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Cost Feasibility Model and Manure Management Calculator for the Review of Dairy Manure Handling and Disposal Systems

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

Citation:  Paper number  054110,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.20289) @2005
Authors:   Joseph M. Schultz, John F. Katers
Keywords:   Manure, separation, modeling, economics, optimization

The development of several industrial technologies for the solids separation of dairy manures offers farmers the potential to reduce manure handling costs and environmental concerns. Based on the manufacturer information made available through a survey, manure separation systems from Ag. Environmental Solutions, LLC., Agpro Inc., Global Equipment & Mfg, Press Technology Mfg, Inc. and FAN Separator USA, Inc. were analyzed using a calculator developed from a mathematical optimization model. The calculator factored manure load, concentration, nutrient content, landspreading costs, fertilizer value, solid separation efficiencies, and solids product value. Calculator output for the baseline, landspreading of manure from a 1000 cow dairy with manure flushing (65 gal/cow/day flow), was estimated to be an expense of $555 a day or $202,800 annually. Implementing a manure separation system cost $90 to $542 a day with an annual cost of $32,900 to $197,800. A similar dairy farm utilizing manure scraping (35 gal/cow/day flow) had a calculated baseline cost of $256 per day or $93,400 annually. Under these conditions, three separation systems provided the farm with calculated net daily revenue ranging from $131 to $478 per day or $47,800 to $174,500 annually. Implementing a manure solids separation system was found to be more feasible than simply storing manure in a lagoon and landspreading. However low-cost, lowefficiency systems were the least feasible, especially for high solid content manure from scrape systems. The manure optimization calculator has the potential to incorporate anaerobic digestion, solids settling, and other advanced manure treatment technologies, with continued development being sought.

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