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Are you really getting the most out of your livestock?

Evolution within the farming sector has introduced technology, machinery and modern lean practices that have brought some benefits to the farming community. But could this in fact mean that farmers aren’t taking full advantage of their livestock assets?

AD plant at Reaseheath college

AD plant at Reaseheath college

Derrick Timms, sales manager of engineering company Gas Data Ltd, feels that farmers could be missing out on an additional income stream: “Even though Anaerobic Digestion has been around for over one hundred years,” he says, “the actual process of harnessing energy from it is still relatively young, with new lessons being learnt every day. But it is becoming more popular in the UK because there is money to be made from renewable energy. It’s a great investment if you get your key principles right and farmers should see the opportunity to generate extra revenue and therefore profit.”

Gas Data are a British company that design and manufacture fixed-site and portable biogas analysers for the farming community. Gas Data has some very notable clients with the farming community including Reaseheath Agricultural College, where 250 dairy cows are housed in spacious living quarters 365 days a year.

Derrick continues, “In a nutshell, anaerobic digestion is the breakdown of organic matter, to produce methane. By housing the cows it is easy to collect slurry which is used as feedstock for an anaerobic digester which, in turn, produces biogas.”

The biogas from the anaerobic digestion contains a high concentration of methane that is then fed into combined heat and power (CHP) engines. The output from the CHP means that heat can be fed back into the anaerobic digester tank whilst the power (electricity) is sold back to the National Grid.

Chris Dakin the founder of Gas Data adds a final word, saying, “It’s great to see the farming community embracing new ways of generating income. It doesn’t just stop at biogas either. The digestate from the process can be used as a fertiliser. Some of our most exciting projects have been analysing farm-based biogas and we look forward to doing more the future”.

So if you’re not using AD yet, maybe you should start thinking about it…


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