It's the time of year that dairy producers are thinking about their nutrient management plan. Some may be considering building a new manure system, or maybe a whole new facility.
Any dairy producer who wants to learn more about the available options in nutrient management systems should be sure to attend the PDPW Manure Management Systems & Dairy Technology Tours, held Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Northwestern Wisconsin, Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the Central area and Thursday, Sept. 27 in the South Central part of the state. Dairy producers and agribusiness are encouraged to attend one, two or all three tour days.
"PDPW is excited about our upcoming dairy tours of each operation's manure systems, new technologies and dairy facilities," said Shelly Mayer, PDPW Executive Director. "Attendees will learn about what has worked on their operations, what they would do differently and see some of the world's most innovative systems at work."
Tuesday, Sept. 25, Northwestern Wisconsin
Tour #1: Five Star Dairy, Lee Jensen, Dr. Jean Amundson and Jim Jensen – Elk Mound
Built in 2000, Five Star Dairy includes a 900-cow dairy operation and Stargest Power LLC, a manure digester. You'll see firsthand how this dairy is fulfilling their mission to produce milk profitably and in harmony with nature and each other.
Tour #2: Emerald Dairy, John Vrieze
Currently milking 1,200 cows, Emerald Dairy demonstrates exceptional cow comfort and energy efficiency. This tour stop will highlight their anaerobic digester and the utilization of solids and liquids from the system.
Tour #3: Jon-De Farm, Inc., Dean Doornink, Todd Doornink and Barry Serier – Baldwin
Featuring a sand separator system, the tour of this 1,700 cow operation will focus on the positive effects Jon-De Farm has found with sand bedding. You will also learn about their environmental management system, and you can ask questions about how their business grew on this multi-partner dairy.
Wednesday, Sept. 26, Central Wisconsin
Tour #1: Van Der Geest Dairy, Van Der Geest Family – Merrill
The tour of Van Der Geest Dairy will showcase a unique manure system, a top notch dairy and this family's dedication to teaching other about agriculture. You will learn about the business of this 3,000-cow dairy, along with their separation system, rotary drum dryer and two-stage lagoon system.
Tour #2: Badger Holsteins, Larry Meyer – Unity
This tour stop will showcase the Meyer family, their 600-cow dairy and the operation's solid and
sand separation system. Attendees will hear about the planning, constructing and implementation of their manure system.
Tour #3: Gordondale Farms, Kyle Gordon – Nelsonville
This 900-cow dairy and 300-sow farrow-to-finish operation features a unique multi-generational business and an effective nutrient management system. This tour will highlight Gordondale Farms' aerobic digester with a gravity flush-flume system and screw press that separates the fiber, which is used for bedding.
Thursday, Sept. 27, South Central Wisconsin
Tour #1: Cottonwood Dairy, Jim Winn and Randy & Brian Larson – South Wayne
Since switching to sand bedding in 2004, Cottonwood Dairy recognized multiple positive improvements. Today this 1,250-cow dairy uses a flush-flume system, utilizing two gravity settling lanes and a solid separator.
Tour #2: Bedrock Bovines, Brad & Jeff Williams – Brodhead.
Showcasing their sand separation system, this tour of Bedrock Bovines' 700-cow dairy will highlight their nutrient management system. You will learn about their manure process from the mechanical scraper to the agitation pit to the separator.
Tour #3: Larson Acres, Larson Family – Evansville
Focusing on Larson Acres' sand separator with mechanical auger and two-stage lagoon, this tour stop will spotlight this 1,200 cow dairy business. You will also learn about the water purification system that the dairy will be adding to their operation.
The PDPW Manure Management Systems & Dairy Technology Tours have something for everyone, no matter the size of the dairy or the location in the state. To register or receive additional information, visit www.pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379. Please pre-register by September 14. Cost is $50 per day for PDPW members and $75 per day for others who would like to attend. The tours include round-trip bus accommodations, lunch and information that can't be gathered anywhere other than on real dairy farms. PDPW educational programs, such as these tours, are open to anyone involved with the dairy industry.