Got aerosol manure? : Liquid manure spraying in Wisconsin

milk bottle

It’s understood. Where there are dairy farms, there is manure. However, back in the day of small family farming, there was a manageable manure to land ratio and manure was applied to land directly. Now, at least 14 Wisconsin farms are applying liquified manure by spraying it into the air.

This link will take you to photos of liquid manure spreading –  in high winds –  in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin.

Note that in one of the photos there is a church with a full parking lot in the background. In my imagination I see a congregation gagging on the smell of manure between songs and prayers.

Those photos were shared on page three of the Kewaunee County News along with shocking facts on pivot manure spraying such as the following:

* “In the practice of spray irrigation of manure, aerosolized lagoon waste is reduced into smaller particles which are easily digested and inhaled by humans and animals.”

* There are no required setbacks from property lines or roadways for this type of manure application.

* “Devastated” neighbors are speaking up about “stench, flies, plunging home values, and overall diminishing quality of life issues”.

I learned about this via the Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network page on facebook.

I’d like to know if this is another “open for business” practice that is newly acceptable under the Scott Walker administration – -or if it predates that. I wonder what if any measures DNR and DATCP are taking to curtail this. Or do they actively promote it?

More research is needed. Readers should feel free to enlighten in the comments area if they know more.



3 thoughts on “Got aerosol manure? : Liquid manure spraying in Wisconsin

  1. Thanks John. When I read this bit I thought of California and its drought: “this technology could be an important addition to operations in arid regions”. Last I knew, California had superceded Wisconsin for dairy production. Cows take a lot of water. Maybe this technology will be cost effective there right away.

    • Livestock waste recycling technology is a possible choice, BUT, speaking as a resident of Kewaunee County, systems like this will be a bandaid on our current problems and cost prohibitive for most operators. According to permit applications, over 340,000,000 liquid waste was spread in our county by the 15 CAFO operating here. The acceptance of manure irrigation as a “best practice” may allow one dairy to use 2nd stage treated water but his neighbor could be using untreated waste if the DNR and DATCP push this nightmare through it’s agencies.

      I am the owner of a successful small business based on tourism. Every corridor into Kewaunee County could be affected by manure irrigation because of the density of operations in our county. 42% of our cropland is already land spread with liquid manure – what could go wrong with aerosolized waste? 12 years ago when I began my business there was not a CAFO in our county. Now, we have the highest cow/sq. mile in the state at 101. The “research” for this practice will be done in Kewaunee County. Why? We have already become an externality for the industry.

      A more profitable footprint for a few (manufacturing of pelletized fertilizer from water recycling technology) will not help remediate Wisconsin’s nutrient runoff problems. The DNR must stop permitting CAFOs and allow local controls to establish ordinances in their county’s best interest.

  2. Thanks bc, it’s a critical topic for Wisconsin. Instead of laundering state tax dollars to his supporters, Gov. Walker’s WEDC should be taking a hard look at technologies such as: “New System Turns Cow Manure Into Clean Water.”

    “By combining an anaerobic digester with a filtration and reverse osmosis system, an idea that began to be developed at Michigan State University (MSU) matured into a system that can turn cow manure into clean water, while also capturing essential nutrients that can be reused as fertilizer….”

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