Facilities Engineering

The PRO-DAIRY dairy facilities program is responsible for identifying, developing, documenting, and introducing innovative methods in dairy housing that will enhance animal performance, well-being, efficiency, environmental compliance, and overall farm profitability. This is performed by conducting applied research programs with objectives to further the understanding and development of dairy housing by monitoring related research and extension work performed by nation-wide counterparts. Findings are disseminated by conducting on-farm training and demonstrations of new technologies and by developing written, oral, and web-based materials.  The goal is to maximize dairy profits through cow comfort: the more comfortable the cows, the more they will produce.

How can you get more comfortable cows? There are various methods, including ventilation, heat stress relief, facility design, stall design, and a proper flooring surface. Visit the Presentations, Drawings, Papers, and Photos sections of this site for further explanation of these methods, and if you have questions about the content, contact Curt Gooch.

Ongoing Projects

Biogas Distributed Generation Systems Evaluation and Tech Transfer - This project is to work with five NYS dairy producers who own and operate on-farm anaerobic digesters to assess their performance and economics. Performance monitoring includes the digester's efficacy to stabilize manure (effect on solids and pathogens), biogas production (quantity and quality), and the transformation of nutrients along with the systems efficiency in converting biogas to useful electricity and heat. Monitoring work is being performed following the newly released Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) protocol.

National Air Emissions Monitoring Study-Northeast Dairy Component - The National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS) is is project is to measure the regulated air pollutants that are emitted from dairy and swine barns and poultry houses along with associated manure storages. This specific project is the monitor emissions from a NYS dairy farm (two barns), one of five dairy farms in the US being studied as part of the overall NAEMS. The overall US study is funded by dairy check-off dollars as a result of the producer interest in the EPA Air Compliance Agreement and Final Order, a voluntary agreement developed jointly by EPA and animal agriculture. Information learned from this project will be used to help develop a process-based model that will is being developed for use by all dairy producers to estimate regulated emissions from their facilities and subsequently comply with existing clean air laws.

Quantification of Nutrient Partitioning and Pathogen Reduction on Northeast CAFO Farms - This project is to look at the effect of manure treatment on consistency of manure nutrient concentration during manure storage unloading. Results may help dairy producers better recycle manure to their fields in a way that is more environmentally friendly and requires less purchased fertilizers.

On-farm anaerobic digester assessment - This project is to work with two NYS dairy producers who own and operate on-farm anaerobic digesters to assess their performance and economics. Performance monitoring includes the digester's efficacy to stabilize manure (effect on solids and pathogens), biogas production (quantity and quality), and the transformation of nutrients along with the systems efficiency in converting biogas to useful electricity and heat. Monitoring work is being performed following the newly released Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) protocol.

Transferring Technology From NYSERDA Agricultural Innovation Manure Projects - This project is to develop and deliver outreach materials on the topics of on-farm renewable energy (anaerobic digestion), nutrient management, and manure treatment to NYS producers, agri-service agri-business professions, and governmental officials supporting agriculture. Materials are developed from work we conduct along with information developed from other projects and counterparts across the country. See: www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu