This sod cutter does a great job of softening up the bedded packs at the Marshfield (Wis.) Agricultural Research Station, which helps to extend bedding life.

Aerating the bedded packs at the Marshfield (Wis.) Agricultural Research Station heifer facility has paid off.  

“It’s worked really well for us,” says Pat Hoffman, dairy researcher at the Marshfield facility. Aerating has extended the life of bedding materials, which means the facility has been able to reduce the amount of bedding needed by about 40 percent. And, the animals stay just as clean as before.

To aerate, managers run a sod cutter over the bedded manure pack (with sawdust added) two to three times a week. They pull the sod cutter behind a tractor, covering all 40 pens in the 96-foot by 320-foot barn while animals are locked up — away from the activity.