Document Type

Report

Publication Date

4-19-2019

Disciplines

Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Industrial Technology

Course Number and Title

TSM 416: Technology Capstone

Department

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Major

Agricultural Systems Technology (Meyer, Moeller, Muell)

Instructors

Shweta Chopra and Jacek A. Koziel

Problem Statement

Smithfield Foods Inc. was founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter and his son Joseph W. Luter, Jr., with the name Smithfield Packing Company. The company name was later changed to Smithfield Foods in 1974. Smithfield Foods Inc. is quite proud of their guiding principles (Responsibility, Operational Excellence & Innovation) and this small excerpt defines their company as a whole, “We will seek fresh ideas in all aspects of business, including ways to work smarter, serve customers better, and make Smithfield a better company.” (Smithfield Foods, 2019).

The issue that we worked on was how swine producers want to decrease the inefficiency of hauling raw manure slurry and increase manure application systems by separating solids and liquids produced in a typical shallow pit barn with an external manure storage system. There is a moderate amount of research that has been done on swine manure separation, but quite a bit of it is outdated. The current application of raw manure slurry is altogether expensive and inefficient by the traditional method of transporting the manure by large tanks, while post-separated manure could be transported further distances more efficiently. The increasing manure application possibilities and transporting regulations have been a large part of the project in the context of the future of swine production.

Given the elements of the project:

  • Minimal research has been completed on current swine manure separation methods
  • Manure separation is expensive, and its feasibility is all dependent on a producer's budget and the overall size of their operation
  • Multiple costs associated with implementing a separation method (Solid & liquid storage, separation equipment, additional labor, etc.)

It is critical for producers/growers to comprehend the true benefits of implementing a separation method at this time before future regulations become required. The cost analysis tool will give producers the capability to view several costs associated with a particular separation method. When adopting a separation method, there two important benefits; higher efficiency of transporting manure farther distance and the cost-effectiveness increase tremendously.

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