"I needed a liquid manure handling system but couldn't justify the big price tag," says James Goetsch, Isle, Minn., who designed and built a unique "air blast" manure system for his cow herd.
The first step was to locate a ruptured 1,000-gal. LP tank in a junk yard to use as a holding tank. He then bought steel plate to construct an 18 by 18-in. trap door at the top of the tank. At the lower end of the tank he installed 12-in. dia. steel tubing to serve as an outlet. He welded the tubing to the LP tank and machined the outer end to fit to 12-in. pvc pipe which carries manure to a nearby lagoon.
"I buried the tank just under the grate and gutter in a new addition to my barn. The barn cleaner dumps directly into the tank. You could also put the holding tank outside the barn below the barn cleaner chute. The LP tank is big enough to hold the waste from 40 cows for one day," says Goetsch.
Once the tank fills up, he pressurizes three 100-lb. LP tanks -- hooked together in "series" -- with a 3-hp air compressor and pulls the trap door shut on the holding tank.
He then releases the air pressure from the three tanks and it blows the manure out of the tank in just 30 sec.
"It does as good a job as a commercial system and, after three years use, I've had no problems," says Goetsch, who has since constructed a similar system for a neighbor. He cautions that, to be safe, you must be certain to purge all gas from LP tanks before cutting or welding, and install a grate over the opening into the holding tank.