Articles, Blog

EZ Acres Farm

January 4, 2020


I’m Mike McMahon one of the senior partners at EZ Acres LLC In 1995 we built this complex we began hearing Aw man that big barn is probably gonna put thousands of cows in there, and they’re gonna pollute the environment Just it was out there, and and we heard it, and so we thought you know we’re gonna have to make an extra effort to make sure that the people in our Township are not going to be concerned about that and that we will be known as good stewards because we sit over the sole-source aquifer for the village of Homer and part of the city of Courtland, and we also have Factory Brook which is a Double a trout stream runs about five miles down through our land so we began a well sampling and stream sampling project in The year after we built this operation in 1996 so we’ve been doing that for 21 years now so those samples are set to an independent lab, and we’re getting them analyzed for nitrogen and nitrates phosphorus Okay, so we do that just to monitor our economic practices and are we impacting the water And if so, what should we do to change it? Also over the years we’ve selected different sections of these trout streams and had the 4-H teen council kids under the tutelage of someone from the DEC, plant low bushes on both sides of the trout stream For the sake of preventing stream bank erosion as well as keeping the water cool For the good of the wildlife in that water. So you’re feeding the cow 115 pounds of feed a day She’s drinking 40 gallons of water she’s producing 90 pounds of milk and 150 pounds of manure go out the other end yeah, so we set out to build a manure storage So we had this storage all designed for three and a half million gallons. It was all concrete, and it was gonna cost us about 350,000 somewhere around there when we were meeting with The coordinated review committee it came up that we have some concerns about cracking so at that point Talking with our engineer and our builder we found that there is this company out in the Pacific Northwest where they used PVC Forms the concrete was poured in the center and this form would become watertight I said well that solved that problem it also added about a hundred and ten thousand dollars to the bill to build the structures But then they said what about the floor? The floor is all concrete at that point our engineer suggested we do a landfill liner underneath the concrete and While we’re doing that let’s lay in some tile lines to be able to monitor if there is a leak we have three monitoring wells That these tile lines feed to so we know which third of the structure could possibly have effluent in it that added Like I don’t know close to another Like 80 or 90 thousand more to the cost of the project to do that And all of a sudden we’re hearing Hold it, hold it, hold it what if one of your hired help or something drives a tractor into this 16 foot tall structure with three and a half million gallons in and breaks it open it can flow down to the trout stream and Everything’s a mess What are you going to do the final answer was Build this thing in the ground instead of above the ground and so this is the first octave form structure ever to be built in The ground so the end result was the safest manure system in the world but the price at that point by the time we got done with everything had gone to seven hundred sixty thousand dollars to store manure. The Taj Mahal of manure systems So today we’re at one of our fields on one of our many farms that we own and You can see in the background They’re harvesting corn silage. The manure from the cows is Nutrients that are used to feed the corn like we see here And then when the corn is harvested those nutrients are up taken by the growing needs of the corn and then we Put the corn in and chop the corn and put it into storage Then feed it back to the cows and the cycle is completed and then after they eat They make the manure goes back on the ground. So it is a cycle of nutrients and Well run farming operation It’s important to us to preserve this environment because we make our living off of a healthy environment So does us no good to abuse it and if I want my son to be successful in this business and God willing his son after him then We need to be able to hand on to the next generation an environment at least as healthy as the way we found it You

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