The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports anaerobic digesters are becoming more common on large Wisconsin dairies, but smaller farms are unable to afford the $1.5 million price tag.

Most Wisconsin dairy farms have about 125 cows. Dairy professionals say there would be a market for the technology if an affordable digester is designed for smaller operations. The average-sized dairy farms wouldn’t be able to contribute power to the community, but they would produce enough energy to power their own buildings.

Charles Gould, a representative with Michigan State University Extension, is optimistic a cost-effective anaerobic digester will be available for smaller dairies. The digesters not only provide power for the farm, but they also cut odor and produce biosolids used for cows’ bedding.

Some smaller dairies are taking creative approaches to make digesters more affordable. A group of farms close to each other are working with a company to cut construction and materials costs by working in the same area and building multiple digesters at the same time.

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette