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Reserving the Right to Object

The Cove Area Regional Digester: Making Manure "Clean and Green"

No matter what you want to call it, animal waste is a serious agricultural and environmental problem for Pennsylvania’s farmers and for our land, rivers, and streams, and for the water that eventually drains into the Chesapeake Bay. In the center of our state, in a scenic farming community known as Morrison’s Cove located in the middle of the Clover Creek Watershed, dairy farmers tend more than 25,000 dairy cows. Despite the pastoral beauty of the surroundings, Morrison’s Cove is in trouble.

The cows here produce about 200 tons of manure a day, and all this manure has overloaded the area’s ecosystem.
While the creeks, streams, and springs in the Cove look clean and pristine, the water quality ranks low due to the high nitrate and phosphate levels, and the source of the pollution, according to a U.S. Geological Survey, is animal waste. But until now, dairy farmers in the Cove have had no environmentally sustainable way to handle all the animal waste.

In recent times, many of the larger farms -- most operations range from 80 to more than 2000 cows -- have converted to liquid manure application on their fields to dispose of the tons of manure produced daily within the Cove. While most of the agricultural operations follow existing nutrient management plans, changing regulations mean farmers must change the way they dispose of all this manure. They must, because the Cove is wrestling with pollution problems.

In this policy report, Marianne Clay examines how an innovative program is helping to deal with this animal waste and also create an alternative energy source and also thereby helping to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

A complete copy of the report can be found at the link provided below.

Related File: Complete Report on The Cove Area Regional Digester: Making Manure "Clean and Green"
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The Cove Area Regional Digester: Making Manure "Clean and Green"
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