Madison-based Strand Picked for Manure Study
February 07, 2007
A 60-year-old Madison engineering firm will investigate technologies, potential business arrangements and environmental impacts of managing manure in fast-growing Dane County under a contracted feasibility study announced today by Executive Kathleen Falk.
Falk said the information to be gathered by Strand Associates Inc. this spring and summer will be significant in how the County determines best practice manure management methods to help farmers and to protect natural resources.
“The traditional land spreading of manure is becoming more difficult as farmland is lost to development. And in the case of a sudden winter thaw, the land spreading can – and has – led to some damaging runoff into nearby waters,” Falk said. “This feasibility study led by Strand is to help Dane County farmers implement new methods for manure handling that will not only be profitable to them, but also prevent damaging spills or run-off.
“The goal is revenue without the run-offs,” Falk said.
Strand, a multi-state firm with headquarters on Wingra Drive in Madison, was one of 14 consultants who competed for the contract worth a maximum of $93,100.
Under the terms of the contract, work is to begin in March and be completed by fall. Strand will work with faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and marketing and opinion research firm Gene Kroupa and Associates of Madison. A Dane County advisory committee also is helping with the study, which will focus on four technologies: digesters, combustion, solid separation and phosphorous removal.
The study will begin with a survey of farmers in the Lake Mendota watershed -- a priority watershed with a high number of dairy farms. Next, clusters of farms will be designated for analyses of individual manure management systems and community management systems with regards to business arrangements, market possibilities along with economic and environmental impacts when using the four technologies.
This study continues the previous County work and an ordinance on manure spreading issues. Under Falk’s leadership, Dane County has created several new programs and committed $1.5 million this year to improve the quality of its lakes and streams.
For more information on manure management, visit the County advisory committee’s Web site: www.danewaters.com, and click on the link under Manure Management Updates.
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Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606