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Measuring the results of a workshop on installing anaerobic digesters on smaller livestock farms

  • Rick Welsh (a1), Michaele E. Webb (a2), Stefan Grimberg (a3) and Shane Rogers (a3)
Abstract

It is accepted generally that anaerobic digesters (AD) are efficacious technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations (Pronto and Gooch, 2009). In addition, AD technology has a number of other potential benefits including: energy production for use on the farm and for sale, separation of manure solids for ease of use or export off-farm, pathogen reduction leading to healthier labor and herd outcomes and odor control. It is also clear that in the USA, research and extension efforts, including public financing of AD technology installations, have disproportionally been focused on larger farms- e.g., dairy farms with at least 500 milking cows. The latter has begun to change as more resources are being invested in AD technology for smaller livestock farms. We present the results of a pre and post survey implemented at four workshops on small-scale AD technology for livestock farmers in northeastern New York State. Results indicate that information presented shifted farmers’ attitudes such that they viewed AD technology as not overly complex; and, they became less interested in selling generated surplus power off-farm.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Rick Welsh, E-mail: jrwelsh@syr.edu
References
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Astill, GM, Shumway, CR and Frear, C (2016) Anaerobic Digester System Enterprise Budget Calculator. Available at http://csanr.wsu.edu/anaerobic-digestion-systems/enterprise-budget-calculator/ (Accessed 27 March 2018).
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Pronto, J and Gooch, C (2009) Greenhouse Gas (ghg) Emission Reductions Due to Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Manure. Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Biological and Agricultural Engineering Association in Reno, Nevada, June 21 - June 24, 2009 097015. (doi: 10.13031/2013.29172).
Shelford, T and Gooch, C (2012) Small Farm Manure-Based Anaerobic Digestion Systems and Barriers to Increasing their Implementation in New York State. Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University. Available at http://www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu/Pages/General_Docs/Reports/Small_Farm_AD_report_final_12_11_12.pdf (Accessed 21 December 2017).
Welsh, R et al. (2010) Technoscience, anaerobic digesters and the dairy industry: factors influencing northern New York dairy farmers’ views on an alternative energy technology. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 25, 170181.
Woughter, A (2014) Anaerobic Digesters Up and Coming for Small Farms? Cornell University Small Farms Program. Available at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2014/07/08/anaerobic-digesters-up-and-coming-for-small-farms/ (Accessed 21 December 2017).
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Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • ISSN: 1742-1705
  • EISSN: 1742-1713
  • URL: /core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems
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