Mid-American Feedyard, Nebraska

Pre-Lagoon Digester Environment

Mid-American Feedyard is a cattle feedlot near Ohiowa in southcentral Nebraska where they custom feed for around 20,000 head of cattle at any given time. Mid-American had 3 to 4 feet of solids building up in one of their lagoons and were concerned that they were going to have a sludge removal problem. We collectively decided to use Lagoon Digester to pull the solids up into suspension so they could be pumped out through the irrigation pivot. At the same time, we knew that the purple and green sulfur bacteria contained in the product would produce good results for neutralizing odors, as well.

Lagoon Digester Application

During late April, within 5 days, the liquid started to bubble over the entire surface of the lagoon and it was clear that the fermentation was taking hold. At the 12 to 14 day mark, the expedited spring turnover was complete and the lagoon was starting to show signs of a purple sulfur, or phototrophic bloom. By the end of May, the lagoon was a deep, dark shade of red and the odors were almost completely abated. Lab samples performed by Midwest Labs in Omaha showed a dramatic decrease in effluent sulfide concentrations of almost 70% within 2 weeks. (Purple sulfur bacteria encapsulate sulfur inside their cell walls and the sulfur globules can actually be seen under the microscope). The sulfide and volatile organic acids (the main component of odor) continued their downtrend through the next couple of weeks. We had several people out to the site and the consensus was that the project was an overwhelming success on odor control. In addition, Mid-America was happy with the 20% reduction in sludge we obtained as well. Most of the material remaining appeared to be dirt mixed with soft organics.

The Conclusion:

Osmond, NE pumper Ray Gubbles stated:
"When we mixed the lagoon with my agitator, we had a 10 mile an hour wind blowing in our face and we could not smell anything. It was completely odorless."