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Iowa company simplifies manure management

By Mychal Wilmes
wilmes@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 12/12/2012 9:06 PM

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CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — A Clear Lake-based company is using a well-established manure pit product and a new delivery system to simplify manure management on hog and dairy farms.

Advanced Biologicals — led by CEO Michael O'Brien and his son Josh — was established in 2006 with a mission to help pork and dairy producers deal with manure-handling issues in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Michael O'Brien says the company plans to take its product nationwide through an aggressive approach to setting up a dealer network.

The manure treatment product was created by a Texas company 30 or 40 years ago. What's new is the delivery system, which is called the Waste Away Injection System. Producers who routinely apply manure pit additives every month in their confinement system can install the Waste Away system and have it automatically inject the product into the pit. Josh O'Brien invented the delivery system and Advanced Biologicals intends to tell producers and perspective dealers about it through a series of informational meetings in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota starting in early December.

The Waste Away product, Michael O'Brien says, eliminates manure crusting, minimizes solids, hammers fly populations and improves the fertilizer quality of field-applied manure.

"We have a product that is very respected within the industry,'' Michael O'Brien said. "We are headed toward becoming the No. 1 pit treatment in the industry.''

Michael O'Brien says the Waste Away product works well for hog operation owners who may not be as hands-on as they once were. The problem, he said, is that some employees become so busy they forget or don't have time to add pit manure additives on a weekly basis. The system his son created does it automatically. Dealers within the system will fill the delivery unit once a year when pits are pumped out and confinement owners don't have to worry about application timing.

The additives ingredients are natural, only superconcentrated so the good bacteria becomes more powerful. By eliminating solids in the manure, fly pressure is reduced along with odor.

"I got a lot of feedback from our customers who loved the product but aren't as hands-on as they used to be,'' Josh O'Brien said. "They love the product, but sometimes they forget to add the product every month.''

A Fergus Falls, Minn.-based company — Fergus Tower Pumps — designed the delivery system and manufactures it for Advanced Biologicals.

Another company, O'Brien Green Technologies will handle the system. They are conducting a training program for dealers, who will install the system. It has already been installed at Knapp Finishers near Charles City and two other operations in the state.