Dubois Farm began in 1914 with the current owners’ (two brothers) grandfather who had 13 cows on 100 acres. For the past 3 or 4 years, the farm has increased in size quite steadily with current numbers equalling 1325 milking cows and 1600 young stock heifers over 2500 acres.
In 2008 and 2009, the brothers decided to tour some anaerobic digesters with the idea of eventually adding one to their farm. In 2010, they did just that, with theirs becoming operational in November of that year.
The brothers have seen mixed results from their mixed plug flow digester. Though odor control was not a main goal of theirs, neighbors have nevertheless commented favorably on the reduced farm odors. Producing bedding, however, which was a primary goal, has not been as good as they were hoping for. Meanwhile, their electricity production and nutrient management has been a success, in addition to their ability to capture engine heat and their overall increased farm revenue.
Unfortunately, however, the farm is still spending significant amounts of money on electricity and heating fuel: $166,538.00 on electricity and nearly $115,000.00 on combined fossil fuel costs in 2014 alone. Even with their satellite pits, it has been difficult for the brothers not to drive significant distances around the farm.
IFES Number: 71
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy
Size of Firm: 2500 acres; 1325 milking cows
Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester
Year Installed: 2010
Energy Feedstock: Manure from 1,200 cows
Energy Produced: 2,145,452 kWh in 2014
Energy Uses: Cogeneration
Money Saved: none
TCO2 Eq Avoided: 7,443 CO2E/yr