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Laurelbrook Farm Compost Project

This project uses manure separating and compost technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the financial outlook for one of Connecticut’s few remaining dairy farms.

Carbon Project Type: Farm Methane Avoidance
Location: East Canaan, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Year: 2010
Volume: 20,000 metric tons
Standard: Verified Carbon Standard

In today’s economy, small, family-owned farms need additional help and support to operate successfully. Costs—including energy and bedding for animals—are increasing. Environmental concerns like manure runoff, odor, and pathogens can be problems, and agriculture accounts for an estimate 6% of U.S. greenhouse gases.

Laurelbrook Farm, located in East Canaan, Connecticut, is a third-generation dairy farm that was founded in 1948 by the Jacquier family. They have approximately 800 milking cows, 240 heifers, and 50 dry cows. The farm spans 275 acres, which is not enough land to field spread the manure generated by the herd. For this reason, the farm began some limited composting of manure three years ago as an alternative to trucking manure to other farms. The compost was made by separating manure solids with a simple separator. Wood chips were added to the material to achieve the correct balance of ingredients for effective composting. As the mix heated up and decomposed, it was turned several times.

Unfortunately, this separator broke down last year and could not be repaired economically. Learning of the opportunity to sell the greenhouse gas reductions that would result from restored operations, the Jacquiers decided to restore the composting operation with a more efficient, multi-stage solids-separating system. 

Robert Jacquier, who oversees the farm, said: “We believe the composting operation is the best way to take full advantage of the nutrients in the waste stream while significantly reducing the environmental threat posed by manure decomposition and nutrient run-off. It’s a difficult time to operate a dairy farm, but we take pride in taking the best care of our animals and being good stewards of the land.”

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