Agriculture faces sustainable intensification to meet escalating food demands in an environmentally friendly way while still allowing farmers to compete economically. Relative to meat consumption, chicken is the most popular choice in the United States. This manuscript describes a commercial broiler farm that implemented renewable energy strategies to utilize litter and community wastes while reducing the environmental impact of the operation. Brinson Farms integrated broiler production, an anaerobic digester and a composting facility to create energy on the farm as well as a complete litter utilization strategy. Value-added products from the digester include an organic liquid fertilizer and undigested solids that become part of the compost substrate. This is the first farm-scale anaerobic digester converting broiler litter to methane (CH4) in the United States. Beyond that, the comprehensive strategy for local resource utilization is unparalleled. Producers can learn from this example to improve the sustainability of their own broiler operations.
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Dana M. Miles, John W. Logan, Sumesh Arora and Johnie N. Jenkins, 2016. On-Farm Resources and Renewable Energy in Broiler Chicken Production: Brinson Farms Case Study. International Journal of Poultry Science, 15: 41-47.
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