Those of you that wander by Bridgewater Indiana, have noticed that sticks are going in the ground for the new freestall barn. This is an exciting first stage of our expansion, and we are ready for it. We have been receiving heifers over the last few months at both Bridgewater Dairy (Montpelier) and Oakshade Dairy so we are ready for the expansion.
But thats not what the fuss is all about. Monday March, 18 the BRU will be arriving. What the heck is a BRU? Well, most of you know that Bridgewater Dairy has a methane digester that not only creates electricity, but also allows us to use recycled manure for bedding. This product not only provide’s a healthy environment and great comfort for the cows, but we have found that it reduces the overall impact on the surrounding environment as well. In effect we are re-using manure for our bedding and thus reducing the amount of waste we need to manage. Unfortunately, the Bridgewater Dairy (Montpelier) digester only produces enough bedding to support Bridgewater (Montpelier) and Oakshade Dairy so we needed another option for Indiana.
Since Bridgewater Indiana Dairy, is not large enough to support a digester, we sought different methods to reduce waste and cost to make this dairy friendly to our environment. We discussed sand separation and the Bedding Recovery Unit (BRU) among other technologies. After much discussion and debate we settled on the BRU, which is essentially a screw press mounted on top of a large drum composter. This then allows us to heat the manure solids and create a product very similar to the bedding that comes out of the Digester.
As a matter of fact, Bridgewater Dairy (Montpelier) owned a BRU before the methane Digester was installed, but the technology was pretty new, and was still trying to become a cost-effective solution. Technical research, visits to other dairy facilities, and seven years of growth behind this technology, we are willing to put our best effort to work with this technology.
Check out this YouTube video on the operation of the BRU. if you are attentive you will notice some of the pictures are of BWD when we had the previous BRU.