Sheland Farms


Sheland Farms

Sheland Farms (credit: Cornell case study)

Sheland Farms, located in Jefferson County, NY, is a fourth generation family farm that has been in the family for over 100 years. It has grown significantly from 50 milking cows in 1963 to 650 total dairy cows today.


The farm began investigating the option of an anaerobic digester as a solution to both increasing electrical and purchased bedding costs. Cow cooling electrical loads along with the electrical demands of cooling milk, are significant and thus the farm desired to reduce their annual power costs. After receiving grant funds from several sources, construction of the complete mix digester began during the fall of 2005 with commissioning in the summer of 2007. A 125-kW engine-generator set is now used to generate electrical power from biogas produced by the digester. Manure solids used for freestall bedding are separated out prior to digestion by a FAN Separator Bedding Recovery Unit (BRU), which is essentially a rotary drum composting machine. Digester effluent is recycled to a land base of 1,100 acres and used to raise forage crops.


Additional benefits of the anaerobic digester include: a proactive approach to reductions in farm-related odor emissions, as well as the preservation of nutrients in digested manure applied to field crops. The risk of runoff and nutrient leaching is drastically reduced when manure is properly applied to crop land in accordance with the governing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP).

IFES Number: 49

City: Henderson

State: NY

Country: USA

Type of Firm: Farm

Main Products: Dairy; bedding

Size of Firm: 820 milking cows; 2000 total acres

Ownership Type: Private

Technology: Biogas

Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester

Operational Status: Operational

Year Installed: 2007

Energy Feedstock: Manure from 930 cows; occasional milkhouse wastewater; 700-1200 gallons of fats/grease 4-5 times per month

Energy Produced: Biogas production: 36,000 cu_ft/day

Energy Uses: Cogeneration

New co-products: Bedding

TCO2 Eq Avoided: 1,181 CO2E/yr