In 2023, new European standards will give rise to additional constraints for effluent processing in cattle farming. What if this is an opportunity to rethink your approach to manure and slurry handling? Phase separation offers multiple benefits. Reusing the compost as bedding is one of them.
On the cusp of this development in European regulations, the objectives for improving air quality will require cattle farmers to review their effluent processing. Farms are the source of 77% of agricultural ammonia emissions, a gas that is harmful to human health and the environment. And increasing the frequency of the removal of excrement from farm buildings is one of the levers identified to reduce these emissions.
As in pig farming, the cattle sector will have to scrape ‘faster and more frequently’ in the future to limit the stagnation time for NH3-emitting urine and faeces, and probably scrape up to twice every 60 to 90 minutes. The slurry will then have to be processed quickly and then stored in covered slurry pits or bladder tanks, viscosity permitting.
In straw systems, with empty stalls for example, the solids will have to be separated from the brown water. In the long term, the regulations should no longer allow the storage of wet manure, even if it is on a manure pile or at the bottom of the field.
How do you scrape more often while keeping the product solid enough at the other end of the building? Different systems (mesh grating, manure gutters, etc.) may be installed as a minimum. Will that be enough? Moving to an all-slurry system is not without consequences and involves significant transformations in the chain of effluent handling. It is also a limiting factor in the growth of the herd.
Investing in a phase separator helps to solve these two problems: adapting to the new standards planned for by the European Union in the framework of the reduction of ammonia emissions while gaining 30% storage capacity with a standard separator, and up to 40% for more advanced models.
Phase separation, a procedure that is now accessible to all, offers other advantages. The dry matter produced by the process may be stored at the bottom of the field. The compost is easily spread, without unpleasant odours, and its agronomic qualities make it a high-quality organo-mineral soil enricher.
The dry phase especially can also and be reused as bedding. It is perfectly adapted for empty stalls as bedding, which considered to be the most comfortable for the welfare of the animals. It is rated 4.2 for absorbency and is easier to handle than sand.
When used fresh, the health risk remains high. To eliminate pathogenic bacteria, the compost obtained after phase separation needs to be sanitised. The temperature of the dry product must rise to over 70°C for 24 hours in order to remove any risk of contamination.
Designed by BouMatic, the eco-bedder is a tool for sanitising the solid phase that completes the effluent handling chain in separation systems. The compost is stored in a drum where a process of aerobic fermentation destroys 98% of the bacteria at a controlled temperature. The mineralisation of the elements is quick, limiting the emission of ammonia into the atmosphere. The machine makes it safe for use in bedding.
The eco-bedder also offers the option of extending the sanitisation process to 72 hours, the minimum time required in order to sell the compost as fertiliser. This market is highly exploited in France, but it offers many opportunities.