Small Farms Using Anaerobic Digestion: A Viable Technology Education and Outreach Effort

Adrianne Traub, Rick Welsh, Shane Rogers, Stefan Grimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion (AD) on farms is receiving increasing attention as a technology for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing odors and pathogens, and generating energy. Although AD technology in the U.S. has been considered appropriate only for larger scale, especially livestock, farms, there has been growing interest in adapting the technology for smaller farms and greater variety of feedstocks. A series of three workshops used farmer-participatory research methodologies to assess attitudes and perceptions of small-scale anaerobic digesters in New York State by smaller scale livestock and crop operations. Results indicate a diverse group of farmers are interested in using anaerobic digester systems. Participants who attended the tour and workshop also increased their level of knowledge and understanding of anaerobic digester systems. Participant discussion revealed a need for more information for AD establishment on small farms including detailed economic data and a greater number of example AD systems. Additionally, results showed improved funding sources for adoption of this sustainable technology will likely increase farmer’s rate of adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-731
Number of pages14
JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digester
  • manure
  • nutrient management
  • participatory research
  • small farm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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