Anyone who’s ever agitated a swine manure pit knows what a menace foam can be. Infusing air into the slurry creates foam that can rise from a few inches to a foot. Those air bubbles take up lots of space in manure tanks and drag lines. This means you waste time and lose money hauling more loads to get the manure applied, whether you get paid by the gallon or the load.
While some applicators use diesel to knock down foam, Iowa pork producer Trae Thomas doesn’t recommend it. “Diesel will kill your pit,” says Thomas, a rural mail carrier who also operates a 4,400-head swine finishing site southeast of Rockwell City in West Central Iowa. “It harms the beneficial microbes you want, both in the pit and in the soil when you apply the manure.”
It’s also not legal. From a regulatory perspective, a permit is needed to dispose of pollutants by land application, notes the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Even if you have an approved manure management plan to apply manure, the DNR doesn’t approve the land application of diesel fuel.
Less air, more manure
There’s a much better way, says Thomas, who uses an eco-friendly alternative called Manure Master™ Mechanical Defoamer from ProfitProAG. He tried the product a few years ago after seeing good results from ProfitProAG’s Manure Master Plus, which he uses in his pits to reduce odors, flies & solids. Defoamer has provided us with a consistent manure flow through the dragline to the nozzle up to 2.5 miles from the barns,” Thomas said.
Made of a mixture of natural plant-based oils and a surfactant, Defoamer works fast by breaking the surface tension between manure and air bubbles. This quick mode of action means more than instant gratification. Breaking the bubbles helps you get full tank loads faster. This saves you time, labor and fuel costs, making your business more profitable.
“With Defoamer, you haul more manure and less air,” said Chris Chodur, manure and livestock specialist with ProfitProAG. “We typically hear that clients get up to 30% more hauling capacity per tank fill.”
Thomas has had so much success with Manure Master Mechanical Defoamer that he’s now a dealer for ProfitProAG. “Manure is filled with living organisms, so you need to manage manure properly for best results. In my experience, plants can take up nutrients from the manure more effectively when you use the Defoamer.”
Defoamer pays you back
A small amount of Manure Master Mechanical Defoamer goes a long way. Simply add the product to the pit when it’s time to agitate the manure. Defoamer can also be mixed into manure tankers. “It only takes 2 to 3 ounces per 10,000 gallons,” Thomas said. “It ‘slicks’ the manure to keep the foam from building up.”
Defoamer costs less than $44 per gallon, and 1 gallon will treat up to 300,000 gallons of manure. How does this compare to diesel? It’s not uncommon to use 15 to 30 gallons of diesel to knock down foam in a swine finishing pit, Chodur said. “Let’s say you use 25 gallons of farm diesel at $2.50 a gallon. It may take you $50 of diesel to treat the same amount of manure a gallon of Defoamer can handle.”
Not only does Defoamer offer a more affordable option, but it’s environmentally friendly and helps build soil health and plant health. Thomas’ customers typically purchase a jug of Defoamer just to try it, and then they call him back before long to order more. “It’s an awesome product that’s a win-win for the farmer and the applicator,” Thomas said.
Manure Master Mechanical Defoamer offers a proven solution for all pork, dairy and beef manure haulers. Visit manuremaster.com to find your nearest dealer, or call us at 507-373-2550 for more information.