Petenwell Park Improvements | Adams County, WI

Why should you move from daily manure hauling to manure storage?

Matt Rockweiler, EIT | with 0 Comments

Why should you move from daily manure hauling to manure storage?

It might not be winter, according to the calendar, but many of us in the Midwest have received the first snow of the season. With the snow comes the risks associated with winter spreading, especially the possibility of manure running off into surface water. Although some farmers will continue daily hauling, others are exploring the option of adding manure storage facilities for better manure management.

In a recent article by Dan Andersen, Small dairy manure mgmt: Is storage right for you?, Dan takes a practical look at manure storage and the financial payback period of the investment. We believe that, in the long run, the investment in a storage facility pays off for farmers.

A farmer reaps a number of benefits when building a storage facility.

Manure storage results in better capture and application of the manure, and more nutrient absorption by the soil. This reduces reliance on fertilizer.

Storage allows farmers to apply their manure at better times throughout the year reducing the amount of manure runoff from fields.  Storages, when designed and constructed properly, reduce potential contamination to ground and surface waters compared to temporary or field stacking. Storages, from an environmental perspective can reduce liability, however, storage management and storage perception does exist.

Time is money! The convenience of not needing to haul manure every day provides more time for managing other aspects of your farm. It also means fewer chores on holidays, leaving more time for family.
Less hauling translates to less-frequent use of equipment. Effective manure storage means reduced wear on your equipment, which prolongs the life of your equipment and maximizes your investment in that equipment.
Interested in manure storage, but not sure where to start?

Here are some recommendations surrounding how to begin planning your storage facility project.
  1. Talk with your County Conservationist regarding regulations and inquire about potential assistance the county is willing to offer. If your county has an engineer on staff, they may be willing to provide design assistance.
  2. If your county doesn’t have the resources to provide design assistance, contact an agricultural engineering consulting firm.
  3. Next up are the details. Work with your consultant or county engineer to determine the size and location of your manure storage facility. Your consultant will prepare initial designs, which are required for all necessary permitting.
  4. Once your initial design is prepared, your consultant can help you determine if you’re eligible – and can help you prepare applications – for any funding programs that might offset the cost of your manure storage project.
Deciding to build a manure storage facility is not an easy one for anyone to make, particularly small farmers. It is a decision that requires a farmer to assess the cost-benefit analysis specific to their operation. With the right tools, farmers can make an informed decision that will pay off in the long-term for them.
Are you interested in learning more about manure storage facilities? Contact MSA’s Matt Rockweiler for more information.

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