In the animal feedlot business, whether it’s cows, pigs, turkeys or chickens, there’s always an end product. Proper manure management is an essential part of any feedlot operation. Baers Poultry Company is in the process of proactively upgrading much of the barns and manure management systems at its farms near Lake Park.
They started in 2013 by renovating an existing chicken barn, replacing outdated equipment, and converting from liquid manure to a newer, state-of-the-art dry system. The new technology consists of a covered conveyer that transports dry manure to a separate covered barn, where it is stored in rows and ultimately sold to other area farms to be used as crop fertilizer. "It's a better way to manage, store and transport manure," said Amos Baer. "We're hauling less moisture on area roads, and our customers are much happier with the dry product."
A similar project is scheduled this year at another barn site. While working through the permitting process for this new project, the Baers decided to conduct a voluntary environmental assessment at the same time. According to Amos, "we wanted to cover our bases up front with everyone involved so we could address any issues along the way, and keep the project moving forward." The environmental assessment is complete, permits are in place, and construction is set to begin this spring.
Installation of the dry conveyer systems allows the Baers to discontinue use of outdoor manure composting and use of liquid manure. For its proactive and responsible vision, the MPCA thanks Baers Poultry Company for going above and beyond and for making the most of manure.
Photo caption: The new covered conveyer system: 1) transports manure from the chicken barn, into the storage barn, 2) on a conveyer belt that brings it to the barn’s rafters, where it 3) goes down another conveyer that spans the length of the building where a small plow-type mechanism, 4) distributes dry manure in rows along the concrete floor.