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Re: E-M:/ Re: More: "what else does one do with manure?"



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Enviro-Mich message from "William Tobler" <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
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There is a BIG difference between certified organic farming and the 
effective on-farm reuse and recycling of farm generated "wastes" (known 
to some as gold).  

"Certified" organic farming practices lead to the premium prices that a 
lot of consumers are unwilling to pay (but some are).

The use of "organic" processes to simulaneously build healthy soils and 
to safely dispose of what could become a nuisance (e.g., excessive 
manure) isn't the same thing as certified organic farming.

It is the monocropping (and mono "farming") mentality that leads to the 
incompatibility and the resulting cost, the gradual destruction of the 
soil, the introduction of huge amounts of pesticides and herbicides, 
etc., and other practices seen by some as being non-sustainable in the 
long run.

Yes, it is easier in the beginning to monocrop, and hence cheaper.  Is 
it sustainable?  Then what?

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> Enviro-Mich message from "Kenneth Vermeulen" <VERMEUKW@wnj.com>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> 
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> 
> Lowell, I agree with your basic premise that the use of compost is
> superior to the use of synthetic fertilizers or non-composted manure. 
> But surely you must concede that it is also A LOT more expensive. 
> Unless consumers are willing to pay for the cost of organic farming
> (which to date, they have not been)  organic farming methods will not
> succeed in the market.
>  
> Ken
> 
> >>> Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com> 09/30/02 07:17PM >>>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> 
> On Mon, 30 Sep 2002, Grant Trigger wrote:
> 
> > The fundamental problem with composting is almost no one can make it
> > economical. The City of Windsor does it and Milwaukee - so asking a
> > farmer to add this to his list of none economic burdens needs some
> > perspective - if this was such an easy solution it would be done.
> 
> I do not believe it is just a matter of economics.
> 
> In Europe, composting both farm waste and municipal waste is very
> common,
> utilizing both windrow composting and anaerobic digesters which
> provide
> both compost and methane.
> 
> In the USA, most farmers have been sucked into the myth the
> petro-chemical
> industry has created, for the need to use their chemical fertilizers.
> 
> The actual fact is that compost is far superior in building the health
> of
> the soil which is critical for healthy crops. That is the whole basis
> for
> organic farming, without the use of petrol-chemical derived
> fertilizers.
> 
> As far as lagoon sludge use instead of composting, that is a knowledge
> problem and not a necessarily a matter of economics. Compost is far
> superior to the spreading of "hot" sludge which is not completely
> broken
> down by the bacteria, as in actual cured compost.
> 
> In short, the methods of true organic farming are gaining ground in
> the
> USA and hence, the number of farmers using sound composting practices
> are
> increasing. In fact, Michigan and California have the strictest
> organic
> farm standards in the country but the new FDA organic standards and
> labeling standards will actually undercut these strict state
> standards.
> 
> That is not to say, that these strict organic farm methods will
> anytime
> soon, become wide spread on the corporate mega farms, given the
> influence
> of the petro-chemical fertilizer industry and others like Monsanto,
> ADM,
> etc. which are trying to control the world's production of food.
> 
> Lowell Prag
> 
> > >>> Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com> 09/30/02 05:03PM >>>
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> > Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> > 
> > > On Mon, 30 Sep 2002, Kenneth Vermeulen wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Lowell, I've got several large farming operations that are very
> > > > interested in putting in a digester/methane collection co-gen
> > > > facility. 
> > > > Unfortunately, there always seems to be some major obstacle,
> like
> > > > sand
> > > > bedding, or a water discharge permit for the outflow from the
> > solids
> > > > separator, or the volume of manure necessary to make the project
> > > > sustainable vs. the market for the compost.  
> > 
> > Hello again Ken,
> > 
> > As far as the economics of anaerobic digesters for your manure and
> > other
> > organic wastes, you not only have to consider the value of the
> compost
> > produced but also, the value of the methane produced.
> > 
> > Depending upon the size of your operation, the methane produced
> could
> > negate your present costs for heat, electricity, and fuel for your
> > vehicles. 
> > 
> > Any engineer could easily figure out for you, with some basic btu
> > conversions, the amount and value of your projected methane
> > production.
> > 
> > In addition, if you produced a surplus of electricity with the
> methane,
> > by
> > federal law, your utility company must buy it from you. In effect,
> > your
> > electric meter would run backwards or in some cases, two meters are
> > installed, one a debit and the other a credit.
> > 
> > In short, we waste a huge amount of methane in the USA, by not
> > recovering
> > it from not only farm waste but also, all our other combined organic
> > wastes. Maybe someday it will be a mandated technology when global
> > warming is really taken seriously. 
> > 
> > As for also marketing the compost produced by the anaerobic
> digesters,
> > 
> > if you are not going to use it all for your own soil, see the
> Michigan
> > Recycling Coalition, http://www.michiganrecycles.org/ 
> > 
> > They provide some in depth statistics on the compost market: 
> > State of Recycling in Michigan
> > http://www.michiganrecycles.org/a_projects_measure.shtml 
> > 
> > There is also a less comprehensive list at:
> > Suppliers of Compost Materials for Michigan Residents
> >
> http://www.michigan.gov/mda/1,1607,7-125-1566_2311_2317-8019--,00.html
> 
> > 
> > 
> > For my own gardening needs, I have bought composted cow manure from
> > Lowe's
> > for about $1.20/40 pound bag which is the best price I've seen. I
> did
> > however, stop buying it until the EPA gets the clopyralid herbicide
> > issue
> > resolved, as it can get into the compost by farmers using it on the
> > forage
> > crops. 
> > 
> > That is one major problem with buying bagged compost, as there is no
> > uniform testing and labeling standards. One would think the
> composting
> > industry would push for truth in labeling to gain consumer's
> > confidence
> > but that hasn't been the case to date.
> > 
> > Lowell  Prag
> > 
> > 
> > 
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