A dairy farmer spent $150,000 to line his open manure pit with plastic only to have it detach and form huge bubbles of gas from the 21 million gallons of decomposing cow manure. The article at WSJournal that describes his predicament offers a telling window into the current plight of many large scale dairy farmers. It also offers these astounding statistics:
How Much Manure Does a Dairy Cow Produce?
- 148 lbs. per day
- 1,036 lbs. per week
- 4,440 lbs. per month
- 54,020 lbs. per year
Go to the article to see a picture of what an open pit of 21 million gallons of decomposing manure looks like. Doesn't exactly make me want to drink milk or eat cheese.
In light of the complexity of the situation facing dairy farmers it seems weird to me that many think the answer for the industry is for more farmers to use rBST. It sounds too much like someone saying the answer for the current mortgage mess is to further leverage the market.