Farmer to Farmer

Alternative manure management practices are accepted to reduce GHG emissions through the prevention of volatile solids from entering manure lagoons and existing in anaerobic conditions. Multiple practices have been installed on dairy operations through CDFA’s Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) since 2017. This project seeks utilize a combination of on-farm demonstration tours (made virtual due to COVID restrictions in effect), informational videos and producer experience testimonials to promote the awareness and adoption of AMMP practices through farmer-to-farmer information sharing. Dairy producers will observe practices in actual on-farm installations, learn first-hand from peer dairy farmers and acquire fact-based, real-time information.

At each dairy, producers will be guided through the thought process used by the host to select their chosen alternative manure management program practice (AMMPP). Host dairy farmers will provide an overview of their project including information regarding operational changes, economic opportunities or costs and overall environmental impacts and benefits associated with the practice. Through video shorts and live webinars, they will provide first-hand experience information to viewers and be available to answer questions from the group regarding key issues of concern such as critical control points for trouble shooting installation, key managerial needs for successful operation, any unexpected challenges or benefits.

Access to accurate up-to-date, unbiased information is essential to provide information to dairy operators during their decision-making process. The goal of this outreach is to clearly articulate the anticipated modifications needed, thereby minimizing the unanticipated barriers to adoption and continued use. As there are no current turnkey manure management technologies allowing one to merely install and walk away, it is essential to identify as many potential management considerations needed at a given facility prior to installation of AMMPP. The greater the trouble shooting efforts employed prior to AMMPP installation, the greater the probability of success with the AMMPP.