California’s Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gases from Dairy and Livestock Operations

This webinar discusses two programs in California, administered through the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), that provide financial incentives to dairy and livestock producers to reduce methane emissions from on-farm manure management. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 16, 2019. More… Continue reading “California’s Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gases from Dairy and Livestock Operations”

Development and Application of the Newtrient Evaluation Assessment Tool (NEAT):  A Methodology for Comparing Manure Treatment Technologies

The recent development of the Newtrient on-line catalog (www.newtrient.com/Catalog/Technology-Catalog; see accompanying conference proceedings about the catalog) revealed the need to establish a set of environmental and farm operational based critical indicators (CIs).  The indicators are useful in identifying manure treatment technologies that primarily best address dairy farm environmental sustainability but include some social aspects.

What did we do?

The Newtrient Technical Advancement Team, comprised of academic and industry professionals in dairy manure management, developed and implemented a novel methodology that identifies technologies that best address dairy farm sustainability mainly from an environmental but also from a social perspective.  A project-amended process used by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was used as the basis for methodology development; the methodology is known as the Newtrient Evaluation and Assessment of Technology (NEAT) process.

For this work, six specific CIs were selected based on key environmental challenges/opportunities facing the dairy industry; they are:  nitrogen recovery, phosphorus recovery, liquid manure storage requirements, greenhouse gas reduction, odor reduction, and pathogen reduction.  A literature search was performed to evaluate 20 manure treatment technology types under five technology categories (Table 1).

A scoring system relative to the baseline condition of long-term (anaerobic) manure storage was developed and applied to each technology type and an appropriate relative score for each CI was determined.  The NEAT results are presented in an easy to understand dashboard called the NEAT Matrix (Figure 1).

What have we learned?

Use of the NEAT process across the 20 manure treatment technology types confirms that there is no single technology type that can address all the environmental and operational indicators.  An integrated manure management system that is comprised of strategically selected technologies may be assembled to move each dairy farm toward sustainability.

Table 1.  Technology categories and associated manure treatment technology types evaluated using the Newtrient Evaluation and Assessment of Technology (NEAT).
Technology Category Evaluated Technology Types
Primary solid-liquid separation
  • Centrifuge
  • Rotary screen
  • Screw press
  • Slope screen
Secondary solid-liquid separation
  • Clean water membrane
  • Evaporative technologies
  • Ultrafiltration membrane
Physical and biochemical stabilization
  • Active solids drying
  • Composting
  • Drum composter bedding
  • Surface aeration
Nutrient recovery
  • Ammonia stripping
  • Chemical flocculation
  • Struvite crystallization
  • Nitrification/denitrification
Energy recovery
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Gasification
  • Hydrothermal Carbonization
  • Pyrolysis
  • Torrefaction
Figure 1. Generic example of the Newtrient Evaluation and Assessment of Technology (NEAT) Matrix
Figure 1. Generic example of the Newtrient Evaluation and Assessment of Technology (NEAT) Matrix

Future Plans

Future research in this area will continue to focus on using NEAT to evaluate integrated manure management systems designed specifically to achieve farm goals/needs.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Curt Gooch, Environmental Systems Engineer, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental System Program, Dept. of Animal Science, Cornell University.

cag26@cornell.edu

Other authors

Mark Stoermann (Newtrient, LLC), Garth Boyd (Context), Dana Kirk (Michigan State University), Craig Frear (Regenis), and Frank Mitloehner (UC Davis).

Additional information

Additional project information, is available on the Newtrient website:  www.newtrient.com

Acknowledgements

Newtrient, LCC and the paper authors thank the following supporters of Newtrient:  Agri-Mark, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Dairy Management Inc., Foremost Farms USA, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Maryland Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc., Michigan Milk Producers, National Milk Producers Federation, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., Select Milk Producers, Inc., Southeast Milk, Inc., St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and United Dairymen of Arizona

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Comparison of Sulfuric vs. Oxalic Sulfuric When Forming Struvite from Liquid Dairy Manure

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to demonstrate a mobile fluidized-bed cone for extraction of phosphorus in the form of struvite (magnesium-ammonium phosphate) from undigested (raw) liquid dairy manure. Since Ca binds inorganic P, a particular emphasis was placed on evaluating the effect of oxalic acid as an acidifier and Ca binder.

Dairies often have excess P in manure in relation to the need for on-farm crop production. Easily mineable reserves of phosphorus (P) worldwide are limited, with a majority residing in Morocco (USGS 2013). One approach to recycling P is to capture excess P from dairy manure in the form of struvite for off-farm export as a nutrient source for crop production.

What we did

A portable trailer-mounted fluidized-bed cone (volume of 3200 L) was used to extract phosphorus in the form of struvite (magnesium-ammonium phosphate) from undigested (raw) liquid dairy manure. Batches of 13,000 liters of manure were evaluated and the system was operated at a flow rate of ~ 32 liters per minute.  Sulfuric acid or oxalic acid-sulfuric acid were used to decrease the pH, and sodium hydroxide was used to raise the pH. Oxalic acid was chosen for evaluation due to its dual ability to decrease pH and bind calcium.

What we learned

Results of concentration of total P or ortho-P (OP) after manure treatment through the fluidized bed suggested no advantage of the combination of oxalic acid with sulfuric acid to decrease the concentration of P (see Figures 1 and 2). More detailed analyses of centrifuged post-bed samples of manure effluent indicated that the oxalic acid was binding the free calcium, but the resulting Ca compounds remained suspended in the effluent. Centrifuged manure samples had Ca contents ~23% of un-centrifuged samples when oxalic/sulfuric acid was used as a pH reducer. Centrifuged manure samples had Ca contents ~84% of un-centrifuged samples when sulfuric acid was used as a pH reducer. With raw manure, oxalate does not appear to be beneficial, unless there is a more effective step to drop Ca-oxalate out of suspension, such as centrifuging.

Figure 1. Concentration of OP or P in manure after pre-treatment with oxalic and sulfuric acid.
Figure 1. Concentration of OP or P in manure after pre-treatment with oxalic and sulfuric acid.

 

Figure 2. Concentration of OP or P in manure after pre-treatment with sulfuric acid.
Figure 2. Concentration of OP or P in manure after pre-treatment with sulfuric acid.

Future Plans

Anaerobically digested (AD) manure will be evaluated with the same set of conditions that were utilized with raw dairy manure to determine potential benefits of using oxalic acid with AD manure.

Authors

Joe Harrison1, Kevin Fullerton1, Elizabeth Whitefield1, and Keith Bowers2.

1Washington State University

2Multiform Harvest

jhharrison@wsu.edu

Citations and video links

U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2013. http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/phosphate_rock/mcs-2013-phosp.pdf

The Mobile Struvite Project Overview Video: Capturing Phosphorus from Liquid Dairy Manure and Cost Efficient Nutrient Transport

Dairy Struvite Video: Capturing Phosphorus from Dairy Manure in the Form of Struvite on 30 Dairy Farms in WA state

Alfalfa Struvite Video: Struvite, a Recycled Form of Phosphorus from Dairy Manure, used as Fertilizer for Alfalfa Production

Acknowledgements

This project funded by the USDA NRCS CIG program and the Dairy Farmers of Washington.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Transforming Manure from ‘Waste’ to ‘Worth’ to Support Responsible Livestock Production in Nebraska

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) Animal Manure Management (AMM) Team has supported the environmental stewardship goals of Nebraska’s livestock and crop producers for many years using multiple traditional delivery methods, but recently recognized the need to more actively engage with clientele through content marketing activities. A current programming effort by the AMM Team to increase efficient manure utilization on cropland in the vicinity of intensive livestock production is the foundation for an innovative social media campaign.

What did we do?

content marketing plan
Figure 1. Content marketing plan to direct traffic to the AMM Team website.

While traditional extension outputs remain valuable for supporting the needs of clientele who actively seek out information on a topic, “content marketing” is a strategic tactic by which information is shared to not only attract and retain an audience, but to drive impactful action. Social media platforms are popular tools for delivery of current, research-based information to clientele; a key barrier to effectively using social media for content marketing by the project directors has been time. For instance, using Twitter efficiently requires regular attention to deliver messages frequently enough to remain relevant and to do so at times when user activity characteristics demonstrate the greatest opportunity for posts to be viewed and disseminated. Because this proved to be a challenge, a content marketing plan (Figure 1) was initiated using “waste to worth” as the topic of focus.

Three major components were identified as being critical to the success of the project (Figure 2): design of high-quality graphics that are tied to online content and resources and are suitable for use on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media platforms; development of a content library containing packaged content (graphic + suggested text for social media posts) that is easy to navigate and available for partners to access and utilize; and development  of a communication network capable of reaching a broad audience.

Graphics

circles containing graphics, content library and communication network
Figure 2. Components identified for successful content marketing effort.

An undergraduate Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC) student was recruited to support graphical content development using three basic guidelines: 1) Eye-catching but simple designs; 2) Associated with existing content hosted online; and 3) Accurate information illustrated Canva.com was utilized by team members  to design, review and edit social media content (Figure 3).

Content Library

Completed graphics are downloaded from Canva as portable network graphics (*.png) and saved to Box folders, by topic, using a descriptive title. When posting to social media, hashtags, mentions and links to other content help (a) reach users who are following a specific topic (e.g. #manure), (b) recognize someone related to the post (e.g. @TheManureLady) and (c) direct users to more content related to the graphic (e.g. URL to online article). For our content library, each graphic is accompanied by a file containing recommended text (Figure 4) that can be copied and pasted into Twitter or Facebook.

content example graphics
Figure 3. Graphical content examples for the “waste to worth” project
content example with sample text
Figure 4. Sample text to accompany a related image when posting on social media

Communication Network

content distribution network diagram
Figure 5. Content distribution network diagram.

Disseminating our messages through outlets outside the University was identified as a critical aspect of achieving the widespread message delivery that was desired. As such, agricultural partners throughout Nebraska were asked to help “spread the word about spreading manure” by utilizing our content in their social media outputs, electronic newsletters, printed publications, etc. Partners in this project include nearly 30 livestock and crop commodity organizations, media outlets, agricultural business organizations, and state agencies in Nebraska (Figure 5).

The effort to distribute content through the established communication network was launched in September 2018. Each month, three to four graphics with accompanying text are placed in a Box file to which all partners in the distribution network have access. Partners are notified via e-mail when new content is released. Folders containing prior months’ releases remain available to allow partners to re-distribute previous content if they wish.

What we have learned?

Since launching, 34 partnering organizations (Figure 6) have helped disseminate content to 50,000+ producers, advisors, allied industry members, and related professionals each month. Invited media appearances (radio and television) by team members have increased substantially in the past six months. For instance, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association hosts a weekly “Pork Industry Update” on a radio station that is part of the Rural Radio Network. Team members have recorded numerous interviews for broadcast during this weekly programming spot.

parter organizations
Figure 6. Partner organizations contributing to content distribution.

Page views within the AMM Team’s website (manure.unl.edu) increased by 139% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. Additional analytics are being collected to better define routes by which traffic is reaching the AMM Team’s website.

Future Plans

A survey is being prepared for distribution to audiences targeted through this project to assess impacts of this effort on changes in knowledge and behavior related to responsible use of manure in cropping systems, recognition of the AMM Team as a trusted source for manure and nutrient management information in Nebraska, and quality of AMM Team outputs.

Author

Amy Millmier Schmidt, Associate Professor, Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), aschmidt@unl.edu

Co-authors

Rick Koelsch, Professor, Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science, UNL

Abby Steffen, UG Student, Ag Leadership, Education and Communication, UNL

Additional Information

Sign up for monthly notifications about new content from the UNL Animal Manure Management team at https://water.unl.edu/newsletter. Follow team members and the AMM Team.

Animal Manure Management Team    Amy Schmidt

Twitter: @UNLamm    Twitter: @TheManureLady

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNLamm/    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheManureLady/

 

Rick Koelsch

Twitter: @NebraskaRick

Acknowledgements

Funding sources supporting this effort include We Support Ag, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the North Central Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (NC-SARE) program.

 

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Overview of the U.S. Agricultural Biogas Industry and AgSTAR Technical Resources

AgSTAR is a voluntary program coordinated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), that supports farmers and industry in the development and adoption of anaerobic digester (AD) systems. In addition to producing biogas, AD systems can help achieve other social, environmental, agricultural and economic benefits. AgSTAR offers a variety of resources and tools to assist those interested in exploring the use of AD systems, including:

    • Outreach materials addressing system design, selection, and use and project development tools that help assess digester feasibility.
    • Events including workshops and webinars to promote sharing of knowledge, information, and experiences.
    • Website information on operating digesters, including nationwide statistics as well as in-depth project profiles that provide details on digester system design, biogas use, and benefits realized.

AgSTAR’s presentation will provide a market overview of agricultural biogas projects in the United States, including trends and outlook for the future of this sector, and highlight two resources currently under development for industry stakeholders.

What did we do?

AgSTAR’s mission is to educate and inform stakeholders on biogas production in the United States and support the development of new projects. AgSTAR has developed a number of market studies, technical tools and outreach resources for agricultural biogas projects over the years. The AgSTAR national database for digester projects contains a wealth of information on digester projects in the United States. As of January 2019, there are 248 anaerobic digesters operating on livestock farms in the US.  AgSTAR estimates that in 2018, digesters helped reduce 4.27 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e). Since 2000, digesters on livestock farms have reduced direct and indirect emissions by an estimated 39.3 MMTCO2e.

The biogas industry in the livestock sector has a lot of room to grow. AgSTAR estimates that biogas recovery systems are technically feasible at more than 8,000 large dairy and hog operations. These farms could potentially generate nearly 16 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy per year and displace about 2,010 megawatts (MWs) of fossil fuel-fired generation.

To meet this massive opportunity, innovation is needed.  Several policies and business models that are driving the growth in this sector include:  

    • Policies:  
      • Food Waste Diversion from Landfills
      • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Incentives
    • Business Models:  
      • RNG to vehicle fuel
      • Third-party owned and operated systems
      • Eco-markets for co-products

AgSTAR continues to educate stakeholders on these industry trends and encourage new opportunities.

New and Updated products coming soon!

The AgSTAR program pleased to announce two resources coming in 2019 to help facilitate the implementation of AD-biogas projects:

    • AgSTAR Project Development Handbook (3rd Edition) – The Handbook is intended for agriculture and livestock producers, farm owners, developers, investors, policymakers, implementers, and others working in agriculture or renewable energy who are interested in AD/biogas systems as a farm manure management option.  The handbook is being substantially redesigned for this 3rd edition to help users gain insight into AD and current state-of-the-art discussions on project development, economics, co-digestion feedstocks, manure management issues, including agronomic application, potential carbon impacts, and financing/operational/ownership options.  The document provides basic information about biogas production and outlines many of the considerations and questions that should be addressed when evaluating, developing, designing and implementing a farm-based digester project.
    • AgSTAR Anaerobic Digester Operator Guidebook – The Operator Guidebook is a new resource to assist on-farm AD/biogas system operators to increase operational uptime and performance and efficiency as well as to help prevent common pitfalls that can lead to system shutdown and neighbor complaints.  The Guidebook spans nearly every part of the AD and biogas production process, providing industry expert experience and advice on dealing with potential issues within an AD/biogas system. The Guidebook is designed to answer fundamental questions about what it takes to successfully operate and maintain an AD/biogas system on an agricultural operation and it can be used as a resource to maximize profitability by increasing biogas yield, improve biogas quality, and minimize operating and maintenance expenses.  It is intended for use as a training tool for AD/biogas system owners, managers, operators, and other project stakeholders.

What we have learned?

Anaerobic digesters on livestock farms can provide many benefits compared to traditional manure management systems, including:

    • Diversified Farm Revenue
    • Rural Economic Growth
    • Conservation of Agricultural Land
    • Energy Independence
    • Sustainable Food Production
    • Farm-Community Relationships

While technology choices are important when implementing AD projects, a viable business model is critical.  

Future plans

The AgSTAR Program intends to continue working with its government, academia, industry, and non-profit organization stakeholders to promote the use of biogas recovery systems to reduce methane emissions from livestock waste.  This includes sharing information on industry trends; promoting and conducting events and webinars; and preparing outreach materials and project development tools, such as the AgSTAR Project Development Handbook and Anaerobic Digester Operator Guidebook.

Authors

Nick Elger, Program Manager, U.S. EPA AgSTAR & Global Methane Initiative, Elger.Nicholas@epa.gov

Additional information

Additional information and resources can be found on the AgSTAR Program website at: https://www.epa.gov/agstar.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Considerations in Evaluating Manure Treatment Systems for Dairy Farms

Advanced manure treatment may become a major system on some dairy farms in the future.  Reducing the impacts of excess nitrogen and or phosphorous may be necessary on farms with a limited or remote land base.  Additional treatments to recover solids, extract energy, concentrate nutrients, reduce odors, reduce the mass/volume, and/or reduce pathogens may become more of a priority as farms seek to move toward sustainability.  Potential systems should be evaluated from many perspectives including on an economic and effectiveness basis. There are many variables to consider in evaluating a manure management system. Potential systems should be selected based on many criteria including:  operational history, operational reliability, market penetration, capital cost, O&M cost, value proposition, and vendor information and documentation including case studies and customer reviews.

What did we do?

Manure management formally started in the second half of the 20th century with the development and implementation of the water quality best management practice (BMP) of long-term manure storage.  Storage provides farms with the opportunity to recycle manure to cropland when applied nutrients can be more efficiently used by the crop.  Many long-term manure storages were built to improve nutrient recycling and minimize risk. In some cases, anaerobic lagoons were built to both reduce the organic matter spread to fields and store manure.  Simultaneously as poultry and livestock consolidation escalated, more manure storages were built and their volume increased to reflect the recognized need to store manure longer. Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service have assisted in providing planning, design, construction and maintenance of these manure storage systems.

What have we learned?

Many lessons have been learned from storing manure long-term.  They include, but are not limited to:

    • While storing manure long-term reduces water quality impairment, it also produces and emits methane, a greenhouse gas.  Greenhouse gases are reported to contribute to global warming. The US dairy industry is under attack by some because of this, and it is likely that the decline in fluid milk sales has, in some part, been affected by this.  The lesson learned here is that the implementation of BMPs can have unintended consequences; therefore, all future BMPs need to be thoroughly vetted before substantial industry uptake happens in order to avoid undesirable unintended consequences.
    • Larger long-term storages are better than short-term (smaller) ones.  Storages that store manure for a longer period of time provide farms with increased flexibility when it comes to recycling manure to cropland.
    • Long-term storages can emit odors that can be offensive to neighbors and communities.  Farms have adopted improved manure spreading practices, namely direct incorporation, to reduce odor issues but incorporation doesn’t work well on some crops.  Some farms have also adopted anaerobic digestion as a long-term storage pre-treatment step in order to reduce odor emissions from storage and land application.
    • Substantial precipitation can accumulate in long-term storages located on farms in humid climates.  Increased storage surface area (generally an outcome of building larger storages) results in more precipitation to store and handle as part of the manure slurry.  Every acre-foot of net perception results in 325,900 gallons of additional slurry to store and spread. If each manure spreader load is 5,000 gallons, then this means 65 additional loads are required.
    • Neighbors of larger farms are more sensitive to intensive truck traffic than regular but low-level truck traffic.  Long-term storages require intensive, focused effort to empty and the over the road truck traffic can be offensive in some farm locations.
    • Insufficient storage duration results in the need to recycle manure to cropland during inopportune times and thus may not be contributing to the BMP goal.  Fall spreading is still required on many farms; however, it also may be unlikely that a sufficient spring planting window exists for farms to spread all their manure in the spring, avoid compacting wet soils and also get spring crops planted in time.
    • Where longer term storage duration and or incorporation of the manure to prevent odor emissions is needed to facilitate spring and summer manure spreading, farms may have more manure nutrients than needed to meet crop demand.

Future Plans

The above lessons learned support the need for advanced manure treatment systems on some farms that can also be used as the basis for considerations that should be included when evaluating all manure treatment systems.  It is important that the manure treatment equipment/system components and the overall system address the farm need(s) as best as possible. A challenge with evaluating the existing manure treatment equipment available to the farmer is the lack of performance and economic data.  Comparatively, advanced manure treatment (we define this as treatment above basic primary solid-liquid separation) is in its infancy stage of adoption and thus little field performance data exists. Our plans are to continue (as funding allows) to perform more on-farm manure treatment system evaluations and to report facts to our US dairy industry stakeholders.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Curt Gooch, Environmental Systems Engineer, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental System Program, Dept. of Animal Science, Cornell University

cag26@cornell.edu

Other authors

Peter Wright, Agricultural Engineer, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental System Program, Dept. of Animal Science, Cornell University

Additional information

Additional project information, including reports about on-farm assessment of manure treatment systems, is available on the Dairy Environmental System Program webpage: www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu

Acknowledgements

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for their continued financial support of the PRO-DAIRY Program, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for funding many on-farm sponsored projects, and the US dairy farmers who have collaborated with us for over three decades.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Newtrient Manure Technology Catalog: An On-line Resource for Farmers, Their Key Advisors and Others Involved in Dairy Manure Management

Looking at the manure-management technologies that currently exist and the new and emerging technologies, Newtrient provides a reliable, third-party technology evaluation tool for the dairy industry. Three years of time and effort has been put into evaluating almost 300 technologies that are included in the catalog, over half of which are related to biogas production or digestate management. Newtrient launched an open-source, technology catalog in 2017 that provides a comprehensive listing of relevant and readily available dairy manure management technologies in the U. S.

What we do?

The U.S. dairy industry is voluntarily playing a critical role in working “towards sustainability” (Scott & Gooch, 2017). As a result of industry consolidation, manure treatment technologies are being developed and marketed that target larger operations. The goal is to help farms work on continuous improvement on sustainability issues while operating at larger scale. Unfortunately, the efficacy and economics of the treatment technologies are not always well established. As a result, the relative costs and impacts are often difficult to compare, although its importance is realized.

Newtrient, on behalf of the U.S. dairy industry, formed a Technology Assessment Team (TAT) in 2016, comprised of a cross section of academic and industry professionals with in-depth expertise in dairy manure management. One of the first tasks assigned to the TAT was to conduct systematic verification and catalog available dairy manure treatment technologies in the United States. The ongoing effort by Newtrient is to identify and evaluate available dairy manure treatment technologies which has resulted in the Newtrient online Technology Catalog (Catalog) with over 240 entries (Newtrient, 2019).

Lessons Learned?

Many lessons have been learned during the development of the Newtrient Technology Catalog.  One of the most important is that it is necessary to develop a standard, easy to use way of presenting the information on many differing technologies and companies, the Newtrient TAT does this in a variety of ways including:

    • Company description – We work with each vendor to provide a brief description of the company, its mission and its history.
    • Technology description – A succinct and informative overview of the technology and how it works is the goal and this, combined with an image or flow chart, is often enough for the average visitor.
    • Business information – A vendor-completed Newtrient Business Information Request (BIR) form can be viewed or downloaded when additional information is desired.
    • Technology information – A vendor-completed Newtrient Technology Information Request (TIR) is also available on line providing additional technical details including what it takes to install and make the technology work.
    • Expert reviews – Expert opinion and evaluation of technologies from the Newtrient TAT provide insight and perspective that is not available anywhere else.
    • Newtrient 9-Point Score – A quick and intuitive visual reference that provides answers to 9 specific questions in three categories, chosen to help set a standard for technologies and a basis for comparison. The nine points include the following:
        • COMMERCIAL VIABILITY
          • OPERATIONAL HISTORY – Is this technology currently operational on at least three North American dairy farms?
          • OPERATIONAL RELIABILITY – Does this technology have record of reliable performance of more than 12 months at each of at least three farms?
          • MARKET PENETRATION – Has this technology been installed on at least 10 North American dairy farms?
        • ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY VALUE
          • CAPITAL COST – Has information on the installed capital costs been clearly defined and communicated to the Newtrient TAT?
          • OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE COST – Are the actual operations and maintenance costs clearly defined and communicated to the Newtrient TAT?
          • VALUE PROPOSITION – Does this technology or the products it makes, deliver to the farm identifiable economic, environmental, or community value (e.g. reduced cost, increased income, reduced odor, improved nutrient use, etc.)?
        • TRANSPARENCY & INTERACTION
          • VENDOR INFORMATION SHARING – Has the company provided complete and verified Newtrient BIR and TIR documents to Newtrient?
          • CASE STUDY – Has a case study demonstrating the performance claimed by the vendor been completed by the Newtrient TAT?
          • CUSTOMER REVIEWS – When asked how likely is it they would recommend this technology to a colleague; have at least three customers scored the technology at least a 7 out of 10?
    • Highlighting Technologies – Newtrient reviews technologies and provides recognition for those that have proven themselves, show potential or have not engaged with Newtrient but are actively marketing to dairymen. The three categories are:
      • Newtrient Recognized:  for technologies that are proven in the field.
      • Emerging Technology:  for technologies that show significant promise.
      • Not Vendor Verified:  for vendors who have not worked with Newtrient to verify and validated the information regarding their business or technology.
    • Newtrient Evaluation & Assessment of Technologies (NEAT) – After the catalog was first introduced it became obvious that there was additional work that was needed regarding the impact of each technology on key environmental areas.  In response, the TAT developed the NEAT process for evaluating technologies and their impacts on six key areas (see accompanying paper presented at this conference on the NEAT process).

Future Plans

The Newtrient Technology Catalog is ever changing and being updated; new technologies are added regularly, BIRs and TIRs are updated, new case studies are written, and new functionality is added regularly. The catalog was recently updated to accommodate outcomes of applying the NEAT process to select technology types.  Additionally, the TAT is evaluating inclusion of the following:

    • NRCS Conservation Practice Standards and guide to USDA grant programs
    • Feed and manure additives with a system for comparing their efficacy and economics
    • Directories of resources for help in nutrient management planning, engineering, and other professional services related to manure treatment/nutrient management
    • Expanding and updating the Newtrient TIR to include all of the information needed to qualify a technology for USDA grant and cost share programs

Author

Mark Stoermann, Chief Operating Officer, Newtrient LLC.

mstoerm@newtrient.com

Other authors

Curt Gooch, Environmental Systems Engineer, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental System Program, Dept. of Animal Science, Cornell University.

Additional information

Additional information, including business information, technical information and case studies on technologies, is available on the catalog page of the Newtrient website: https://www.newtrient.com

Acknowledgements

Newtrient, LCC and the papers authors thank the following supporters of Newtrient: Agri-Mark, Inc.; Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.; Dairy Management Inc.; Foremost Farms USA; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Maryland Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc.; Michigan Milk Producers, National Milk Producers Federation; Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; Select Milk Producers, Inc.; Southeast Milk, Inc.;  St. Albans Cooperative Creamery; Tillamook County Creamery Association; and United Dairymen of Arizona.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.