The cannabis industry is quickly becoming a billion-dollar industry, and with that comes the need for more farmers. This article discusses how one of the most versatile cow byproducts could be used to fuel a new generation of cannabis farmers.
The where are cows native to is a question that has been asked for a long time. It is not known where cows originated from, but it is believed they evolved in North America and Europe.
For your next Zoom call “ice breaker,” consider this: an 800-pound cow produces approximately 100 pounds of excrement each day.
At any one moment, there are about 9 million dairy cows in the United States, generating approximately 900 million pounds of excrement each day. Only the House and Senate have more members. It’s a lot of poop, and methane is one of the byproducts of their excrement. Before we all go on our Impossible Burger soapboxes, there are technologies that can help collect methane gasses, recycle water for farms, and even produce fertilizer that is cleaner and more plentiful than peat moss and other fertilizer components.
Yes, there is a scarcity of peat moss. Peat moss is a kind of moss that grows naturally in bogs and takes hundreds of years to form due to erosion and decomposition. This is the technique that is assisting novice traders like you in achieving excellent trading results.
Peat moss is a great soil component for cannabis cultivation. It’s nothing new to use peat moss to grow anything; even the extremely “green” Impossible Burger is “plant based.” The root term “plant” refers to the fact that it is likewise a plant that grows in the ground and requires, you guessed it, fertilizer.
Peat moss, a high-quality fertilizer, is becoming harder to come by. Farmers are looking for a fertilizer that would help them produce excellent crops, and cow dung may be the answer thanks to a 200-year-old technique known as the anaerobic digester.
Subsidizing the Environment
Sir Humphrey Davy discovered that methane from cow dung might be utilized to generate renewable energy in 1808.
Farmers throughout the nation have placed “digesters” on their property to assist offset decreasing earnings and minimize their farm’s environmental impact 200 years later.
By burning methane and converting it to carbon dioxide, anaerobic digesters may help reduce methane emissions.
Before it gets an opportunity to escape into the atmosphere in its pure form, methane is captured in a digester.
Digesters not only provide a renewable source of energy, but they also decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Van Dky-S Holsteins Dairy Farm’s Landon Van Dyk takes us through the science of poop power.
“We can use the methane for good reasons if we can collect it rather than letting it to vent to the atmosphere.”
In Washington, the Vander Haak Dairy Farm in Lynden was the first to construct an anaerobic digester.
“We’re generating clean renewable energy,” said owner Steve Vander Haak. The digester is a chance for us to diversify our farm, do good for the environment, and continue farming.”
Putting Water in the Tank
Returning to the math section of this article, the Vander Haaks’ 500 cows generate a lot of excrement, and the digester turns it, along with food waste from neighboring food processors, into electricity and other marketable goods.
Instead of going to the landfill, restaurants and shops may deposit their old and damaged food into the digester.
Consider the digester to be an extension of the cow stomach; it’s a 16-foot-deep concrete tank where farmers dump manure and food waste before heating it to 100 degrees.
It all begins with the cows who generate the dung, which farmers collect and transport to the digester, where methane gas is produced and converted into energy, which is then returned to the grid.
Van Dyk describes a complicated procedure in the most straightforward way imaginable.
“We gather the manure and put it in our digester,” says the narrator. At that moment, the bugs that were breaking down the complex organic connections in the cow’s stomach continue to perform the same thing in the digester. They’re converting that energy into methane while also reducing the value of fertilizer from a complicated, difficult-to-access organic substance to an inorganic material that’s easily accessible to plants.
A Multi-Use Byproduct
Cliff and Andrea Sensenig operate a considerably smaller dairy farm in Pennsylvania, with around 100 cows, which isn’t enough to justify a digester, as Andrea Sensenig says.
Rather than abandoning their plan, they approached other farms in the area.
“We were able to add pigs and chickens,” says the farmer. We see a recycling opportunity where you see feces. We also add some food waste to produce methane gas, which we then collect, pump into an engine, and use to generate power. We’re generating enough energy to run this farm as well as another 140 homes.”
More than just methane, it’s an abundance of clean, extremely rich fertilizer that, when combined with soil, can supply farmers and cannabis growers with the ingredients they need to thrive while also recycling… excrement.
“Through the procedure, we’d separate the liquid from the solids and utilize the liquid as fertilizer,” says the researcher. It’s an excellent fertilizer because it’s more easily accessible than pure cow dung, so when you apply it, you get a quicker response than if you applied manure,” Van Dyk explains.
“The food waste we’re receiving right now is coming from big chain grocery stores,” Andrea Sensenig says. All of this food waste would end up in landfills if we didn’t put it in our digester with the manure. “What we’re doing is avoiding the landfill.”
Cows for the Cannabis Industry
Van Dyk is a potato farmer, but he also shows how dirt from a digester may be used in the cannabis business.
“The pathogens in [digester] dung are basically extremely low; in comparison to normal cow manure, they are substantially reduced.”
While anaerobic digesters are still uncommon, they are offering a solution that helps avoid additional methane from being emitted into the atmosphere while also producing a sustainable type of fertilizer that the cannabis sector can use.
It’s much more to Vander Haak than that.
“We wouldn’t have the safe food supply we have today if farmers weren’t concerned about sustainability and conservation. I want my children to be able to follow in my footsteps, as well as those of my father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Land is one of our most valuable resources, and we must be able to utilize it both now and in the future.”
- facts about cows