1. Massachusetts dairy farmers to turn manure into renewable energy

    Massachusetts dairy farmers to turn manure into renewable energy

    Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield and Rockwood Farms in Granville are embarking on a project to turn cow manure into electricity as a way to become self-sustaining and stabilize their finances in what they say is a volatile market. The farms are working in partnership with the the Hampshire Council of Governments and Pennsylvania-based startup Ag-Grid Energy. The farms hope to break ground on two on-site agricultural anaerobic digesters this summer. "We're just getting started. They say we'll be breaking ground in June," said Richard Woodger, 73, owner of Rockwood Farm. "The reason we're doing this is ...

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    1. We're just getting started. They say we'll be breaking ground in June.
    2. Milk prices are very volatile, they always have been. It seems to be getting worse. The thing is, we're sort of part of the world market, so we're subject to world prices.
    3. We love to support local business and local farmers, and we're experts at setting up these systems of selling to towns, selling net metering credits.
    4. It reduces odors at the farm, the farm doesn't have to rely on the grid.
    5. We'd like to not smell so much. We want to be good neighbors.
    6. We utilize as much as we can. It cuts down on the fertilizer bill. In some respects, we don't have enough manure.
    7. Dairy farmers are kind of struggling.
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