"Dairy farmer Rolland Rainville is getting the most out of his manure and he’s getting paid for it," said Tim Camisa, an environmental activist with Vermont Organics Reclamation. Camisa is working with a Vermont farmer to demonstrate new farm-runoff mitigation technology.
Camisa said Rainville is participating in his group's manure management program that is designed to reduce the environmental impact of his farm manure without taking away quality or volume for his fields.
The new program was demonstrated to dairy farmers from Chittenden, Franklin and Addison counties, environmental activists, scientists and political leaders for the first time Aug. 25 at Rainville’s farm near lake Champlain in St. Albans by Camisa's Vermont Organics Reclamation.
Camisa said manure is lifted out of Rainville’s pit into a screen separator and screw press, where 20 percent of the phosphorus is removed from the manure. The products from the process are transported to a greenhouse in St. Albans and used to create potting soil and other organic soil products.
“We’re exporting phosphorus from the Lake Champlain watershed, and reducing water pollution in farmland runoff. We’re also making better use of the materials we have here – local purchases of Vermont Organics soil will replace out of state soil products that contain phosphorus from being imported, and will help to create a circular economy in Vermont,” Camisa said.
"Farmers can expect to receive between $8,000–$30,000 per year when they participate, depending on the quality and quantity of the manure removed from the farm." he noted. “The benefits are endless. Farmers are not only reducing pollution of the lake, but also reducing their manure spreading costs, and getting paid for doing it.”