Anaerobic digestion options exist for average dairy farm

Posted July 29, 2005: If you thought anaerobic digester systems were only possible for large-scale dairy farms, think again. Emphasizing odor control and manure management for 100 to 300 cow operations, a report generated by The Minnesota Project details six options for anaerobic manure digestion on Minnesota farms. "Because 96% of Minnesota's dairy farms have 200 or fewer cows. This report is very important. It shows how the majority of dairy farmers could provide and use another form of renewable energy," Doug Peterson, President Minnesota Farmers Union.

Of the six model systems included in the report, five are designed for individual farms, while one is a community digester model. Rather than aiming for excess energy generation as some large-scale digesters do, these six system models focus on the benefits of simpler systems that cost less and are easier to build and operate.

“Farmers have always recognized the value of manure. Anaerobic digestion of manure is another means of tapping into its value and Mr. Goodrich’s work is key to expanding the utilization of this technology to more farmers. This is beneficial to the farmer and the non-farmer alike because anaerobic digestion improves the sustainable dairy ecosystem,” Bob Lefebvre, Executive Director, Minnesota Milk Producers.

To read the report, or request a copy, visit