Success in Agriculture
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
Custom nutrient management contractor, Pierce Litter, understands that not all poultry litter is the same. The moisture content and nutrient content can vary widely depending on whether the poultry producer is raising boilers, hens, pullets, hens for table eggs, or turkeys.
Published in Poultry
Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce, through the nationwide expansion of Smithfield Renewables, innovative projects designed to help meet its goal to reduce the company's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025, which it set in concert with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This month marks the one-year anniversary of Smithfield Renewables.
Published in Companies
The American Biogas Council announced the winners of the Biogas Industry Awards, presented at a sold out dinner celebration at BIOCYCLE REFOR18. Thirty-three awards were presented to exceptional technology innovations and biogas projects across the industry in the agricultural, municipal and merchant sectors.
Published in News
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
JSE-listed Montauk Energy has struck a deal with a dairy farm in California where it will for the first time transform cow manure into natural gas.

The company mainly extracts and converts methane gas from waste landfills across the US where it benefits from subsidies through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal programme.

Montauk said it entered into a joint venture agreement with the dairy farm in July and would own and operate a manure digester and build, own and operate a renewable natural gas (RNG) facility for 20 years. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in Biogas
More than 150 farmers, businesses and agricultural leaders were on hand in mid-June as Crave Brothers Farm and Crave Brothers Homstead Cheese of Waterloo hosted a Green Energy Showcase for June Dairy Month.

The Green Energy Showcase kicked off with an overview of two bio-digesters and green energy production, and an update on farm and cheese plant activities. And of course, it was a celebration of June Dairy Month.

The idea behind the showcase was for participants to learn about the family business, sustainable agriculture practices, modern agriculture technology, animal husbandy and green energy production. | READ MORE
Published in News
Garden pots that are made from cow manure, containing nitrogen, and biodegradable. In the northwest hills of Connecticut is a second-generation dairy farm run by two brothers, Matt and Ben Freund, who saw the potential of the idea, and made it happen.

The brothers milk 300 Holstein cows with five robotic milking units. With the variable profitability of a dairy farm and increased regulations on nutrient management, Matt Freund started to look for other ways to be sustainable on their farm and to make better use of the manure that his cows were producing. | READ MORE
Published in Profiles
The Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF) is proud to announce the winners of their annual scholarships. Each of these exceptional students will receive $2,500 for post-secondary agricultural education.

The 2018 winners are:
  • Adriana Van Tryp, Burdett, Alta.
  • Laura Carruthers, Frenchman Butte, Sask.
  • Pete Giesbrecht, Winkler, Man.
  • Owen Ricker, Dunnville, Ont.
  • Jeremy Chevalley, Moose Creek Ont.
  • Émilie Carrier, Princeville, Que.
  • Justin Kampman, Abbotsford, B.C.
Each year, CABEF awards scholarships of $2,500 to Canadian students entering their first year at an accredited agriculture college or university. CABEF is a charity foundation that encourages students to pursue their passion for agriculture and to bring their new ideas and talent to the industry.

Scholarship winners are evaluated on a combination of leadership attributes, academic standing and their response to the essay question, "What do you consider to be the three main opportunities for the Canadian agriculture industry and which one inspires you the most?"

"We are proud to support the future of the Canadian agriculture industry by providing these scholarships," said Jenn Norrie, chair of the board for CABEF. "With the high-quality applications received from students across the country, the future of Canadian agriculture is bright."

For further information about CABEF's work, visit cabef.org.
Published in News
Brodhead, Wisconsin – Founded in 1828, the KUHN brand has progressively become a leader in the agricultural machinery industry. Through aggressive growth and development, and an ever renewed capacity for innovation, KUHN continues to help drive the modernization of agriculture across the world.

Progressive advancements in hay, crop production, landscape and livestock equipment have helped producers maximize productivity and the return on their investment. The company has filed more than 2,000 international patents over the years.

KUHN recently introduced two machines, the MM 1100 Merge Maxx hay merger and Interceptor 8050 high-speed tillage system that are recognized in early 2018 as AE50 award winners. The AE50 recognition means both machines are among the year's most innovative designs in agriculture.

KUHN continues to draw on its vast experience to prepare for the challenges ahead in the industry. The world of farming and the needs of producers are changing fast. The size of farms is growing, markets are globalizing, consumer demands are greater and technology is always advancing.

"Today, more than ever, we believe in the future of agriculture and our industry. Our 190 years of experience and commitment from our staff, combined with the performance of our distribution networks, ensures proximity to customers and enables us to look to the future with passion and confidence," explained Thierry Krier, KUHN group CEO. "We are obviously proud of this longevity, but above all we want to recognize the loyalty of our customers and partners around the world, without them-none of it would be possible."


Published in News
The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards is an opportunity for the industry to recognize how innovation and creativity sparked by one farm, one person or one organization can have a ripple effect that goes well beyond their farm gate or front door.

This year, the seventh-annual awards celebration took place in Lombard, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, to honor the dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet. This year's winners addressed water quality, manure management, recycling and more. | READ MORE
Published in Profiles
Tom Butler admits he was naïve back in 1995, when he stopped growing corn, tobacco, and other crops and began raising 8,000 hogs on his farm outside Lillington, North Carolina.

Butler, a spry 77-year-old who still runs the operation, has been experimenting with ways to do better ever since. He covered his waste pits to help reduce odor. He became the second farmer in the state to capture and burn methane gas from manure to create renewable energy.

Now, he's the proud sponsor of the state's first biogas microgrid, a self-sustaining power system that could improve electric reliability, cut electric costs for his Harnett County community, and maybe spur wider reforms in the multi-billion-dollar hog business. | READ MORE
Published in News
An innovation that could have a huge impact on water quality problems in the United States, a system capable of removing almost all phosphorus from stored livestock manure, was developed by a team of researchers from Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

Excess phosphorus, primarily in runoff from land application of manure, accounts for about 66 percent of impaired conditions of U.S. rivers and has created large areas of eutrophication — dead zones — in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, where aquatic life cannot survive.

Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The system devised by Penn State and USDA scientists — dubbed MAPHEX for MAnure PHosphorus EXtraction — involves a three-stage process, including liquid-solid separation with an auger press and centrifuge; chemical treatment with the addition of iron sulfate; and final filtration with diatomaceous earth. The machine is designed to process manure from manure-storage tanks or pits on dairy farms.

"This technology could be a game-changer if we can modify it to achieve lower operating costs," said lead Penn State researcher Alex Hristov, professor of dairy nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences. "The final stage uses diatomaceous earth to filter phosphorous from the fluid and that material is expensive."

Clinton Church, with USDA Agricultural Research Service's Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, said the team is currently looking at recycling the diatomaceous earth.

"We are also trying to find a less expensive substitute for the filtration stage of the MAPHEX process, such as replacing the filtration stage with another centrifuge," Church said.

When tested at 150- and 2,700-cow dairies, about 98 percent of the phosphorus was removed from manure slurries, along with 93 percent of the solids.

As currently configured, the MAPHEX system would cost approximately $750 per dairy cow per year for a dairy operation — an unrealistic cost when EPA is not imposing restrictions on phosphorus runoff from farms and no government subsidies exist to pay for such technology.

But in the future, if the government enforces clean water regulations on agriculture and if

MAPHEX can be made more affordable to operate, its potential is enormous, Hristov believes.

"We anticipate that refinement of the process and beneficial uses of the solids removed from the manure — such as for plant bedding, compost and fertilizer — will improve cost-efficacy considerably," he said. "And from a stewardship point of view, some larger farmers who can afford to may want to implement a system like this."

Penn State and USDA, which were granted a joint patent on the system in 2017, are looking to license the technology, probably to a large agricultural or waste-processing company. They are not looking to enter into a business arrangement to produce the system, Hristov and Church noted.

Research on the MAPHEX system was conducted in central Pennsylvania, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and an area with an intense focus on developing treatment systems for manure. Manure from the dairy sector was estimated in 2010 to account for 20 percent of all phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Explaining why Pennsylvania was the perfect place to develop MAPHEX, Hristov pointed out that the majority of dairy farms in the study area are small, with fewer than 100 head of cows milked. But an increasing number of larger operations with more than 1,000 head can now be found.

"The liquid nature of most stored dairy manure reduces its potential for off-farm transport and was the impetus for developing treatment options to manipulate manure solids and nutrients," Hristov said.

MAPHEX was designed to be a mobile system that fits on two large flatbed trailers to service a number of small- or medium-size dairies. If it is scaled up to have the capacity to treat manure from a large dairy, it would no longer be mobile.

"If the system is produced by an ag company, we think manure haulers can make a business out of it, a few small dairies could cooperate and buy one, or big dairies with thousands of cows can build a stationary system."

The MAPHEX is not just for cow manure. Church said the technology is compatible with swine manure and it probably could work with chicken manure, too, but because the latter is dry, it would have to be diluted before the process could work.

Also involved in the research were Tyler Frederick, graduate student in animal science, and David Otto, Mike Reiner and Sarah Fishel, USDA Agricultural Research Service staff at the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit.

A Chesapeake Stewardship Grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and a Research Applications for Innovation grant from the College of Agricultural Sciences in 2017 supported this work.
Published in News
Chittenango, NY - The dust bowl era in the Midwest displaced many families, including farmers. Edson and Harriet Durfee were one of them. Luckily for New York and Madison County, they and their three children moved back east from Nebraska and settled their dairy farm on 120 acres of river bottom soils and Honeoye hills which fed the appetites of the, then, quiet hamlet of Chittenango.

Going on five generations in the community since then, their dedicated land stewardship, soil conservation and farm management has garnered the coveted 38th annual Conservation Farm of the Year by the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District. | READ MORE
Published in News
Kinston, NC - Many homes in Eastern North Carolina may now be powered by an alternative source of energy that uses a mixture of natural gas and swine-derived biogas.

A switch thrown last week by Duke Energy infused methane captured from Duplin County hog lagoons into a natural gas pipeline.

Optima KV is the project developer and has partnered with Duke Energy to supply the energy and Smithfield Foods to donate the land for a facility to collect the hog methane. Once collected, the gas is cleaned and injected into the natural gas pipeline to serve two Duke Energy plants in Eastern North Carolina.

The project is expected to generate about 11,000 megawatts-hours of renewable energy annually, enough to power about 880 homes for a year, according to the N.C. Pork Council. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
Published in Biogas
Pipestone, MI - Six new feedlots were built and two existing feedlots expanded in Pipestone County in 2017.

The additional six feedlots brought the number of feedlots in the county that are required to be registered to 447, according to an annual feedlot report the county must submit to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

The MPCA requires feedlots capable of holding 50 or more animal units, or 10 or more animal units in shore land areas, to be registered. | READ MORE
Published in News
Marin County, Calif. - On one organic dairy farm, the feed truck runs on cow power.

"I was able to put together a fully electric truck to feed the cows that's powered by the cow's waste. We claim that's the first one in the world to do that," says Albert Straus, CEO of Straus Family Creamery in Marin County, California.

When cow manure breaks down, it releases methane, a potent global warming gas. But that methane can be captured and used to make electricity. Using technology called a methane digester, Strauss has been converting his cow's manure into energy for the last 14 years. The process produces enough electricity to power the whole farm. And now, that energy is also being used to charge his electric truck. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
It's likely not the first thing you think of when you see elephant dung, but this material turns out to be an excellent source of cellulose for paper manufacturing in countries where trees are scarce, scientists report. And in regions with plenty of farm animals such as cows, upcycling manure into paper products could be a cheap and environmentally sound method to get rid of this pervasive agricultural waste.

The researchers are presenting their results today at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 13,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

The idea for the project germinated on Crete, where Alexander Bismarck, Ph.D., noticed goats munching on summer-dry grass in the small village where he was vacationing. "I realized what comes out in the end is partially digested plant matter, so there must be cellulose in there," he recalls.

"Animals eat low-grade biomass containing cellulose, chew it and expose it to enzymes and acid in their stomach, and then produce manure. Depending on the animal, up to 40 percent of that manure is cellulose, which is then easily accessible," Bismarck says. So, much less energy and fewer chemical treatments should be needed to turn this partially digested material into cellulose nanofibers, relative to starting with raw wood, he conjectured.

After working with goat manure, Bismarck, who is at the University of Vienna, Austria, his postdoc Andreas Mautner, Ph.D., and graduate students Nurul Ain Kamal and Kathrin Weiland moved on to dung from horses, cows and eventually elephants. The supply of raw material is substantial: Parks in Africa that are home to hundreds of elephants produce tons of dung every day, and enormous cattle farms in the U.S. and Europe yield mountains of manure, according to Mautner.

The researchers treat the manure with a sodium hydroxide solution. This partially removes lignin -- which can be used later as a fertilizer or fuel -- as well as other impurities, including proteins and dead cells. To fully remove lignin and to produce white pulp for making paper, the material has to be bleached with sodium hypochlorite. The purified cellulose requires little if any grinding to break it down into nanofibers in preparation for use in paper, in contrast to conventional methods.

"You need a lot of energy to grind wood down to make nanocellulose," Mautner says. But with manure as a starting material, "you can reduce the number of steps you need to perform, simply because the animal already chewed the plant and attacked it with acid and enzymes. You inexpensively produce a nanocellulose that has the same or even better properties than nanocellulose from wood, with lower energy and chemical consumption," he says.

The dung-derived nanopaper could be used in many applications, including as reinforcement for polymer composites or filters that can clean wastewater before it's discharged into the environment, Bismarck says. His team is working with an industrial consortium to further explore these possibilities. The nanopaper could also be used to write on, he says.

The researchers are also investigating whether the process can be made even more sustainable, by first producing biogas from manure and then extracting cellulose fibers from the residue. Biogas, which is mostly methane and carbon dioxide, can then be used as a fuel for generating electricity or heat.
Published in News
August 28, 2017, Haverhill, MA — It is going to decrease the smells emanating from a Bradford farm. It is going to improve the fertilizer needed to grow hay and corn.

It will also provide enough energy to light up as many as 600 homes.

An anaerobic digester — a structure that converts methane gas from cow manure and food waste into electricity — is coming to a two-acre plot of land on a hill atop Crescent Farm on Willow Avenue in Bradford.

The farm's owners, the Davidowicz family, are hoping that construction of the digester — which will be managed by Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley — will begin this fall and that it will be up and running next year.

"We're going to start building it in October or November and it should be running by March or April," said Cody Davidowicz, the oldest son of the farm's owners, Michael and Debbie Davidowicz. Cody Davidowicz will be operating the digester.

In May, the city inked a deal with Vanguard to purchase power generated by the digester for 13 cents a kilowatt hour, and estimates it will save the city as much as $300,000. READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
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