It’s farm show
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Robotic rotary parlor unveiled See Page 24
Answering the challenge
PART OF THE BAY SOLUTION: Ron Kreider, president and CEO of Kreider Farms of Manheim, Pa., hopes the bioreactor that’s under construction in the background proves to be a big answer to the Chesapeake Bay’s nutrient management problem, for both agriculture and municipalities.
By JOHN VOGEL
W H Y w o u l d a f a r m e r o p e n t h e g a t e t o a $ 7 . 7 5 m i l l i o n , 1 0 - y e a r s t a t e l o a n t o a C o l o r a d o - b a s e d c o m pany for overhauling the dairy manure facility and hauling away nutrient credits? -
That’s what we asked Ron Kreider, president and CEO of Kreider Farms of Manheim, Pa.
In November, old calf hutch facilities be- tween the dairy barns were bulldozed for the newest innovation. Construction of a manure separation and treatment renova- tion project owned by Bion Environmental Technologies got under way after more than five years of planning, permitting and development of a state nutrient credit- trading program.
Kreider Farms allowed Bion to retrofit a $7.75 million nutrient trading project.
Goal for project is to make manure management system more efficient.
The farm is in the bull’s-eye of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program. Kreider’s answer was simple: “We’re
trying to make our manure management system more efficient, to remove more nitrogen and phosphorus from the liquid going to the three-stage lagoon.
“Our whole goal is to get the effluent as clean as possible to irrigate with center pivots. We’re not doing this to expand beyond 1,200 cows,” he emphasizes.
“We hope it’ll make manure manage- ment easier for us. Beyond that, we [Kreider Farms] won’t see much economic benefit.”
Nutrient credits sold under the state program will go to Bion. Down the road, however, the farm stands to benefit if the recycled cellulosic solids fire up a steam boiler.
Prime Bay cleanup pilot site The Lancaster County farm sits dead- center in the “bull’s-eye” of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program. With 2,500 acres, 4 million egg-laying chickens and 1,200 milking cows, it’s a target — of eco-friendly innovation for man, bird and beast.
Innovation is nothing new at Kreider Farms. This bustling business pioneered de-
velopment of chick-to-egg housing and pro- cessing facilities with enhanced bird welfare and food safety. Cow comfort reigns in the dairy barns, and generates high-quality milk for Kreider Farms’ ice cream plant. Dairy manure solids and poultry manure are blended and composted, then applied as fertilizer or wholesaled. Composting is a business in itself: about 50 tons of manure are processed per day.
“Bion’s technology may be a big part of the Bay solution,” Kreider hopes. “We gave them a spot to put it in.
“Municipalities can buy the nutrient credits at a less expensive rate. Or they can spend more expensive dollars to solve their water-quality compliance problems.”
See related story on Page 8.