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Economic Analysis of Mechanical Sand-Manure Separation of Flushed Sand-Laden Dairy Manure

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034016,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15025) @2003
Authors:   C. A. Gooch, A. W. Wedel, J. Karszes
Keywords:   Sand-laden dairy manure, Sand-manure separation, Sand bedding, Dairy manure, Dairy profitability

An economic analysis was performed using a model developed in Microsoft Excel of an integrated manure treatment system that included mechanical separation of bedding sand from dairy manure by commercially available equipment. For this analysis, sand-laden dairy manure was removed from a dairy barn by hydraulic conveyance (flushed). Other major manure treatment systems components included: liquid-manure separation and anaerobic/facultative long-term storage. The analysis was done for various herd sizes ranging from 250 to 1,750 cows with sand procurement prices ranging between $3.50 and $14.00 per ton. The resulting economic costs from the analysis were utilized to provide a basis for analyzing decisions associated with sand, manure, and treatments. The analysis showed that the potential exists, from an economic perspective (based on limiting the benefits of sandmanure separation to reclaiming sand for re-bedding of stalls), for this treatment system to be utilized on dairy farms. For larger farms that can more fully utilize the system or farms that have mid to high sand procurement costs, the benefits of the system would even be greater and may actually reduce the sand bedding expense for the farm. Individual farms should start with this systems approach and take into account their particular circumstances in determining if an investment in this treatment system should be made.

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