Kevin Phillips

March 5, 2009 06:00 PM

*Extended comments highlighted in blue.

Kevin Phillips
Waynesboro, Va.
Dairy digesters have gained very little attention in our area because the average-size dairy here is 100 cows and 200 acres.

In 2003, we applied for an EQIP [Environmental Quality Incentives Program] grant from USDA to install a methane digester. Once we went through a feasibility study of pros and cons for a dairy of our size, there was no way to get close to achieving a positive cash flow, even with the grant. The cost of building and operating the digester was way more than the return.

It would be good to see someone design a more cost-efficient system for a medium-size operation. We are always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and keep our relationship with the urban population on a positive footing. But too many times I feel like we are taking dollars chasing quarters instead of quarters chasing dollars.

I have not studied carbon credits and am very reluctant to say something that I know very little about.

Phillips' January Prices  
Milk (3.5% bf, 3.0% prt): $15.67cwt. (gross)
Cull cows: $42/cwt.
Springing heifers: $1,350/head
Alfalfa hay: $200/ton (if you can find it)
Cottonseed: $220/ton
Ground corn:  $175/ton
Soybean meal (48%): $350/ton

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