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Manure Management and Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Updated: Dec 4, 2021



Today we are in a beef confinement barn in northeast Kansas. We are working on taking manure from the 8 foot deep pit underneath the beef barn and turning that manure into a product that is able to be run through subsurface drip irrigation. The manure separation process starts by taking manure out of the access port, running it through a solid separator and a microfilter; the result is a product clean enough to run through subsurface drip irrigation.

NutraDrip is excited to have the option of cleaning up a heavy manure material; this particular fat cattle manure runs in the 11-14% solids range. With this manure separation process, you get a value added product in solids and a liquid clean enough to go through irrigation. We start with the solid separation. The dirty sludge goes in the top of the solids separator, down into a large screw extruder that pushes dry solids out the end. The microfilter process is a unique arrangement that works from the bottom of the unit going upwards. The separated liquid product begins at the bottom and is pushed up through the microfilter. This microfilter has a large rotor that is spinning about 1500 rpms with a 25 micron screen. The rotor is throwing the liquid manure slurry against the side screen, working liquid out a bottom discharge and push the thickened sludge out the top manure discharge line. The 25 micron screen is so fine that if you fill it up with water while not operating, the water is extremely restricted and barely seeps out the micron screen. The key is the centrifugal force that is forcing the manure liquid through the micron screen while it is running.

We are looking forward to seeing the results of this liquid manure management process being applied through subsurface drip irrigation (SDI-E, a Netafim product). There are many potential benefits from this, including reduced smell upon application, and increased nutritional value to crops. If you have any questions or comments, please email Kurt at kurt@nutradrip.com.

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