Nine Dairies Plan New Lower Hauling Cost Manure Storages

Daniel J. Meyer, Ag Engineer Field Specialist, Northeast

Problem Statement:

Dairies with sand bedding in free stall barns have had few manure storage designs that can handle the sand-laden manure.  Manure pumps wear much quicker
with sand-laden manure.  A second problem is about half of the total waste generated is liquid from the milking center and rainwater on the storage which has
very low fertilizer value but still needs land application which is a penny a gallon.
Programmatic Response:

Extension held 5 dairy-day meetings in NE Iowa which had an attendance of 259 people. One of the talks highlighted a new two stage system which handles the fist stage as solids with loader and the second stage as a liquid for irrigation on nearby acres. Extension has worked with one northeast Iowa dairyman who installed this design in the fall of 2005.  An open house day is scheduled for this farm in June 2006.

Extension has helped ten dairy farmers on designs for their planned sand-laden dairy manure storage system this year for their 2,100 cows total.  They are in all four corners of Iowa.  They will save about half of their hauling costs or an average $9,300 per farm by irrigating the second stage of their storage system instead of hauling it with a tank.  About half of the dairymen in Iowa use sand in their barns to increase their milk premiums paid.  If half of these dairymen with their 50,000 cows used this manure storage design the savings would be $2.2 million per year. Water pollution will be less because they can now utilize a longer term storage design. 

April 17, 2006
109 - Dairy

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