Farm digesters maximize farm profits.
“Biogas projects make lots of money, the question is for who?”
A few years ago milk prices were bad, grants hard to get and prices for renewable energy low. As a result, many farms could not afford a digester. Then suddenly in 2022, everything changed with $40 billion being directed by USDA toward greenhouse gas mitigation – making digesters affordable.
At the same time the skyrocketing prices paid for renewable energy, especially RNG (renewable natural gas) at America’s largest dairies, attracted big money investors. As always however, these investors want equity and maximum profits. Forgotten is the fact these projects could never exist without decades of hard work by the farmer raising the herds that produce the “liquid gold” (manure) needed to feed the digester!
Agricultural Digesters LLC focuses on the “farmer owned” business model. Rather than significant equity in one large project, we build our success on:
1) economies of scale that come from developing many, similar digesters
2) establishing multiple revenue streams beyond the sale of energy
“Are there grants and incentives?”
Financial Support via the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act .
Agricultural funding programs have increased in historic proportion due to $40 billion directed toward agriculture to fight climate change. This includes billions of dollars for two traditionally underfunded programs focused on digesters – the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Agricultural Digesters LLC also monetize carbon credits and RINs to provide significant farm revenue.
“Every digester project is unique. How do I maximize the benefit at my farm?”
Not all digester projects are created equal.
Unlike wind and solar energy, biogas systems (anaerobic digesters) have lots of “moving parts” and potential revenue streams based on circumstance. Since farmers want to farm, Agricultural Digesters handles all development steps through launch. Including:
- Calculating economic feasibility over 20 years.
- Identifying all revenue streams available including energy sales, environmental benefits, bedding and heat offsets, Compost and peat moss replacement sales as well.
- Knowing the available grants and obtaining them.
- Matching each farm with the right equipment provider.
- Obtaining electrical interconnections or upgrading biogas (RNG).
- Identifying and obtaining organic feedstocks to increase output.
- Finding investment by leveraging the Investment Tax Credit.
- Consulting on the permitting process.
- Operational guidance and equipment servicing post launch.
“My cows love sand and I will never switch!”
Are digested bedding solids as good as sand bedding?
Bedding on sand is understandable. Respected institutions such as Cornell University feel sand is best. But farms should also weigh the additional “cow comfort” that can be purchased when all electricity and bedding costs are eliminated by a digester. For example, more workers can be hired and feed quality improved. View video of experienced nutrient manager discussing digested solids.
In addition, it is now possible to bed cows on sand without damaging digesters. For those farms, the best of both worlds?
“We can’t get much money for renewable electricity in my region…”
Going off grid, eRINS and producing Renewable Natural Gas
If your state pays little for renewable electricity you can supplement this income with a new revenue stream for projects called eRINS. This program allows the monetization of the environmental benefits from the digester at a surprisingly high rate per kW. Agricultural Digesters has specialists who will do this for your farm.
Another option for lucky farms located near natural gas pipelines is to upgrade their biogas to pipeline quality and inject. The costs are higher but so are profits.
“Will it work? I heard horror stories!”
Anaerobic digestion is proven technology.
Many farmers are not familiar with the proven American and European companies that have built hundreds of successful agricultural digesters. We know them and can find the one best suited to your unique situation.
A proven digester manufacturer has decades of experience not only refining their technology but observing the impact of different feedstocks (e.g. cow, pig and chicken manure as well food waste). They have seen every conceivable problem and developed solutions that keep digesters operating for decades – something important to investors who want proven suppliers.
“Will my farm smell better?”
85% – 90% odor reduction improves real estate prices, reduces neighbor complaints and improves quality of life for all.
Studies suggest a digester reduces manure odors 85%-90%. This means higher surrounding property values as well as fewer legal complaints from area homes and businesses.
At one Vermont farm, an elementary school is located less than 100 yards from its manure pit. When launched, the digester under contract will eliminate this distraction to students. “Future farmers” at the school will see first hand not only the economic benefits of biogas, but also the importance of dairies being good stewards of the environment.
Standing on top an American made digester are two visitors from the Government of Taiwan. Muir took them for a tour of Yippee Farm and others in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They later submitted a report for the Taiwan EPA.
“I’ve heard of farmers up at 3 AM with their digester. Seems like there is always some problem that needs to be dealt with.”
Do you want to be a farmer or a digester operator?
Inevitably, challenges occur with a digester that is fed different organics from various sources, in varying amounts, at different times. This does not happen to the farmer who uses consistent, slurry waste from his own farm – for example, manure. Another sure way to limit operational supervision time is to co-digest a small percentage of the same off-farm substrate, such as brewery waste, in consistent quantities, on a regular basis.
This is not to say that co-digesting multiple feedstocks is a bad idea. Such a system located near a population center attracts tipping fees from food waste haulers and can be more profitable than a “manure only” digester.