Huxley hutterite brethren colony case study

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Courtesy of Nordevco Associates Ltd.

A. Farm Description
Barn Type: 80 stall free stall barn with saw dust on floor. Manure Handling: Barn houses 80 cows over 8 pits, each 7 feet deep and 12 feet wide. Manure is stored under the slatted floor for 6 months and then agitated and pumped out.

B. The Problems: As the pits are pumped ammonia levels rise significantly resulting in problems for barn staff – specifically burning eyes and headaches. The pits also have some solids accumulation and crusting, creating the need for more labour and agitation during pumping. The increased need for agitation increases the already high levels of ammonia in the barn.

C. Objective of treatment:
Significantly reduce the impact of pit pumping by reducing ammonia levels in the barn. Reduce levels of accumulated solids and crusting to facilitate pit pumping and further reduce impact of odours on barn staff. Improve manure liquidity to ease pumping and reduce need for agitation.

Treatment results
Three weeks after the initial treatment the dairy boss noticed a significant reduction in ammonia odours – ventilation issues in the barn had resulted in significantly increased ammonia problems.

When the pits were pumped in December, after 5 weeks of treatment, there were no ammonia issues and no one entering the barn knew that the pits had been pumped. The pits drained like water with no solids or crusting problems.

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