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MANURE

See what farms are using for nutrient management, from anaerobic digesters and storage to field application and emissions.

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Fashion and farming are rarely two words linked together, but when you throw manure in the mix (literally), you have a recipe for something far from conventional.

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In the past, manure was thought of as a waste and hauled to the field at the expense of the livestock industry. Manure becomes a valuable resource when a farmer credits the nutrients from a manure application, which contributes to the sustainability of the farm by reducing purchased fertilizer.

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The nutrient density of manure is one of the most important factors influencing transportation costs. As the largest part of the manure slurry is water, it is natural to consider separation and partitioning strategies that divide the slurry into different fractions.

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Not a single speaker at the University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Conference claimed to be in possession of a crystal ball, but that didn’t stop them from hypothesizing about what might be next in terms of nutrient applications. Looking to the future is important because today’s best still isn’t good enough.

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Driving 8 kilometers down the road may seem like a short trip, but when it comes to hauling manure, costs go up exponentially at the 8-kilometer mark and increase every additional kilometer.

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In Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Discovery Farms Program has been turning privately owned farms into research stations for the past 15 years.

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