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High Fiber Diet Crusting

PitCharger has proven to be very successful in digesting crusts. Monthly maintenance with PitCharger greatly reduces the occurrence of crusts. The day to day digestion of manure causes bubbling on the liquid surface and makes it much harder for a crust to get started.

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Manure Problems Resulting from High Fiber Feeds

Feeding high fiber feeds has many advantages, but with advantages come manure management issues.

High fiber feeds or DDGS has 3 times more non-digestible fiber than traditional rations.  Manure mixes with this fibrous material, becoming hard packed (“oatmeal”) on the bottom, which doesn’t respond well to agitation and pumping. In addition, this material has a tendency to float which becomes a crust and breeding ground for flies.

Manure Management problems created by high fiber or DDGS feeds include:

  • Lost Storage Capacity
  • Crusting
  • Breeding ground for flies
  • Difficulty in agitation when pumping pit

Other Major Concerns when feeding a high fiber diet....

Quoting from a paper written at South Dakota State University in June 2008, entitled, Sulfur in Distillers Grains for Dairy Cattle, “Sulfur in distillers products has become a recent concern. When starch in corn is fermented to ethanol, other nutrients in the kernels are concentrated approximately three fold. Therefore, the 0.1% sulfur in corn should translate to approximately 0.3% sulfur.”  Read paper here....

However, a recent study by the University of Minnesota of DDGS from 40 ethanol plants in the Midwest indicated an average sulfur content of 0.7% with range of 0.3% to 1.93%. Although there is some additional sulfur in DDGS from sulfur containing amino acids locked in proteins, the majority of the extra sulfur comes from the chemical, sulfuric acid, which is added during the processing and cleanup. This sulfur passes through the pig and ends up in the pit where sulfate is then converted to hydrogen sulfide by anaerobic bacteria. This leads to a dangerous scenario because of the potentially elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide coming from pits during agitation. An increase of 0.1% to 0.7% is a seven (7) fold increase in hydrogen sulfide release.