Compliance With Environmental Standards

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In 1972 Congress passed the Clean Waters Act that formed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and coincidently Steve became a partner in Kimvale Farm with his father Stanley.  In the thirty years between the EPA has promulgated regulations that Kimvale Farm must comply with by 2009.  New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) is given the responsibility of regulating Confined Feeding Operations (CAFO).  Kimvale has more than 200 cows so it must conform even though it doesn’t confine them!  We pasture them!  Go figure!  At any rate we have spent in excess of $300,000 the past year building and inventing a unique system that hopefully will satisfy the regulator and will also be within the rules that we voluntarily comply with for organic milk production.

 

I applied for and received an EQIP (Environmental Quality Improvement Program) grant from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), a grant from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), and from the New York State Department of Agriculture and the New York State Farmland Viability Institute.  This money covered more than half of the construction and Kimvale Farm covered the rest.  There was also an awful lot of labor and “sweat equity” provided by Kimvale.  The Western New Crop York Management Association provided supervision to be sure this fell within the CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan) that is also regulated by the NYDEC.

 

Briefly, the system separates the manure.  The solids are currently stored to be applied to the far away fields that provide feed for the herd during the winter (non-pasture months) as well as some corn grain that provide the cows with energy year round.  The liquid portion is stored in a 2.4 million gallon liquid holding pond and applied to the pasture paddocks during the pasture season.  It is aerated and currently it is being inoculated with bacteria to keep the odor at a level that our neighbors will find acceptable.  In the past we’ve spread manure every day and inevitably we have spilled manure on the road by the fact that we have had to make at least three trips per day and sometimes four or five to clean the barn.  This new system eliminates the every day nuisance of hauling manure plus saves costly diesel fuel to haul the water to far away fields.  By volume the liquid is 70% of the manure and we will handle it with a pump and Pulse-Jet sprayer onto the pastures.

 

In the future we plan to compost the manure solids and even sell some if we have more than we need for our fields. We believe that this could be a model for future dairy production.

 

More information can be found at:

www.nyfarmviability.org/default.htm

www.agmkt.state.ny.us

www.nyserda.org

www.ams.usda.gov/nop

www.nrcs.usda.gov/NY  or www.fsa.usda.gov/NY

www.wnycma.com>

www.nutrientcontrol.com

www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu or http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu

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