EPA honors CA creamery

EPA honors CA creamery

Crystal Creamery has received a Food Recovery Challenge Innovation Award for its zero waste leadership.

Future forward

Future forward

Dairy farms depend on the price of milk, but milk prices can fluctuate wildly.

Diesel from Dairy

Diesel from Dairy

Sustainability in farming is a phrase that’s used a lot these days. In its simplest form, it’s about continual operation with minimal impact on the environment.

Researcher coaxes biomaterial out of its shell

Researcher coaxes biomaterial out of its shell

A researcher at Lakehead University is studying a material found in discarded shellfish shells that offers properties with promising industrial uses.

Discussing the pros and cons of biosolids

Discussing the pros and cons of biosolids

Wasting a valuable resource or being resourceful with a valuable "waste"?

video
Herbicide Resistance Summit 2016 May 11, 2016...
Which glyphosate-resistant weed is most problematic to Ontario growers? Peter Sikkema answers this question and provides control and management strategies for dealing with glyphosate resistance in this exclusive interview from the 2016 Herbicide Resistance Summit.
video
Herbicide Resistance Summit 2016 May 4, 2016...
How can farmers preserve the herbicides they are so dependant on? Neil Harker, a weed scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lacombe, Alta., suggests strategies to help slow down herbicide resistance in this week’s exclusive video from the 2016 Herbicide Resistance Summit.
video
Herbicide Resistance Summit 2016 April 27, 2016...
Jason Norsworthy, a professor in the department of crop, soil and environmental sciences at the University of Arkansas, spoke at the 2016 Herbicide Resistance Summit about the status of herbicide resistance in the United States. In this exclusive video, Norsworthy offers insight on the future of herbicide resistance, and suggestions for best management practices.
video
Herbicide Resistance Summit 2016 April 20, 2016...
Harvest weed seed control is a management practice that has seen great success in Australia. In this week’s exclusive video from the 2016 Herbicide Resistance Summit, Breanne Tidemann and Michael Walsh discuss the potential for adapting this strategy to Canada, and the benefits and challenges of harvest weed seed control.

Energy

Energy Production

Animal waste technology project unveiled in MD Animal waste technology project unveiled in MD

February 15, 2017, Rhodesdale, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder recently toured the Murphy family’s Double Trouble Farm – the first Maryland poultry operation to install cutting-edge technology that converts poultry litter to energy. The Maryland Department of Agriculture awarded a $970,000 animal waste technology grant to Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. (BHSL) for the manure-to-energy project and an additional $139,000 to monitor its operation for one year. “I am proud to recognize the Murphy family for bringing this innovative technology to Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “I commend the Murphy’s and the entire Double Trouble Farm team for leading the way for farmers to improve water quality, increase energy independence, and improve animal waste management to ensure the sustainability of animal agriculture in our state.” Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. To date, the program has approved $3.7 million in grants to six projects. “Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc, with the support of Mountaire, has adapted innovative manure management technology to benefit the poultry industry and the Murphy family’s farm. The system utilizes poultry litter as a feedstock by converting it to energy to heat the farm’s chicken houses and generate electricity,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “A great deal of credit goes to the Murphy family for taking the time and risk involved in being the test case for a promising new way of doing business.” This project has the following benefits: Reduced environmental impact: A reduction in the potential environmental impact of manure resources Lower energy costs: A reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating poultry houses Improved animal welfare: Improved animal welfare, with improved health and reduced risk of diseases Improved performance: Faster growth – poultry reaching target weight more quickly Additional revenue: Potential expansion of revenue streams – earnings from the sale of excess electricity and a fertilizer by-product “I am excited that a unique piece of technology designed in Ireland is going to transform U.S. poultry production and play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of the industry on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Denis Brosnan, chairman of Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. “I hope this pilot project is the start of a broader initiative to turn poultry manure from a potential pollutant into a valuable source of energy.” Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. will use electricity generating technology (fluidized bed combustion) to process poultry litter into energy for heating two of four poultry houses during the demonstration period. The system is projected to generate 526 megawatts of electricity per year. Adding heat to poultry houses has been proven at other sites to improve the flock growth rate and overall bird health. These benefits will enhance potential profit margins, reduce payback period for the technology, and improve the likelihood of transferability to other poultry operations. The Murphys are working with BHSL to explore markets for the high-phosphorus ash by-product including Maryland fertilizer companies. As a result of energy production and marketing the ash, 90 percent of nutrients in the poultry litter produced by 14 poultry houses will have alternative uses. “Mountaire is excited about the potential that new alternative use technologies for litter bring to the poultry industry,” said Bill Massey, Mountaire director of housing and feed milling. “We will continue to work with the Murphys, MDA and BHSL on this manure to energy project. Our company and our industry continue to look for solutions to be good environmental stewards.”

Biofuels

U.S. publishes first waste-to-biofuels assessment U.S. publishes first waste-to-biofuels assessment

Jan. 12, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has published a report that assesses the potential of biofuel and bioproduct production from waste streams. The report, titled Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Challenges and Opportunities, is the first comprehensive assessment of the resource potential and technology opportunities provided by feedstocks, including wastewater treatment-derived sludge and biosolids, animal manure, food waste, inedible fats and greases, biogas, and carbon dioxide streams. These feedstocks can be converted into renewable natural gas, diesel, and aviation fuels, or into valuable bioproducts. Complementary to the 2016 Billion-Ton Report, this new resource assessment, conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, concludes that wet and gaseous organic waste streams represent a substantial and underutilized set of feedstocks for biofuels and biopower. The analysis found that the United States has the potential to use 77 million dry tons of wet waste per year, which would generate about 1,300 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. Also, gaseous feedstocks (which cannot be “dried” and therefore cannot be reported in dry tons) and other feedstocks assessed in the report could produce an additional 1,300 trillion Btu of energy - bringing the total to nearly 2.6 quadrillion Btu annually. For perspective, in 2015, the United States’ total primary energy consumption was about 97.7 quadrillion Btu.BETO is exploring of a broad range of possibilities to identify the potential for producing market-relevant platforms. Many waste-to-energy technologies are at an early stage and, therefore, could potentially benefit from DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which increases U.S. private-sector commercialization of innovations to build a strong national economy. SBIR technical topic areas for both the fiscal year 2016 (topics 10 b & c) and fiscal year 2017 (topics 14 a & b) included aspects of converting waste to energy.Not only are wet and gaseous waste streams available now and unlikely to diminish in the near future, finding a beneficial use for them often helps to address the unique and local challenges of disposing of them. Alternative strategies are increasingly necessary due to decreasing landfill capacity and stringent disposal regulations. Also, these waste streams are often located where energy is in highest demand. For these reasons, waste feedstocks could help jump-start the U.S. bioeconomy via niche markets. Research, development, and scale-up of technologies to utilize waste resources is part of BETO’s work to develop domestic, sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels and bioproducts.

Biomass

U.S. publishes first waste-to-biofuels assessment U.S. publishes first waste-to-biofuels assessment

Jan. 12, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has published a report that assesses the potential of biofuel and bioproduct production from waste streams. The report, titled Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Challenges and Opportunities, is the first comprehensive assessment of the resource potential and technology opportunities provided by feedstocks, including wastewater treatment-derived sludge and biosolids, animal manure, food waste, inedible fats and greases, biogas, and carbon dioxide streams. These feedstocks can be converted into renewable natural gas, diesel, and aviation fuels, or into valuable bioproducts. Complementary to the 2016 Billion-Ton Report, this new resource assessment, conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, concludes that wet and gaseous organic waste streams represent a substantial and underutilized set of feedstocks for biofuels and biopower. The analysis found that the United States has the potential to use 77 million dry tons of wet waste per year, which would generate about 1,300 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. Also, gaseous feedstocks (which cannot be “dried” and therefore cannot be reported in dry tons) and other feedstocks assessed in the report could produce an additional 1,300 trillion Btu of energy - bringing the total to nearly 2.6 quadrillion Btu annually. For perspective, in 2015, the United States’ total primary energy consumption was about 97.7 quadrillion Btu.BETO is exploring of a broad range of possibilities to identify the potential for producing market-relevant platforms. Many waste-to-energy technologies are at an early stage and, therefore, could potentially benefit from DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which increases U.S. private-sector commercialization of innovations to build a strong national economy. SBIR technical topic areas for both the fiscal year 2016 (topics 10 b & c) and fiscal year 2017 (topics 14 a & b) included aspects of converting waste to energy.Not only are wet and gaseous waste streams available now and unlikely to diminish in the near future, finding a beneficial use for them often helps to address the unique and local challenges of disposing of them. Alternative strategies are increasingly necessary due to decreasing landfill capacity and stringent disposal regulations. Also, these waste streams are often located where energy is in highest demand. For these reasons, waste feedstocks could help jump-start the U.S. bioeconomy via niche markets. Research, development, and scale-up of technologies to utilize waste resources is part of BETO’s work to develop domestic, sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels and bioproducts.