Doug Young is the managing member of Spruce Haven Farm in Union Springs, New York. They milk 2000 cows and farm 3100 acres of corn and alfalfa hay. There is also a genetics and research business. To better recover the carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, a comprehensive system is being implemented which includes a sand recovery system, a lower cost anaerobic digester and an nutrient boom application system to apply digested nutrients to growing corn and other crops.
To optimize the food system, farmers must seek to produce the highest quantity and quality of human nutrition while minimizing any negative environmental impact. Carbon and nitrogen resource recovery are key aspects the dairy industry needs to find innovations that economically recapture and reuse these vital resources. A low cost anaerobic digester was built and is operating at Spruce Haven Farm since 2015 to recover much of the carbon. To improve the uptake of the nitrogen and phosphorus in digested manure, a system is being developed to allow application of the manure sourced plant food onto growing crops, especially corn. The nutrient boom has been in development for 5 years by Spruce Haven Farm in New York, Ohio, and Indiana. Working with Cornell, Purdue, and Ohio State Universities along with cooperating farmers, the science of optimizing yields and nutrient recovery is being conducted. The presentation will present data from a Cornell field test plot and share the challenges and next steps.