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Manure Net Goes Under Slats
The first system ever for "in the pit" separation of liquid from solid manure has been developed by Holland's IMAG Institute of Agricultural Engineering in Wageningen.
Although machines are now on the market to separate feces from urine after the manure is in the pit, the Dutch researchers felt a simpler system of immediate separation, in the barn itself, was needed. Their solution was to suspend a net beneath the slats to catch solids while letting liquids pass through. The net is then cranked to one end of the barn by rollers and the solid manure dumped into a separate pit or gutter for removal.
IMAG engineer W. Kroodsma told FARM SHOW the primary advantage of the system is that the separate solids have a high, concentrated fertilizer value and can be transported over longer distances while the lower value urine can be spread in fields closer to the barns. Also, daily separation of the manure slows down the development of bacteria, lessening smells. More straw can be used as bedding, making the animals more comfortable and letting the building temperatures be lowered.
The first net system is installed in a small partially slatted 80-hog confinement building. For each section of slatted floor, twice its length of net is provided. While one-half is directly beneath the slats, the other half is rolled around a roller at one-side of the barn. When the drive unit on the roller at the other end of the net is activated, the net is pulled beneath a scraper blade that scrapes the accumulated manure onto a conveyor belt and carries the manure out of the barn. Once the net is cleaned, the roller motor stops automatically and the drive unit on the back roller returns the net to its original position.
Key to the system, notes Kroodsma, is finding the right net and scraping the manure off satisfactorily so the net will easily roll onto the roller. They've been using a synthetic mesh 1/32 of an inch and smaller, rolled up at the rate of about 3 ft. per minute. The mesh net is supported by a wire frame installed permanently below it.
Solids are dumped outside and spread regularly. Liquids are pumped automatically out of the building to a holding tank.
Kroodsma says the institute is currently negotiating with a manufacturer to bring the system on the market. "Although we have only researched this with hogs, there's no reason the concept shouldn't also work in dairy and beef barns," he notes.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, IMAG, Mansholtlaan 10-12, Postbus 43, 6700 Wageningen, Netherlands (ph 08370-19119).

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #6