On May 29th, through the dedication of our region’s farmers, County Executive Joe Parisi, and many others from the county and the private sector, Dane County broke ground on its second manure digester. The digester, which will take in millions of gallons of raw manure, strip out the phosphorus, and produce energy; is located on the Ziegler Dairy farm west of Middleton and will receive manure from area farms including Ziegler’s, Blue Star Dairy and the Hensen Brothers Farm.
The Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan, published by Clean Lakes Alliance and their community partners last November targets a 32,800 lbs per year reduction in phosphorus through agricultural practices. This single digester will reduce 1,540 lbs of phosphorus, which is 4.7% of the total targeted reductions through agricultural practices each year.
“We are extremely excited to get the second community manure digester underway,” said Don Heilman, co-founder of Clean Lakes Alliance and Yahara Pride Farms. “As both urban population and agriculture continue to expand, we must innovate and implement new technologies that will sustain this growth. Providing an effective alternative for manure management while creating green energy is a win-win for our community.”
According to limnologist Dr. Dick Lathrop, one pound of phosphorus equals 500 pounds of wet algae, so we are hopeful that this second digester keeping more phosphorus out of our waterways will result in reductions in algae blooms in the Yahara lakes.