As residential and commercial properties increasingly encroach on land once used exclusively for farming, we’ve (not surprisingly) seen more public flare-ups as competing interests struggle to become coexisting neighbors.
Manure is — and has always been — a mainstay of farming. It’s 100 percent organic, 100 percent natural and 100 percent fantastic fertilizer for growing critical crops.
But for individuals unaccustomed to “country life,” the perks of poop often end at the tip of their nose. That’s where we enter the picture: Livestock Water Recycling is hoping to change the game and hopefully build more bridges of understanding in the process.
A North American company, LWR has spent a quarter century in wastewater treatment, and has developed a system that deals specifically with the odorous issue of livestock manure.
Water is a critical resource for farmers to grow our food. Our goal has been to develop a system that would recycle clean, drinkable water from livestock manure. Manure liquids are made up of a mixture of 95 percent water combined with nutrients. The LWR system treats livestock manure using both a mechanical and chemical process to extract this water.
By the year 2050, world food production will need to increase by 70 percent to feed the global population. Not only will this increased production prove to be an incredible feat, it has to be achieved with limited land availability, an increasing need for fresh water and other imminent factors, such as the impact of climate change. The LWR system will allow farmers to expand their operations and feed more people without acquiring more land and, all the while, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Calumet County’s Shiloh Dairy, for instance, was the first Wisconsin farm to install an LWR system.
“We have always said we do not have a manure problem — we have a water problem and we made the decision to install the LWR System to help us deal with the water,” said Gordon Speirs, general manager. “We reuse the water in many of our washing processes, including cleaning sand and the flush tanks in the milking parlor
“We can now move our nutrients onto fields with a higher value because they are being concentrated, and we have reduced field compaction, manure hauling costs and damage done to the soil from trying to dispose of all of the water that comes along with the manure from our traditional manure application.”
LWR President Ross Thurston credits environmental pioneers, such as Shiloh Dairy. “They took a risk by investing in a new technology that they believed would help protect their family farm for years to come,” he said. “Because of their leap of faith, they have helped other dairies see the results of sustainably managing manure in a different way.”
America expects its farmers to be both innovative and entrepreneurial. It always has and it always should.
It’s through the evolution of new technologies, such as LWR, that they’ll stay on the cutting edge.
Lisa Fast is marketing coordinator for Livestock Water Recycling.