Storage rots: a potential problem in wet seasons

Storage rots: a potential problem in wet seasons

Usually wet seasons favour crop development, but incidence of storage rots is a concern, especially if rainfall occurs late in the growing season.

Canadian certified organic IMTA kelps hit market

Canadian certified organic IMTA kelps hit market

Cultivated kelps raised on a farm in the Bay of Fundy have been certified to the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard and will soon be making their way into the marketplace.

EFC awarded Crystal Egg Award by International Egg Commission

EFC awarded Crystal Egg Award by International Egg Commission

The Egg Farmers of Canada is the 2014 recipient of the Crystal Egg Award for outstanding commitment to corporate and social responsibility by the IEC

Field management to reduce blackleg risk

Field management to reduce blackleg risk

For many years, blackleg disease on the Prairies was managed fairly successfully through the use of disease resistant varieties and an extended rotation.

Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Continued humid conditions with moderate to warm temperatures are promoting Botrytis gray mold infection in fall raspberries.

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For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
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Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
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With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.
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Energy

Biogas roadmap will foster innovation, revenue for dairy farms Biogas roadmap will foster innovation, revenue for dairy farms

  The White House recently released a Biogas Opportunities Roadmap highlighting the economic and environmental benefits and potential for biogas systems in the U.S. According to the roadmap, biogas systems offer a wide range of potential revenue streams, growing jobs and boosting economic development for communities, businesses and dairy farms. The systems work by recycling organic material — including cow manure and food waste — into valuable co-products such as renewable energy, fertilizer, separated nutrients and cow bedding. To develop the roadmap, The White House worked with the dairy industry through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which was established under the leadership of dairy farmers, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the roadmap, the USDA, DOE and EPA will take these steps to promote the development of biogas systems: Fostering investment in biogas systems: To help overcome barriers to the widespread investment in biogas systems, USDA will lead efforts to better understand and track the performance of anaerobic digesters, seek opportunities to broaden financing options, and review Federal procurement guidelines. Strengthening markets for biogas systems and system products: The Roadmap identifies activities that could strengthen the market for biogas systems and system products including energy and other value-added products. For example, dairy farms of all sizes could enhance their revenues through nitrogen and phosphorus recovery. Improving communication and coordination: USDA will establish a Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Working Group, including the dairy industry, to implement the strategies in the Roadmap, with a goal to identify and prioritize policies and technology opportunities by August 2015. Promoting biogas use through existing agency programs: Leveraging existing programs will provide a way to enhance the use of biogas systems in the U.S. by ensuring existing criteria for technical and financial assistance considers the benefits of biogas system, leveraging research funding, and strengthening programs that support the use of biogas for clean energy, transportation fuel, and other biobased products. “On dairy farms, digesters can increasingly be part of the solution to manure management challenges and enhance our ability to sustain our farms for the next generation,” said Jim Werkhoven, a dairy farmer in Monroe, Washington, and chairman of Darigold, Inc. Biogas systems could help the dairy industry, which contributes approximately two percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, to further reduce its carbon footprint. In 2009, the dairy industry established a voluntary goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020. The Dairy Power project is one of a portfolio of projects to help achieve that goal; it focuses on harnessing the value of manure and realizing the potential of biogas systems for U.S. dairy farmers. “Dairy farmers are taking many steps to provide nourishing dairy foods and beverages that are responsibly produced,” said Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Biogas systems are one example of many technologies available to the industry today that help us continuously improve our stewardship and contribute to our communities.”      

Equipment

Efficiency on wheels Efficiency on wheels

Nuhn Industries’ Lagoon Crawler is known by many names – the Batmobile, the F1 racecar, Hot Wheels. But to the custom manure applicators who are actually getting this bright red agitation boat manure-splattered, it has one important label – efficient. “It will do the job of four lagoon agitators in less time,” says George Lorenz of L&M Industries, based in Black Creek, Wisc. “With an agitator, you’re really only reaching the manure in a 50-foot diameter around it. You only wish it was doing as good a job as this crawler.” L&M Industries handles about 350-million gallons of dairy manure annually, mostly in Wisconsin. Of that volume, about 40 percent is sand-laden. And if there’s one thing the Lagoon Crawler appears to excel at, it’s mixing liquid manure and sand into suspension. “Sometimes, it does too good of a job,” admits Lorenz with a laugh. “We can mix for an hour and then we have to shut the machine down. The manure is so well-mixed, it can become too thick to pump.” Lorenz had his first glimpse of Nuhn’s creation in August 2013 during that year’s North American Manure Expo, held in Guelph, Ont. He had a second look at the machine during a farm show later that same year in Oshkosh, Wisc. When he discovered another custom manure applicator in Wisconsin had purchased one, he managed to wrestle a test drive. “We convinced them to rent it to us. We put 77 hours on it.” The brainchild of Ian Nuhn, a prototype of the amphibious lagoon agitator was designed and constructed by Nuhn Industries in 10 days so it could be displayed at the 2013 expo. The company worked from August 2013 to January 2014 perfecting the prototype before shipping the first unit in February 2014. “The idea came from our customers,” explained Nuhn. “We talked to our customers and dealers about what they needed, what they were looking for. They said it needed to have wheels to get in and out of the pit.” Besides hydraulic wheels, the Lagoon Crawler also features a 275 horsepower Cummins/John Deere motor, which can pump close to 10,000 gallons of manure per minute. It has a hydraulic lift undercarriage to help it maneuver in and out of lagoons and is remotely operated. There are currently 35 Lagoon Crawlers in use, mostly in Wisconsin and California. There are another 25 on order, including some heading to Russia, a country Nuhn described as “an untapped market.” Earlier this year, L&M Industries took delivery of its first lagoon crawler, which currently has 110 hours on its 275 horsepower engine. A second one is on order. “It’s great,” says Lorenz. “I like the fact that, so far, it hasn’t plugged up. If you get it stuck on a sand bar, you’re able to drive it right off. You can drive it out of the pit and around the yard. One person can load it.” That ease of handling was one of the features that struck a chord with custom manure applicator Jim Jolivette of Jolivette Hauling out of Taylor, Wisc. “The labor efficiency really struck me as something positive,” he said. “It really helps when you’re short on labor. It’s easy to manage and easy to run with one person. “And there’s the safety aspect, too. It’s handy to drive in and out. You don’t have to crane it in.” Jolivette Hauling handles between 90- and 100-million gallons of manure annually, almost all of it dairy with about 40 percent sand-laden. “It does a very good job agitating,” said Jolivette. “There’s getting to be more sand used as bedding in the area. It suspends the sand a lot better.” Jake Zutz of Braun Electric Inc. in St. Nazianz, Wisc., has experienced first-hand the time-saving aspects of the crawler. “We have a client who we usually end up leaving with about six-feet of sand remaining using pumps and props,” he said. “With this boat, he was left with six-inches [of sand] remaining in the entire concrete-lined lagoon. “It does an excellent job agitating and can do a way better job than a lagoon pump. You don’t need three tractors and three pumps. The boat makes you way more mobile.” Braun Electric, which handles 150- to 175-million gallons of manure annually – about 50 to 70 percent of which is sand laden – currently has two crawlers available for rent and custom work. “We have a couple hundred hours on ours,” said Zutz. “I’ve tried to get it stuck and I haven’t been able to. It’s just a great idea on wheels.” Custom manure applicators, farmers and other people involved in the manure handling industry had an opportunity to see Nuhn’s Lagoon Crawler in action during the 2014 North American Manure Expo, held in Springfield, Missouri. It was one of many lagoon boats showcased during a demonstration at Chapman Dairy, a pasture-based dairy located near Pierce City.