Manure has become a
sticky subject. Regulators and environmental groups have taken
considerable interest in protecting surface and groundwater quality from the
runoff impacts of manure from dairies.
In California’s central
valley, the Water Board has new requirements for dairies that will be phased in
over the next five years. There will be a manifest system for any manure
sent offsite. If manure is reused onsite (applied to agricultural fields),
an elaborate calculation has to be made to determine if it is being applied in
agronomic proportions (more nitrogen/nutrients not applied to lands than will be
taken up by the specific crop).
GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf Of Alan Muller
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 6:05
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: [horse shit
incineration][GreenYes] The special beauty of the FTBOA-Global Green project
horse manure [horse shit incineration]
Oh, my, what a crappy idea....
As far as I know,
every sustainable agricultural system in human history has relied very
significantly on returning manure to the fields/gardens as nutrients....
(Well, yes, some cultures have used dung for fuel for domestic
cooking. Tibet? Plains Indians?)
Larry? How about
some modern incarnation of "buffalo chips?" Why use pet coal to make "charcoal"
briquettes? We could convert all those gas grill users to freeze-dried,
shrink-wrapped, easy-lighting equine deposits.....
It's all a
matter of selling a lifestyle...
At 07:53 PM 11/11/2007
-0500, LWheeler45@no.address wrote:
Published Nov. 11, 2007 7:30
Ocala Star Banner
rose has its thorn
personifies Marion County more than its horse farms. The sight of grazing mares
and foals against a backdrop of rolling pastures and moss-draped oaks creates a
picture-postcard portrait of our community that is a chamber of commerce dream.
It's a living dream that also happens to create thousands of jobs and pump
hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy each year, not to mention
the visitors and sportsmen it attracts from the world over.
But, as the
old proverb goes, every rose has its thorn.
The thorn, in this case, is
mounds upon mounds of horse manure
produced by the 50,000-plus horses that make Marion County the horse capital of
the world. The county's 700-800 horse farms, in fact, produce an estimated
400,000 tons a year of the stinking stuff, about one-fourth of which the farms
currently can't dispose of through existing methods. And that 100,000-ton
surplus is more than an unsightly, odorous nuisance. It is an environmental
hazard that pollutes our groundwater supply.
For the past decade the
horse industry hereabouts has been on notice that it needed to do something
about disposing of the excess manure in a environmentally responsible way. The
pressure to finally do that is now intense as the county appears ready to pass a
stringent Springs Protection Act that will forbid stockpiling horse waste;
enactment of the ordinance could come as early as late 2008. After much
discussion and at least one failed, $2 million foray a few years back to address
the manure quandary, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association
may have found a workable solution. It is a solution that proponents believe
will be not only environmentally beneficial, but economically beneficial as
well. All the better.
FTBOA announced earlier this month it has formed a
partnership with Georgia-based Global Green Solutions, known as Florida
Greensteam Equine Energy, to build an incineration plant that would burn horse
"muck," the mix of manure, urine and stable bedding the farms produce. During
the super-hot burning process, steam would be produced that, in turn, would
generate electricity. The Florida Greensteam partners then hope to sell that
electricity to area power companies like Ocala Electric Utility and Florida
FTBOA Executive Vice President Dick Hancock said the $20
million plant is expected to produce 10-12 megawatts of electricity, based on
the 100,000 tons of excess horse waste. That, he said, is about enough to meet
the power needs of a city the size of Williston. Hancock added that its
developers believe the proposed plant could ultimately handle twice as much
waste as is now planned, and the partners might approach local governments about
taking on wood waste such as construction and yard debris. That could be a
sorely needed relief valve for the county, in particular, as it struggles to
make room at its fast-filling Baseline Landfill.
The special beauty of the FTBOA-Global
Green project, at this point, is that it is not asking for on any governmental
funding to move forward. Although the partnership is applying for some state and
federal alternative energy grants, it is looking to revenues
from the sale of its electrical generation to pay off the two parties'
As long as Marion County remains the horse capital of the
world - and we pray that it does forever - there will be mountains of horse
manure to contend with. Until now, it has been an accepted, if unpleasant,
inconvenience and pollutant. But with protecting our diminishing groundwater
supply from continuing pollution and unavoidable imperative, something had to
It is refreshing the FTBOA has not reneged on its long-standing
pledge to find an acceptable, environmentally responsible solution to its
organic pollution problem. At the same time, we understand this is a new and
largely untested technology that may take time to get the kinks out of
completely. Unfortunately, time isn't something the horse industry or our
groundwater supply, and particularly our precious springs, have in any semblance
Every rose has its thorn, but if the FTBOA plan works,
maybe our rose will smell just a little bit sweeter and our water will be little
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