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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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Not all manure is conveyed equally, so to speak, because not all manure is subjected to the same environmental conditions after being “deposited” on the alley floor.

One of those conditions is bedding, especially where sand bedding is concerned. Whereas non-sand-laden manure can be conveyed using gravity flow in large-diameter, flat pipes or stirred up and pumped long distances using centrifugal pumps, sand-laden manure cannot reliably over the long term.

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In recent years dairy farms have grown in size and efficiency. When more livestock are housed in one location, the volume of stored manure and the manure hauling distance to reach the land base needed for application also increase.

Manure agitation, pumping, transport and land application typically cost $100 to $160 per cow per year for a Michigan dairy farm. Because hauling and land application greatly impact labour needs and must align with tillage and planting plans, many farm managers are custom-hiring manure-hauling services.

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Simple changes can greatly reduce odor and pollution while improving the cow environment and preserving the nutrient value of manure.

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Jeff Nonay is a third-generation dairy farmer in Alberta. His grandfather’s family business grew to include his father, Dave, and his uncle, Dan, and moved to its present location near Legal – 30 kilometres north of Edmonton – in 1976.

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Using separated dairy solids for bedding can be economically advantageous while offering a comfortable surface for your cows. Others in North America are using it, why can’t we?

Because solids are an organic bedding, they have the potential to carry a bacterial load, as well as support bacterial growth if stalls are not managed properly.

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