On-ground Manure Storage Built With AWEP Funding at Delaware County Dairy
This project was partially funded by USDA NRCS Agricultural Water Enhancement Program.

The Clark Farm milks 130 Holsteins and is located on Elk Creek Road in the town of Delhi NY, in the Cannonsville Watershed. The project’s goal was to eliminate two earthen manure lagoons: one at the main milking facility and one at the heifer facility. Both lagoons had water infiltration issues; the new storages allow the producer to follow the farm’s nutrient management plan to help limit the run-off possibilities.

Three challenges arose at the project site. First, the project site was divided by Dry Brook. Second, the distance separating the two barns made it cost-prohibitive to install one storage used by both facilities. Third, a high water table, due to the proximity to Dry Brook, posed fluctuating water variables.

The Planning Team recommended constructing two cast-in-place, in-ground concrete storages. The main barn storage is 120 feet across in diameter and 16 feet deep, capable of storing 1.3 million gallons. The heifer barn storage is 60 feet across by 16 feet deep and can hold 338,000 gallons. The project also required a new manure pump system to handle the manure at the main barn. The Team accomplished this by changing an existing gutter-style barn cleaner to a gravity-gutter that feeds the new hydraulic- style piston pump that pumps to the 120-foot storage. A stand-alone pump building was set up so the pump could be in a central location for the gravity gutter, and not interfere with current farm access. The milkhouse waste along with the parlor waste is now pumped to storage. Manure at the heifer facility is now scraped directly into the 60-foot storage which is located off the end of the barn. A newly purchased lagoon-style agitation pump facilitates agitation and manure removal from the new storage tanks.

Once the new storage tanks were constructed and operational, the old earthen lagoons were decommissioned. The heifer facility lagoon was decommissioned by having the dams removed and leveled out to match existing ground. The main barn lagoon was decommissioned using a combination of dam removal and fill dirt to match grades around the former lagoon site. LaFever Excavation was the General contractor for the project and sub-contracted Ben Reynolds Construction for the concrete work. The project cost $598,288.