Author: Bel Tromp
Source: ABC Rural
Date: 19 September, 2012
It’s estimated that livestock including pigs, cows and chickens produce more than three million tonnes of manure each year!
This manure is making Australia’s carbon footprint too big. The manure emits greenhouse gas in the form of methane, and also nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, which is very bad for our environment.
Manure is a valuable fertiliser. In dairies and piggeries manure is typically captured in ponds and hen used as fertiliser. In poultry and egg farms, chook poo lands on the floor of sheds among the litter and is scooped up. In grassfed beef production, manure stays in the paddock.
Scientists believe that if they can change manure by adding or altering chemical components, they can reduce greenhouse emissions.
They are also looking at how to improve soil health from manure, and raise the level of carbon in the soil. This would reduce Australia’s overall carbon footprint.
Manure can also be used to generate electricity!
Piggery owner Edwina Beveridge is using this technology on her piggery at Young in southern New South Wales, and is generating enough electricity from methane to supply all her farm’s needs and feed surplus into the electricity grid.