Friday, 22 January 2021 06:55

Cow toilet collects gold

Written by  Mark Daniel
Designed by Dutch firm Handkamp, the Cow Toilet collects 15 to 20 litres of urine produced daily by a typically housed European cow. Designed by Dutch firm Handkamp, the Cow Toilet collects 15 to 20 litres of urine produced daily by a typically housed European cow.

While we are used to hearing about the latest hi-tech tractors or machines winning medals for technical innovation, it seems that in the livestock sector, designers and manufacturers are also taking awards, often for developing solutions for more basic problems.

That’s the case for a Cow Toilet, which took out the only Gold Award at the 2021 Digital Eurotier Livestock Machinery Event.

Featuring a suspended bowl that collects the 15 to 20 litres of urine produced by a typical housed European cow every day, the toilet, designed by Dutch firm Handkamp, separates manure from urine at source to help reduce ammonia emissions.

The collection system is integrated into the rear section of a specifically designed feeding station. In operation, the front of the unit stimulates a specific nerve bundle just about the cow’s udder, causing the animal to spontaneously urinate. The resultant liquid is filtered through a sieve, then drained via a suction line to storage.

Tests on local farms show that the system collects around 50% of the daily urine production, which given there are 1.5 million dairy cows in the Netherlands means there is a potential to collect 15 million litres of urine. The manufacturer is already looking for uses for the liquid, with tests already underway to assess its viability as a fertiliser on local fruit farms. There is also research being done on its viability as a fuel or for the generation of electricity.

Back in the dairy barn, additional benefits of separation are said to be cleaner floors, improved hoof health and better air quality. Still around 18 months away from commercial availability, the €20,000 units, each capable of dealing with 25 cows, are also being trialled for possible integration into robotic milking systems.

More like this

Let there be light

With shortening days meaning the need for good lighting is even more important out on the farm, it might be time to upgrade your illumination.

Honda to quit Oz ATV market

Confirming a move signalled over a year ago, in response to a directive by the Australian federal government that all quad bikes must be fitted with operator protection devices, Honda will stop selling quad bikes in Australia on October 10.

Shift fuel easily

Designed to fit wide-bodied utes with familiar names like Ranger, Hilux, BT-50, Triton, Navara, Dmax and Amarok, Silvan's new diesel transfer unit should prove useful for delivering fuel to outlying areas of a property or tractors or harvesters working away from home.

Pasture management made easy

Those looking to use direct seeding to repair grass paddocks or plant catch crops might want to take a closer look at the recently introduced Erth Engineering Agriseeder.

BRP to deliver electric models in five years

BRP, maker of the well-known Can Am brand of UTVs, has announced a five-year plan that will see the company offering electric models in each of its product lines by the end of 2026.

National

Farm consultant bags award

Sam Vivian-Greer, a farm consultant at BakerAg in Wairarapa, has been named the winner of the 2021 New Zealand Zanda…

Bumper price rises cemented

With just one more Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction left for the 2020-21 season, bumper dairy price gains recorded in…

Industry backs recycling scheme

An on-farm plastic recycling initiative, Plasback, seems to be gaining momentum as the agricultural industry moves to reduce its environmental…

Machinery & Products

Let there be light

With shortening days meaning the need for good lighting is even more important out on the farm, it might be…

Honda to quit Oz ATV market

Confirming a move signalled over a year ago, in response to a directive by the Australian federal government that all…

Pasture management made easy

Those looking to use direct seeding to repair grass paddocks or plant catch crops might want to take a closer…

Shift fuel easily

Designed to fit wide-bodied utes with familiar names like Ranger, Hilux, BT-50, Triton, Navara, Dmax and Amarok, Silvan's new diesel…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Less-gassy bulls

There may soon be another tool available to cut your climate footprint - select less-gassy bulls out of a catalogue.

Rock and a hard place

OPINION: Appease the Chinese and protect your export trade, like dairy products, or infuriate them and face sanctions.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter