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Farm Technology Days

Farm Technology Days

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-- Farm Technology Days started in Dodge County Tuesday at the Crave Brothers Farm in Waterloo, which is also the site of two remotely controlled manure digesters.The same type of facility is headed for Dane County in the future, and some said a manure digester can be a boon for area famers.Plenty of fairgoers Tuesday stopped to check out the two round-topped steel tankers that stand between a manure lagoon and barns full of cattle that are literally making cow power."The big benefit is producing renewable energy," said Karl Crave, a member of the farm family and Project Manager with Clear Horizons, the owner and operator of the digesters.

"As long as there's manure, there's gas and there's electricity.

It runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and not just when it's windy or sunny."Manure runs into the bins and is heated up, which naturally produces methane gas and in turn creates electricity.

It ultimately powers not only the Crave farm and cheesemaking operations but also 550 homes in the area."So it's all about meeting each individual farm's requirement and doing what's best for them," said Crave.

"For some it could be a great benefit.

For others, now might not be the time -- maybe in a few years when they have better cash flow or whatever the case may be."Dane County has a digester in the works but who would own and operate it is in question, WISC-TV reported."We're looking for ways to not have it be one farm or another farm but for groups of farms, to be able to aggregate and provide their waste streams to create energy and also to create fertilizer that is safe and a byproduct of the process," said Gov.

Jim Doyle, who put $3 million for Dane County's digester in the state budget.Farmers said they hope another byproduct is economic success."So it's a huge benefit to the farmers in the area for the fact of a little more flexibility with them to maybe grow their businesses and be better stewards of the land, because almost all farmers, and Dane County has some excellent farmers, that's what they want to do," said Crave.Farm Technology Days started Tuesday and runs through Thursday at the Crave Brothers Farm in Waterloo.Previous Stories:March 10, 2009: Doyle Provides Funding For Manure DigestersJanuary 22, 2009: Farmers, Environmentalists Address Manure Runoff Problem View the discussion comments powered by DisqusCopyright 2009 by Channel 3000.

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