Manure Expo Showcases Management Advances

What’s your idea of a fun outdoor activity on a day with temperatures topping 35 C?

How about a manure show?

Norfolk, Nebraska, the hometown of the late U.S. television personality Johnny Carson, hosted the 2011 North American Manure Expo in the midst of the recent heat wave.

The trade show was billed as the only training event in the world that spreads animal waste to demonstrate the latest advances in manure management technologies.

Managing manure is a big issue on farms. A 300-cow dairy operation produces an average of 33,000 litres of waste per day, or more than 11.7 million litres a year, according to Clemson University researchers.

The expo was rich in material. Attendees could test their knowledge at a “Manure Scene Investigation.” Or they could watch history be made when feedlot manure was applied below the surface of the soil for the first time using a device developed by U.S. Agriculture Department researchers in Arkansas for poultry litter. Antique manure spreaders slung waste in demonstrations of how far the industry has progressed.

“There’s something for everyone, including anyone who is concerned for the environment and wants to know how livestock producers are handling manure to avoid water contamination,” said Leslie Johnson, a manure management specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

More than 50 exhibitors from across the United States and Canada displayed and demonstrated all types and sizes of manure-handling equipment including manure and fertilizer spreaders, manure incorporation equipment, GPS equipment for manure application and manure storage options.

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