Unlike inorganic fertilizers, cow manure is a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps grass and other crops grow. Manure management is how farmers collect, store, treat, and apply manure, and this process has vital implications for the environment. Most farmers will either spread manure directly onto land, make a manure slurry to apply to land, or turn it into biogas to power their operations and sell to power companies.
Regardless of the method or application of manure management, manure must be removed from yards and barns so that the farm animals don’t get sick. The manure is normally held in a pit, where it must be processed quickly so that it does not collect moisture from precipitation or spill over and contaminate the water stream.
Manure pumping equipment is key to managing manure slurry or sludge in a sanitary, environmentally responsible way. Read on to learn more about manure management and why farms need sludge and slurry pumps.
The Cattle & Livestock Waste Management Process
The cattle and livestock waste management process entails how waste and manure are broken down for safe, sustainable use, and it begins with manure collection from barns or yards. After collection, the manure is mixed with water and stored as slurry in tanks until it’s time to apply the slurry to the land.
A farmer must have the right pumping equipment to efficiently pump manure and slurry throughout the farm. The ideal pumping equipment depends on the slurry’s solid content, which ranges from 5% to 15%. For larger farms with many cattle, cattle pump equipment with a ball valve system can help crush the solids to create a uniform cow dung slurry that is easier to pump.
Farmers producing their own slurry and biogas benefit from significant cost savings in the long term, compared to purchasing manufactured or inorganic fertilizer at scale. Biogas production is mainly done at large farms. It involves using anaerobic digesters to break down manure, creating biogas that fuels a generator, which produces electricity for use on the farm or for sale to power companies.
Slurry stored in tanks must be applied to farmland at particular times of the year. Specifically, farmers should spread manure slurry during the growing season. They should avoid spreading manure in these conditions:
- On waterlogged land
- Before heavy rains
- On land vulnerable to flooding
- On steep slopes
- On the frozen or snow-covered ground
There are also closed periods during which applying manure is prohibited to minimize nitrates in water streams. These periods typically range from the middle of October to the end of January.
Why Farms Need Sludge & Slurry Pumps
Slurry and sludge pumps are the most common pumps used on farms, which process high volumes of biowaste. Sludge and slurry materials vary in weight, viscosity, and solid content, so for efficient pumping, it is essential to have a manure waste pump customized for each application. Without efficient manure removal from farmland, animals can fall ill or water sources may be contaminated.
The GATOR Sludge Pump consists of an in-line slurry valve that makes the discharge flow backward, creating agitation from the bottom of the manure pit. The movement stirs the sediments, which allows easy mixing.
The GATOR Sludge Pump is vital on feedlot, dairy, and hog farms to pump slurry or sludge into a dragline system for manure application or bio waste removal. Slurry and sludge pumping equipment comes with numerous advantages, which include:
- Abrasion resistance. The surfaces in sludge and slurry pumps can resist abrasion from slurry materials. Regular pumps do not have this capability, so they require frequent downtime due to maintenance, repairs, and replacement of parts.
- Durability. Sludge and slurry pumps are designed and constructed to last longer than other liquid pumping equipment.
- Wear resistance. Sludge and slurry pumps are made of wear-resistant materials, so they can transport liquids containing solid particles like gravel and sand without wearing out.
- Reduced energy consumption. Compared to other types of pump systems, sludge and slurry pumps consume less energy and lower power costs.
Sludge & Slurry Pumps From GATOR Pump
At GATOR Pump, Inc., we can help you identify the right type of pump for slurry and sludge for your specific application. Our design team develops state-of-art pumping equipment with long-lasting capabilities, including any custom specifications you may require. Learn more about our sludge water pumps, or contact us for more information. To place an order, request a quote today.