Important Advice on How to Understand and Implement Correct Manure Management

Before the discussion commences it is imperative that each reader sets into their mind the idea that manure is not merely a form of waste material but more importantly a vital crop nutrient that feeds and provides alternative renewable energy.  Manure management can properly set the stage for farmers to be able to utilize this vast energy resource in a safe environment.

Determine Fields that require Manure and how it is Applied

According to manure storage experts it is vital to determine how much manure is needed and where it will be applied.  Tackling this is a balancing act between building organic materials and maintenance of soil fertility. This can be attained by comparison of data from the field yield history, manure sampling and soil testing.

Determine the Appropriate Application and Storage Equipment

Farmers also need to know the kind of equipment necessary for correct manure storage and capacity.  The density of the manure source as well as the distance needed to haul it.   A manure management plan needs to be practical but rich in nutrients, so to speak.  Essentially, solid  manure is much more convenient to transport than the liquid variety.

Correct Tools to Apply right Rate of Manure

There is no point to having too much supply but no idea how to apply it and by how much.  Advances in technology have now allowed farmers to better focus on acres that require manure. The trick now is to use GPS and other technologies to determine the best time to apply the dung.  For instance, immediate incorporation can reduce ammonia volatilization by as much as 95 to a100 percent.

Viable Option

Marking manure to allow some flexibility for farmers allow for better management of their source. This does not in anyway negate the need for providing the utmost protection of water and land resources from possible contamination.

Each farm needs to have an effective manure management plan to ensure supply and demand are met properly as well as ensuring the protection of the land and water resources from contamination.  It is in this regard that each livestock farm should implement their own management plan whether they need it or not.

How to Implement Effective Manure Management

A good manure management plan can do wonders when it comes to ensuring the correct and proper handling and usage of livestock manure for the purpose of attaining its full value and at the same time ensuring safe water and air quality. If you are working in agriculture here are some effective steps for manure management in your farm.

What is a Manure Management Plan?

Manure management basically tells us how the manure generated from a feedlot will be utilized in the next few cropping years. The plans call for data that specify nutrient rate limits including setback distances for applying dairy manure in nearby bodies of water like streams, lakes and wetlands. It can also tell the setback distances necessary for sinkholes, wells, mines and ditches.  Once a proper manure management plan is drawn up, it will involve specially designed facilities and technologies to correctly store, process and transport it as well as correct and state-of-the-art method and other techniques for applying it in crop lands.

In Minnesota for instance, one needs to follow a feedlot rule and there are local county rules and implementing guidelines that will require the development of a manure management plan in certain situations.  Moreover, there is also manure management activities needed for many livestock operations that require keeping manure application records as well as testing for nitrogen and phosphorus.

Advantages for the Environment

Effective manure management can greatly improve the current quality of soil while promoting carbon sequestration by establishing and maintaining soil organic matter.  The process also contributes to the protection of overall surface water quality by minimizing nutrient and sediment runoff.  Moreover, surface water quality is protected well via manure application techniques that stop dangerous bacteria from access to waterways.  Correct manure management also minimizes groundwater contamination by preventing nitrogen from leaching because in manure, nitrogen is much more stable and easily used by crops.  Drinking water contamination is also likewise prevented via the establishment of setbacks and limits when using manure near wells or potable water areas.

Anaerobic Digestion Made Easy

Anaerobic digestion refers to a naturally occurring process wherein bacteria is broken down into organic matter in an environment that is devoid of oxygen,  The result is biogas and digestate.  In order to  perform anaerobic digestion one can make use of food waste, sewage and cow manure The composition may be determined depending on industry whether for wastewater treatment, agriculture and or industrial purposes.

Mesophilic or Thermophilic Operations

Digesters protected by an anaerobic digester cover can be made for Mesophilic or Thermophilic operations with the former kept at 35C and the latter at 55C. The temperatures are constantly kept at these numbers so as to keep the bacteria alive. The result is biogas, which can be used for electricity and heating purposes. It can also be upgraded as a renewable natural gas that can fuel cars. The digestate is mainly used as a fertilizer.


 The decomposition process happens in three phases. The first one being hydrolysis and acidogenesis.  In this phase, enzyme producing bacteria transform glucose and other amino acids into unstable fatty acids. In the second phase, acetogenesis occurs where bacteria convert the unstable fatty acids into hydrogen, acetic acid and CO2. The last phase is called methanogenesis.  In this state bacteria known as methanogens make use of H2 and Co2 as well as acetate to create biogas which consist of around fifty five to seventy percent methane.

Advantages of Anaerobic Digesters

The digesters are used in an array of different situations where agricultural and industrial operations are able to produce large amount of waste. Moreover, municipal solid waste in landfills can also produce the natural gas, which can be harnessed as an alternative energy source.

Role of Agriculture

Animal and crop waste products are usually used as feedstock for many anaerobic digesters. Currently there are approximately 162 agricultural anaerobic digester systems in the country which is capable of producing at least 453,000 megawatt hours of energy enough to power over 25 thousand homes in the United States.

Effective Yet Simple Natural Algae Control Methods for your Pond

When the warm temperatures arrive in the summer, algae will again become a threat and a nuisance. Algae control covers together with year round maintenance routines can help minimize if not totally eliminate this problem altogether.  So if you have thrown everything but the kitchen sink on your algae problem, here are some natural and simple approaches to handle the problem.

Less is more

There are times when you really have to hold back giving nutrients for your plants because your goal is to control algae and to do that properly you will need to reduce the nutrients that are found in the water. You may not get rid of them completely but that does not mean you need to start feeding them.  Do not allow leaves, fertilizer, grass clippings and other forms of organic debris that serve as food for the algae.

Use Helpful Vegetation

 You may also want tor reduce mowing near the pond so you can create a vegetative buffer.  Also, you can plant helpful vegetation in and around the edges of your pond so you can stabilize it as well as minimize erosion, which keeps nutrients from entering the water. Good aquatic plants such as sedges, rushes and pickerelweed not only adds an aesthetic appeal but also keeps nutrients low.

Biologic Augmentation

Aside from floating lagoon covers, another useful method to minimize if not totally eliminate the algae present in your pond is by biological augmentation. This method improves not only the water quality by using natural microorganisms and enzymes that help in the maintenance of healthy water ecosystems but also helps reduce nutrient accumulation as well as organic sludge.

Prevention of Algae Blooms

In order to prevent algae proliferation there is a need to concentrate on the nutrient phosphorus, which is considered as the primary nutrient  that helps encourage the overgrowth of algae.  This can be prevented using a phosphorus binder that can permanently remove phosphorus from the water column and keep all available phosphorus in the muck on the bottom of the pond. Through binding, all phosphorus present will no longer be available as food for the algae.

Crucial Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

Your home plumbing system consists of a complicated collection of pipes and fixtures that ensure the continuous flow of liquids going to and from your home. Proper maintenance of this system will ensure you will not have costly problems later on. According to double check valves plumber Minnesota experts, most plumbing problems can be avoided if the owner only took the time perform routine maintenance. Here are some situations to avoid when utilizing your home plumbing system.

Misuse of Garbage Disposals

Not a lot of people know that your home garbage disposal systems are not actually trash cans you can use with abandon.  More often than not, people use their garbage disposal as trash compactors by placing everything in it and expecting everything to vanish into thin air until the inevitable clog happens. Garbage disposal systems are perfect for some items but they are not meant to accept everything.  Many food products actually do not belong in the disposal due to their propensity of damaging the blade or causing a clog.  For instance, peels, pits and rinds and other food items should never be disposed in the garbage disposal.  Simply throwing them directly into a separate trash bin will save you a lot of headaches later on.

Connecting Dissimilar Metals

Many weekend DIY folks without any plumbing knowledge whatsoever make the common mistake of connecting incompatible pipes with one another. Two dissimilar metals connected without the necessary special coupling like steel or copper will result in corrosion at the connection point. The resulting dielectric corrosion can become severe enough to close the pipe itself. Double check valves installation Minneapolis experts recommend to always connecting different metals using a dielectric union piece that serve to separate the two metals with a rubber washer and a plastic sleeve.

Disposing Construction Materials in the Drain

Most people would probably avoid this but a greater number of folks do commit this mistake. Usually after caulking some walls or adding a new coat of paint, homeowners tend to become lazy and resort to washing off their tools in the kitchen sink allowing excess liquid and materials to go down the drain. The result is the inevitable blockage. Paint and other compound substances can easily build up in the pipes and harden.  Always dispose of these elsewhere and clean your tools outdoors to prevent clogging and damaging the piping of your home plumbing network.


Why You Need to Call a Plumber Now

A lot of us believe in the notion that we can do stuff ourselves.  We believe that we do not need the help or advice of a professional as it only costs money until we realize that the living room is flooded and the basement is like a new lagoon.  In a lot of situations (minor ones) this can be true. Unclogging the toilet with a trusty plunger is always a good idea before calling the plumber. However, there are instances that are best left for the professionals to handle. 

When DIY is not the Safest Option

According to commercial plumbing services Twin Cities MN specialists, hiring a pro to fix the problem will remove any dangers to you, your family and your home piping system.  Nowadays, you will find a gamut of home remedy options ranging from baking soda and vinegar concoctions to other cocktails that promise to fix the clog in a jiffy.  Nine times out of ten, these mixtures fail to provide the desired outcome, which also results in bigger problems. Hiring a professional plumber ensures that the right procedure will fix the problem period.

The Source of the Problem is Questionable

You may have been able to unclog the drain a few times on your own but you notice that it keeps coming back and keeps getting worse. According to residential plumbing services specialists, if your are not properly trained to identify the cause of the plumbing issue chances are it can be more expensive on your part to getting it fixed in the long run. True, it does not take a college degree to know there is a leak, a burst pipe or problems with the water pressure but the exact causes as to why these problems recur range significantly from the utterly simple to the most complicated plumbing work.


To Prevent Bigger Plumbing Problems

While it may be cheaper to go for doing the job yourself, regular maintenance performed by a professional can nip problems in the bud so you do not have to deal with them in the 1st place anymore. Minor plumbing jobs like drain cleaning, detection of leaks; adjustment of the water heater and scour jetting can all prevent bigger issues in the long term. Have a professional plumber inspect your home at least once a year so you do not have to.

Clearing a Clogged Drain with Hydrogen Peroxide

We have all been through it. Washing the dishes, brushing our teeth only to discover that the drain is clogged. Very annoying indeed. If you do not like fooling around with harsh chemicals and most likely hate having to wait for the water in the sink to finally go down, a simple yet effective approach is hydrogen peroxide.  Here is how.

Why Hydrogen Peroxide?

According to double check valves plumber MN specialists, hydrogen peroxide  is an oxidizer capable of destroying organic material including bacteria and viruses. It is the reason why it is also effective at clearing clogged drains. It is slightly thicker than water. Recommended strength for use in declogging a drain is 3%.

How to do it

In order to get rid of a drain clog, simply pour a cup of baking soda down the stopped up drain, wait for several minutes and then pour about a cup’s worth of hydrogen peroxide into it as well. According to double check valves overhaul MN specialists, the foaming effect of the hydrogen peroxide along with the baking powder removes the debris within the pipe and thereby  loosens the plug. Leave the drain for a couple of hours and then pour hot water down in order to rinse the clog off.  It is possible to use hydrogen peroxide alone but you will require a larger amount to effectively declog it.

Prevent Clogging

If  your drain keeps on getting stopped up, using hydrogen peroxide is a simple yet effective means of preventing clogs. It is recommended that you use it at least once every fortnight, pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain, wait for an hour and then rinse it off with hot boiling water.  This will ensure that the hydrogen peroxide destroys the organic build up present in the pipe.  Another added benefit is that it also prevents old and mildew growth within the pipe itself.

Safety Considerations

Make sure that you store your hydrogen peroxide in an opaque bottle and keep it in a cool dry place. Exposing it to light and heat will make it lose its effectiveness. Keep out of pets and especially children’s reach. While it may be less toxic than those commercial pipe openers, it can cause skin irritation and even burning sensation in the eyes.

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes this Winter

Its that time of the year when the mercury on the thermometer begins to go down, way down. More often than not you might be thinking of  overhauling your furnace, this is important but you also need to be thinking also of your household plumbing.  The last thing you need are frozen pipes when you are cooking Christmas dinner in the kitchen.

When temperature drops below freezing point there is always the possibility that water in the pipes could freeze. As we experience the change of the season keep some of these helpful tips in mind so as to avoid a messy and costly problem.

Know where your Pipes Are

According to Minneapolis double check valves overhaul specialists, many homeowners are not aware of where the pipes are in their homes. Pipes that are heated or well insulated in some areas may be fully exposed to the cold weather somewhere else. It does not take much to freeze the pipes as all it takes is a small section to ice up which could result in a major issue. Talk to your plumber to conduct a thorough examination of your plumbing system to determine if there are areas that could be prone to freezing.

Wrap it Up

Once the areas that are at risk are determined, it is time to protect them with some insulation. There are pipes like those in the basement that can be adequately insulated simply by using newspaper as wrappings around them. In colder areas of the house, a foam tube insulation may be the best choice. Extreme cold weather may require heated tape that is designed specifically for pipes.

Open Overnight

If the night is especially cold, double check valves testing  St. Paul experts recommend leaving the doors of your under-sink cabinets open as exposing them to the heat within your home can make a big difference if the temperature outdoors is below the freezing point.


If indeed one of your pipes freeze up you could still be able to prevent damage by thawing the frozen area from the outside using a hair dryer.  If your furnace breaks down for some reason you could face an increased possibility of pipes freezing up amidst the cold spell. The best way to avoid this is to ensure preventive maintenance checks is performed prior to the start of the cold season.

Drain Cleaners: To Use or not to Use

It is not unusual that we discover a drain that is slow or clogged up already, the first impulse is to buy a drain cleaner as it is cheaper and requires little effort compared to having to call a plumber to fix the situation.  Truth of the matter is you are probably better off with the help of a pro.  Here is why.

Protect Your Pipes

According to Minneapolis double check valves installation professionals, most drain cleaners work by establishing a reaction within the drain pipe using hydrochloric acid as a catalyst.  The chemical reaction generates heat and that heat can cause irreversible damage on your pipes. This is all the more true if the cleaner did not do a complete job of getting rid of the clog because the liquid chemical will just sit on the top of the clog while the chemical reaction does its nasty work on the pipes. If your pipes happen to be plastic then the high heat will deform if not melt it. Metal pipes on the other hand are more resistant but they can be weakened to the point that they become prone to cracks and leaks over time.  This is all the more true if we are dealing with older pipes.

Health Hazard

All drain cleaners come with hazard or poison warnings on them and they are placed there for a very good reason. The fumes released from the use of the chemicals can sting or irritate a number of vital organs such as the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.  While it is true that not all drain cleaners are the same, some may cause burns if they get into your skin and blindness if they happen to accidentally get in contact with your eyes.  Double check valves overhaul Minnesota specialists recommend you always wear safety gear like goggles to prevent the nasty stuff from getting into contact with your eyes.

What’s the Alternative

If you are hesitant to call a professional just yet, try it the old fashioned way using a plunger or you can use a plumbing snake to get rid of the clog. Calling a plumber may still be your best option if the above does not work as they can determine the root cause of the clog such as a broken pipe that is pushing other materials inside. Talk to one today.