In 2014 we began purchasing some equipment to improve our manure handling system. We started moving manure with Semi-Tankers to a "Frac Tank", a holding tank, on the field side. These tankers unload into the Frac Tank without needing to go onto the field. Our manure spreaders, with flotation tires, stay in the fields to reduce compaction.
In 2014 we also started construction on a satellite manure pit at our new farm, the "Haven". Having a satellite pit, will allow us to move manure throughout the year, reducing heavy spring traffic. In 2015 we are purchasing a "pit crawler", the crawler is designed to stir the manure while it is being pumped into our Semi-Tankers to incorporate the sand with the liquids. This will reduce the amount of solid manure spreading, again reducing traffic on the road during our busiest spreading seasons.
In 2016 we began hiring Eric Severy to drag hose several of our nearby fields from the "Farm" and "Haven" which helped us to further reduce soil compaction. In 2017 we expanded this practice further to use the drag hose from our mobile Frac Tank as well! By using this method of spreading manure we are reducing road traffic, reducing fuel costs and reducing soil compaction in the fields all while spreading manure faster than we can with our spreaders.
We will continue to work on improving our manure management with the goal of improving soil health and efficiency ultimately resulting in higher crop yields using less inputs.