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Manure-Processing Projects Approved For Funding

A hog manure lagoon and a combined hog/ chicken manure lagoon will be used in the project.

Test projects to separate useful fertilizer out of liquid manure and to compost solids will get underway this spring with public and producer funding.

Hog producer Hytek plans to assess a manure treatment system that separates out crop nutrients from liquid manure and separates liquids from solids, with support from the Manitoba Pork Council by way of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative.

The system, developed by LWR (Livestock Water Recycling), will be tested for its efficiency in separating plant nutrients from liquid hog manure, by sampling and analyzing inputs and outputs.

The project, set to start April 1, “is unique in that it not only uses solid separation to remove a large portion of phosphorus from manure, but it also uses membrane filtration to remove nutrients from liquid manure, and produces filtered water suitable for reuse in livestock operations as an end product,” the MLMMI said in a release.

A way of efficiently separating phosphorus from liquid manure, so as to target application to phosphorus-deficient soils, could be one way to reduce pressure on larger-scale livestock operations without the land base to meet new provincial regulations on manure spreading.

Also, the MLMMI noted, many livestock operations in Manitoba draw their water from limited sources, such as ground-or surface water. “Recycling water back into livestock operations would greatly decrease pressure on local aquifers and watersheds.”

STABLE PRODUCT

For the other project, set to start Feb. 15, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) will assess the “Ag-Bag” composting system, billed as “a method of in-vessel composting that not only kills pathogens and weed seeds and controls odour, but also reduces manure volume by 25 per cent.”

Lower volumes of manure may reduce handling and spreading costs, MLMMI staff noted, but the final product is also “nutrient-rich compost” which, compared to raw liquid manure, has an improved nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio for use on cropland.

The composted manure also “allows flexibility in application timing due to the stable nature of the finished product,” the MLMMI noted.

PAMI will study the effectiveness of the Ag-Bag in-vessel composting method as a way of reducing transportation costs by concentrating the phosphorus in manure, and as a way of converting manure lagoon solids to a dry stable form that can be distributed more cost effectively.

A hog manure lagoon and a combined hog/chicken manure lagoon will be used in the project. If PAMI finds the system successful, a subsequent application, combining a continuous-flow, low-energy-input, solid-separation settling system with the Ag-Bag composting method, may be possible.

“This type of manure-handling system has the possibility of significantly reducing the issues surrounding traditional lagoon-solids handling, such as providing increased liquid storage capacity in existing lagoons and increased flexibility in timing land applications,” the MLMMI noted.

Funding for the PAMI project will flow through the federal/provincial Growing Forward farm policy framework.

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