Going Green in the Pork Industry

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By: Andrew Spader

Environmental concerns seem to be a hot topic button these days. We only have a limited amount of land and resources to utilize for agriculture. Once it’s lost, it rarely can be replaced in a lifetime. That’s why Nebraska farmers take great pride in maintaining the quality of the resources they have to work with. From erosion control practices to preventing fertilizer runoff, Nebraska farmers do their part to be both good stewards and good neighbors.
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There is a lot that goes into the great strides Nebraska pork producers take to be good stewards and neighbors. They understand that their operations naturally produce a fair amount of odor, so they go to great lengths to reduce this inherent issue. They don’t let the manure produced go to waste, either. Not only is manure an excellent fertilizer, it actually helps to improve the soil structure of fields, increase their water holding capacity, and provide secondary benefits that last for years after the initial application.

But, there are also other methods of using this byproduct from pork operations. These methods are significantly newer than applying manure or its derivatives directly to fields.

Danny Kluthe and his biogas generation from his hog operation near Dodge, Nebraska, is a perfect example of how Nebraska’s pork producers take great pride in being both good stewards and good neighbors. If you’re not already familiar with the incredible steps he has taken with his operation, I highly encourage a quick Google search to find out about it all. Essentially, he has built the facilities necessary to capture the methane from his operation and use that gas to generate electricity and run vehicles. There are also many other benefits, such as the nearly odorless, nutrient concentrated fertilizer that is left after the methane is extracted. Below is Danny Kluthe’s methane digester.

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 All in all, Nebraska’s farmers take great pride in their numerous efforts to maintain the quality of our world’s limited resources.

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