Spruce Haven Farm was originally bought by its current owners in 1987. In 2014, the farm decided to build an anaerobic digester onsite in order to improve waste, odor, and nutrient management while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting energy usage. The farm intended to find an affordable digester and ended up with a modified plug-flow system with recirculation and mixing, which at the time was a less expensive option than an above-ground continuously mixed system.
Spruce Haven Farm uses sand bedding, and therefore they do not turn the resulting solids from the digester into bedding for their cows. While the use of sand bedding has significantly reduced the incidents of mastitis on the farm, there have been several initial operational challenges with the digester system, which have sometimes affected digester performance due to their tight integration.
In order to avoid flaring methane, Spruce Haven Farm throttles up their engine to burn down biogas levels prior to scheduled shutdowns for oil changes and servicing.
IFES Number: 407
City: Union Springs
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy
Size of Firm: 1719 milking cows; 3100 total acres
Ownership Type: Private
Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester
Operational Status: Operational
Year Installed: 2014
Energy Feedstock: Manure from 3000 cows; Wastewater
Money Saved: $176,000