Spruce Haven Farm


Spruce Haven Farm

Spruce Haven Farm (credit: http://crfarms.org)

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

State: NY

Country: Cayuga

Type of Firm: Farm

Main Products: Dairy

Size of Firm: 1719 milking cows; 3100 total acres

Ownership Type: Private

Technology: Biogas

Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester

Operational Status: Operational

Year Installed: 2014

Energy Feedstock: Manure from 3000 cows; Wastewater

Money Saved: $176,000

Website: http://www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu/Pages/General_Docs/Case_Studies/Spruce_Haven_Case_Study_2016.pdf