Manure Conveyance, Storage, & Application

Manure Conveyance

Manure conveyance, moving manure from the barn to storage and from storage to land application is a critical part of the manure management system. Factors such as site topography, building layout, climate, and management style impact the type of conveyance. Capital and operating costs, as well as the maintenance requirements, need to be considered.

Manure Storage

To properly recycle nutrients, dairy manure handling has advanced to include manure storage. Storing manure rather than frequent spreading makes it easier to be able to recycle the nutrients in an environmentally and economically appropriate way. Manure storages need to be planned, designed, constructed and operated to contain the manure and keep the nutrients from leaking into the groundwater. Another vital part of the design is to ensure that the storage is sized correctly to meet the needs of the farm operation. There are various types of manure storages:

  • Earthen pond
  • Concrete tank
  • Metal tank
  • Roofed building

While manure storage systems have advantages, one disadvantage is the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). As manure is held under anaerobic conditions, the volatile solids found in manure are readily converted to methane, an extremely potent GHG. To combat the emission of methane, storages can be covered to capture the methane and direct it through a flare which breaks the methane down into carbon dioxide before emission.

Manure Storage Covers

Manure Application

The application of manure is an important factor in utilizing the nutrients to create healthier soil. The primary use for this resource is as a plant fertilizer in crop fields. When land applied from the right source, at the right time and rate, using the right methods and in the right place, manure can provide agronomic benefits while minimizing risks to water resources. When managed properly, manure can be a valuable resource.