White Meat-Green Farm: Case Study of Brinson Farms
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White Meat-Green Farm: Case Study of Brinson Farms

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Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67659 ...

Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67659

Comprehensive on-farm resource utilization and renewable energy generation at the farm scale are not new concepts. However, truly encompassing implementation of these ideals is lacking. Brinson Farms operates 10 commercial broiler houses. The farm generates heat for its houses using biomass boilers and litter anaerobic digestion to produce methane. Solar panels assist in heating process water for the boilers and digester. Biomass feedstock includes litter as well as municipal yard wastes. Liquid fertilizer is a product of the digester while residual solids are included in the farm’s composting operation. The operator has used a futuristic approach to not only attain energy independence for the farm, but also to comprehensively utilize byproducts of production and other local “wastes”, diverting them from local landfills. Considering the propane cost for a single winter flock has reached $66,000 and the annual electric bill may be $120,000, energy costs very much affect grower profitability. This approach decreases the uncertainty in energy costs. Brinson Farms provides a unique look into ensuring long-term farm sustainability in an environmentally friendly way and with a wide-ranging systems approach to management.

Presented by: Dana Miles

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    White Meat-Green Farm: Case Study of Brinson Farms White Meat-Green Farm: Case Study of Brinson Farms Presentation Transcript

    • CompostFacilityDana M. MilesUnited States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service,Genetics and Precision Agriculture Research Unit, Mississippi State, MS(Dana.Miles@ars.usda.gov)Significance:Sustainable on farm energyproduction is lacking. Rising energycosts endanger broiler growers’viability and profitability.Brinson Farms, operating 10 commercial broiler houses in Prentiss, MS,demonstrates comprehensive utilization of local resources that havehistorically been viewed as wastes. These organic materials (broiler litter,yard trimmings, storm damaged trees and waste vegetables) come fromboth the farm and the community. Broiler litter and waste vegetables areanaerobically digested to produce methane. The methane is then used inthree ways: 1) to generate electricity for the farm; 2) in boilers to heat waterused in the digestion process; and 3) in dual-fuel biomass boilers to heatwater for heat exchange in the broiler houses when biomass sources arelow. Two other significant products from the digester include liquid fertilizer(approximately 5-2-3) that is sold and residual solids that are incorporatedinto the farm’s composting facility. Solar panels assist in heating water forthe biomass boilers and the digester, as well as produce electricity.The operator has used a futuristic approach to not only attain energyindependence for the farm, but also to comprehensively utilize byproductsof production and other local “wastes”, diverting them from local landfills.Considering the propane cost for a single winter flock has reached $66,000and the annual electric bill may be $120,000, energy costs very much affectgrower profitability. This approach decreases the uncertainty in energycosts. Brinson Farms provides a unique look into ensuring long-term farmsustainability in an environmentally friendly way and with a wide-rangingsystems approach to management. On-farm research began in 2003; thedigester came on-line in 2007. The simple payback period for the on-farmpoultry litter digester system is approximately 5 years.Purpose:The purpose of the renewable energyproject was to implement aninnovative, sustainable solution tomanage poultry manure and otherorganic waste products using anaerobicdigestion as well as to demonstrate theability to effectively and economicallyreduce dependence on outsideutilities.Simplified System SchematicAcknowledgements:The assistance of John Logan (johnlogan1@windstream.net)and Jeff Breeden (jbreeden@egesystems.com) to effectivelydescribe the Brinson Farm system is greatly appreciated.For further information:Brinson Farms: http://brinsonfarms.com/Eagle Green Energy: http://egesystems.com/Arora, S. 2011. Poultry Manure: The New Frontier forAnaerobic Digestion.http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1046769.pdfRenewable energy inputArrows represent:Component InterconnectionsBroilerProductionSolar PowerAnaerobicDigesterComplexBiomassBoilersCompostFacilityTake Home Message:Brinson Farms provides a unique,integrated system to ensure long-termfarm sustainability in an environmentallybeneficial manner.Attributes include:1) bio-based energy production;2) reduced & predictable utility costs;3) comprehensive litter utilization;4) no need to land apply poultry litter;5) production of high quality, organicliquid fertilizer;6) production of a marketable soilamendment (compost); &7) diverting wastes from landfills.The farm/community interface is mutually advantageous. The farm usesyard trimmings and trees for energy and as a compost substrate; thecommunity has a free repository to dispose of the biomass, whereotherwise it would have to pay landfill fees.BiomassBoilersSolarPowerIndividual System ComponentsBroilerProductionHeat ElectricityLitter HeatHeat ElectricityBiomassElectricity HeatMethaneHeat (Solar, Methane)Litter Waste VegetablesSolids, Liquid FertilizerAnaerobicDigesterPotting soil, MulchLitterWaste VegetablesBiomassSolidsMethaneMethaneLivestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center, www.extension.org/63747/Conference: From Waste to Worth: “Spreading” Science & Solutions; Denver, CO; April 1-5, 2013SustainabilityFarmCommunity