Promoting Energy Conservation on the Farm: Thinking about Waste as a Gold Mine Instead of a Headache

When subjected to microbial activity manure provides the benefit of recycling carbon and convert organic matter to biogas and therefore becoming a renewable source of energy. Unfortunately, integrated manure management practices exist today, however, many farmers lack information to improve manure management or are faced with institutional, technical and socio-economic constraints that prevent them from adopting new practices. Only 0.2% of dairy farms in PA produce biogas from manure. The purpose of this project is to review the potential of Animal Production System in the production of clean energy from livestock manure. This project will review current knowledge on the potential for using livestock manure for energy generation and the adoption of different treatment methods on improving energy efficiency. Through a survey on PA dairy production systems, this project will analyze whether manure treatment strategies vary with different management operations in APS (organic, grass-based, conventional) and the level of awareness among PA dairy producers on adoption of mitigation strategies to conserve energy from manure and the consequences of implementation of climate change policies on profitability and sustainability of PA agriculture.