2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5, Page #36[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Solar-Powered Livestock Composter
Co-owner of Smart Ag, Bert Meijering, says the idea for the futuristic composter came about during conversations with customers at an international poultry show in London, Ontario. Bert and his co-owner put their heads together and came up with the solar-powered cylindrical stainless steel tube model to handle poultry and hog composting.
Smart Ag Solutions also builds electrically-driven models ranging from 5 to 50 ft. in length with their solar-powered unit measuring 18 ft. It comes fully equipped with a 100-watt solar panel, battery pack, temperature gauge, timer and 12-volt motor.
“On a cloudy day the battery will charge itself in 20 minutes,” explains Meijering. “The composter makes a single revolution each day taking approximately 60 seconds. We want it to tumble really slowly. That’s where solar works well because it has lots of time to charge.”
Four things are required for composting says Meijering. “The deadstock (nitrogen), a carbon source (typically shavings or straw), oxygen which is present when the door opens, and heat that builds naturally when the first 3 requirements are met. When we add a proper carbon source, we get a very nice end product. The compost material should be about 50 to 60 percent in moisture content. Basically, it’s about one to one in volume. One pail of deadstock to one pail of dry shavings. Full grown birds might need more shavings and old dry laying hens a little less.”
Meijering explains deadstock plus shavings or straw are loaded from one end through a small door. The composter’s timer can be programmed to automatically turn the drum. Small paddles inside the cylinder move the material approximately 16 in. during each rotation. In 14 to 21 days, compost travels from one end to the other where a door opens by way of gravity and releases the finished product ready for use.
The 18-ft. solar-powered Omnivore is manufactured at the Smart Ag Solutions shop in Mount Forest, Ontario and sells for $27,500 (Can.) plus S&H.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bert Meijering, Smart Ag Solutions, County-Line Equipment Ltd., 8582 Hwy 23 N., Listowel, Ontario Canada N4W 3G6 (ph 519 291-5012; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.omnivorecomposter.com).
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