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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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Or to traditional "family farms".
And by this I don't mean mega farms owned by a family.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
---
> Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
---
> 
> With all this discussion of farm economics, I notice that no one has 
made
> any mention of the massive federal subsidies to agriculture, very few 
of
> which, I suspect, go to organic farming.
> 
> 	--Barb
> 
> 
> On Tue, 1 Oct 2002, Kenneth Vermeulen wrote:
> 
> > 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 >>>
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
> > Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
> >
> > 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>
> > >
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
> > >
> > > > 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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