Ok! I admit it, I don't know the first thing about farming but this recent story about Anaerobic Digesters on "Living on Earth" was absolutely fascinating. The story focused on Blue Spruce Farm, a 2,000 cow farm, which uses anaerobic digesters to convert the cows' urine and manure into electricity. Previously, the farm was paying about $8,000 a month in electricity bills , but now the electric company pays the farm $2,000 a month for the extra energy they pump into the grid (win #1). This means that less energy is coming from sources like coal, which is bad for the atmosphere and dangerous to mine (win #2). Also, collecting and processing all the cow waste on site keeps area water cleaner (win #3). Lastly the byproduct of the process is a light and fluffy material which is used for bedding for the cows, which saves the farm another $7,500 a month (win #4). The Sierra Club is basically favorable about the use of anaerobic digesters on small farms, but against them on large farms (but that seems because they're against large farms in general).
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