Manure storage and application
What is manure storage?
Dairy manure management has advanced to include the storage of manure in an earthen pond, tank or roofed structure. Manure storage allows management flexibility that facilitates the recycling of manure nutrients to crop lands in an environmentally and economically appropriate way. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook provides specific guidance for planning, designing, and managing systems where agricultural wastes are involved. It can help the professional planner/designer assist agricultural producers in organizing a comprehensive approach to integrate waste management into overall farm operations.
Covered Manure Storages
While manure storages substantially improve a farm’s ability to manage nutrients, the anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions of these systems leads to the generation of methane, a potent GHG. Covering a manure storage with an impervious cover enables the capture methane, and with an integrated flare system this methane can then be mitigated. Cover and flare systems have other benefits for the farm as well, including rainwater diversion which reduced manure volume, odor mitigation, enhanced retention of nitrogen in the manure, and the possibility for carbon-credit value. Information about these systems and their benefits are below.
Climate Resilient Farming Grant
Thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, New York Farmers are implementing innovative manure management techniques for environmental stewardship, farm viability, and the community. PRO-DAIRY and Cornell Cooperative Extension partner with New York State and County Soil & Water Conservation Districts to help farms afford and design manure pit cover and flare systems.
- County Soil & Water Conservation District contacts
- NYS Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program information
- Climate Resilient Farming RFP Useful Information
In this video Tim Fessenden of Fessenden Dairy in Cayuga County, NY and Meghan Hauser of Table Rock Farm in Wyoming County, NY join Curt Gooch, senior extension associate, Cornell PRO DAIRY and Allen Fagan, district manager, Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District discuss the benefits that manure pit cover and flare systems have had on their farms.