategies for managing manure such as ultrafiltration or composting.

Proposals are due to Dane County early this summer, county staff will work with the top ranked proposals to develop full proposals. Projects that rank the highest will be contacted by Dane County to develop funding agreements for project implementation.

“Our quality of life is one of the main reasons people are moving to Dane County more than anywhere else in Wisconsin,” said Parisi. “We have everything from generational family farms to bustling cities and beautiful lakes. Dane County must work to protect all of our vital resources to continue our economic growth.”

In addition to this effort, Dane County is working to remove phosphorous already in streams that feed into lakes. Research done by Dane County staff led to a 2017 budget proposal to fund an innovative effort to remove phosphorus-laden sediment from the bottoms of 33 miles of streams in the Lake Mendota watershed. In tandem with additional conservation efforts done in cooperation with farmers, it’s projected the $12 million initiative will eliminate 870,000 pounds of algae-growing phosphorus.

The county board’s Land Conservation Committee will need to approve the program and contracts.

Published in Dairy

February 15, 2017, Rhodesdale, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder recently toured the Murphy family’s Double Trouble Farm – the first Maryland poultry operation to install cutting-edge technology that converts poultry litter to energy.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture awarded a $970,000 animal waste technology grant to Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. (BHSL) for the manure-to-energy project and an additional $139,000 to monitor its operation for one year.

“I am proud to recognize the Murphy family for bringing this innovative technology to Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “I commend the Murphy’s and the entire Double Trouble Farm team for leading the way for farmers to improve water quality, increase energy independence, and improve animal waste management to ensure the sustainability of animal agriculture in our state.”

Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. To date, the program has approved $3.7 million in grants to six projects.

Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc, with the support of Mountaire, has adapted innovative manure management technology to benefit the poultry industry and the Murphy family’s farm. The system utilizes poultry litter as a feedstock by converting it to energy to heat the farm’s chicken houses and generate electricity,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “A great deal of credit goes to the Murphy family for taking the time and risk involved in being the test case for a promising new way of doing business.”

This project has the following benefits:

  • Reduced environmental impact: A reduction in the potential environmental impact of manure resources
  • Lower energy costs: A reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating poultry houses
  • Improved animal welfare: Improved animal welfare, with improved health and reduced risk of diseases
  • Improved performance: Faster growth – poultry reaching target weight more quickly
  • Additional revenue: Potential expansion of revenue streams – earnings from the sale of excess electricity and a fertilizer by-product

“I am excited that a unique piece of technology designed in Ireland is going to transform U.S. poultry production and play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of the industry on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Denis Brosnan, chairman of Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. “I hope this pilot project is the start of a broader initiative to turn poultry manure from a potential pollutant into a valuable source of energy.”

Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. will use electricity generating technology (fluidized bed combustion) to process poultry litter into energy for heating two of four poultry houses during the demonstration period. The system is projected to generate 526 megawatts of electricity per year. Adding heat to poultry houses has been proven at other sites to improve the flock growth rate and overall bird health. These benefits will enhance potential profit margins, reduce payback period for the technology, and improve the likelihood of transferability to other poultry operations. The Murphys are working with BHSL to explore markets for the high-phosphorus ash by-product including Maryland fertilizer companies. As a result of energy production and marketing the ash, 90 percent of nutrients in the poultry litter produced by 14 poultry houses will have alternative uses.

Mountaire is excited about the potential that new alternative use technologies for litter bring to the poultry industry,” said Bill Massey, Mountaire director of housing and feed milling. “We will continue to work with the Murphys, MDA and BHSL on this manure to energy project. Our company and our industry continue to look for solutions to be good environmental stewards.”

Published in Combustion

February 20, 2017, Champaign, IL – A University of Illinois agriculture professor believes technology is changing the way farmers view manure.

Professor Richard Gates not only runs the “Manure Central Program" — sort of an online market for the manure trade — but offers mobile phone applications for farmers to manage their manure inventory, as well. READ MORE

Published in Other

February 8, 2017, Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is offering cost share grants to help farmers cover the cost of injecting manure and other eligible organic nutrients into cropland, which lowers potential for nutrient runoff and reduces on-farm odors.

Although manure injection is no longer required by Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations, the department is promoting the practice to help farmers improve nutrient efficiencies. Cost share funding is only available for manure injection; manure incorporation is no longer being cost shared.

Cost share assistance is available to hire custom operators, rent or lease equipment, or offset operating costs associated with using equipment needed to inject manure into the soil. Cost share rates for manure injection are $55 per acre. While manure transportation costs are not covered by this program, eligible farms may participate in the department’s Manure Transportation Program.

Grants for manure injection are administered by the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share (MACS) Program. Applicants must be in good standing with the program to participate and in compliance with Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations. All work must be completed by July 1, and all claims for payment received by July 30. Other restrictions apply.

Farmers should visit their local soil conservation district office as soon as possible to apply.

Applications will be accepted until all funds are fully committed. For more information, contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5864.

Published in Dairy

February 3, 2017 – Kuhn North America, Inc. is looking for customers and dealers to submit high-quality photos of their Kuhn branded equipment to be featured in an upcoming calendar.

Photos need to be in .JPEG format (minimum of 2,000 pixels wide, 300 dpi) and should be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text99687 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it All entries are due to Kuhn North America, Inc. no later than June 30, 2017.

Up to 15 entries will be selected as winners at the discretion of the Kuhn North America marketing department. Winning entries will be announced the week of July 3, 2017. Winning contestants will each receive a calendar featuring their winning photo and a $75 gifts and gear promotional gift certificate. The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries.

If you have questions, please contact the Kuhn North America at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or send a message to the Kuhn North America Facebook or Twitter pages.

To view the full contest rules, please visit the following website: http://www.kuhnnorthamerica.com/us/news-kuhn-calendar-photo-contest.html.

Published in Companies

February 2, 2017, Fair Oaks, IN – Midwestern BioAg, a Wisconsin-based company, recently unveiled a new manufacturing process that transforms dairy manure into a uniform, dry fertilizer granule that can be efficiently stored, transported and spread.

Referred to as TerraNu Nutrient Technology, the process infuses essential crop nutrients into a manure base to give more farms access to the biological benefits of manure. Products made through this process offer precision application – each granule has the same guaranteed analysis, allowing for even in-field distribution.

The fertilizers will deliver a full suite of crop nutrients, including micronutrients. The base material is made primarily of decomposed microbes from the digested manure. This biological matter is food for living soil microbes when the product is used as fertilizer; it draws nutrients into the soil life food chain, helping make them more plant available.

"This helps close a nutrient gap in farming," said Anthony Michaels, CEO of Midwestern BioAg. "A typical farm once had both crops and livestock. Today, with necessary specialization, there is a disconnect. The crops are in one place, the cows in another, and many farms miss out on the benefits of manure. We can fix that."

The new manufacturing facility is located at Indiana-based Fair Oaks Farms, a collection of 12 dairies with herds totaling 36,000 milking cows. Midwestern BioAg committed to the location largely because of the farms' prior investments to maximize nutrient use and reduce environmental impacts.

"This is how it should work," said Mike McCloskey, co-founder of Fair Oaks Farms. "We don't like seeing anything go to waste. Our manure powers parts of the farm, runs a fleet of trucks and feeds many of our own crops. Now, it can provide essential nutrients for other farms. Midwestern BioAg is building on our earlier work."

The technology can help address nutrient loading challenges faced by some dairies. Because it is cumbersome and expensive to transport, cow manure rarely travels more than 10 miles from dairies. This can lead to over-application and associated water quality problems. TerraNu Nutrient Technology facilitates transfer of excess nutrients to distant farms, thereby reducing impacts to local water supplies.

Production is expected to begin in March. Three products will be available this spring: TerraNu MicroPack, TerraNu Calcium and TerraNu Ignite.

Published in Dairy

January 30, 2017 – An environmental quality engineer at South Dakota State University says a combination of strategies can be used to successfully address the odor emitted from swine operations.

Odor mitigation strategies will be among the topics discussed as part of the 2017 Manitoba Swine Seminar Feb. 2 and 3 in Winnipeg, Man.

Dr. Erin Cortus, an environmental quality engineer at South Dakota State University, says in and around the area in which she works odor has become a predominant issue when it comes to citing new facilities.

“When it comes to reducing odor, one of the first places to look is at the manure,” says Dr. Cortus.

“Are there ways to alter what’s in the manure, whether that’s through maybe changing the diet so that we reduce excess nutrients going into the manure or trying to cover that manure as much as we can. Once there is odor or gasses released, can we block it, can we filter it before it leaves?”

“There are some strategies to do that. One of the strategies that we employ with South Dakota State University on some of our farms is biofilters. The air that’s exhausted from mechanically ventilated barns is passed through a bed of wood chips that supports a microbial biomass.”

“That microbial biomass consumes some of the odors and gasses in the air that’s exhausted from the barns so it's a form of filtration but them also this biological activity reduces odor and gasses,” she adds. “That's one strategy that we've had success with. Then we also can look at how can we enhance the dispersion or the mixing of the air that leaves the farm so that the concentration is decreased down wind of the facility.”

“Anything we can do to enhance that mixing of the air, pushing that air up higher into the atmosphere where it’s faster and more turbulent or some sort of filtration down wind through shelterbelts are a common example of how we can approach that.”

Dr. Cortus says odor has always been an issue but, with some large facilities in particular and with new facilities where there hasn't been as much concentrated livestock, odor has become a hot issue.

Published in Swine

January 30, 2017 – Liquid manure applications from livestock operations in Iowa typically happen in spring and fall each year as a method of supplying nutrients to the crop grown subsequently. The majority of liquid manure application takes place using a tank or a dragline applicator.

It is important to ensure that the nutrients for use by the crops are not being applied excessively or scarcely. Variations in tank capacities, manure densities and presence of foam can all cause the application rate to be different from the target number. READ MORE

Published in Swine
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