Skip to main content

Pumping manure over long distances

It’s common knowledge that cattle manure is hard to pump and thus also hard to calculate the pumping capacity when it needs pumping over long distances. It’s not impossible, however, as the Fair Oaks project in the US has shown us – and interest in the potential has been overwhelming

We are already working on a handful of other projects in the US, but we also know that there is huge interest for pumps that can transport manure over long distances other places in the world. We would like to share these experiences with you here.

LSM Pumps & Fair Oaks Farms USA

Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana is one of the largest cattle farms in the US with 36,000 dairy cows over 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares) spread across eight properties.

LSM Pumps has its own branch in the US, and our colleague over there struck up a conversation with the daily manager of the biogas plant at Fair Oaks, who explained that they had had no luck attempting to pump the manure from one of the many stables to the biogas plant, a distance of 3 km. Ten years ago they dug a six-foot-deep pipeline and tried out a whole slew of different pumps. As a last resort, they were considering a high-pressure pump with a roughly 300 hp motor, which was not attractive in a biogas context due to its energy efficiency and energy consumption in general.

After discussing the challenge amongst ourselves, we decided at LSM to offer our client at Fair Oaks a slightly reinforced version of our LSM125 hose pump on a lease – and the agreement that they could purchase the pump if they were satisfied with the result.

The pump was in operation by August 2022 and proved that it could pump the manure for 3 km using a humble 22 hp motor. Naturally, the customer bought the pump.

Since then, we have fine-tuned and upgraded this installation by inserting a booster pump in halfway, which allows approx. 40% more pumping but still with a very low energy consumption.

Work is currently underway to upgrade the installation at Fair Oaks with a further two LSM125 hose pumps, which will pump manure long-distance from two other farms, thereby eliminating the need to move the manure with tractors and manure tanks. The farm expects the project to be completed in 2024.

All the manure is collected in a lagoon that can hold 1000 m3 of manure. The lagoon is located in an open barn. Currently, manure from six farms is pumped using our LSM125 pumps. The manure from the six farms is shuttled into the lagoon with tractors and trailers. Three LSM100 hose pumps are placed at the lagoon. The three pumps transport manure from 36,000 cows 24/7 directly into the reactor via a heat exchanger.

Besides being a dairy farm, Fair Oaks also has its own fuelling station and visitor centre, where 500,000 visitors visit the farm annually, along with its own hotel. Last but not least it has its own biogas plant, which processes the large amounts of manure from many thousands of cows and produces 80,000 m3 of biogas a day.

About the author

LSM Pumps

LSM Pumps, manufacturer of the world’s largest peristaltic hose pump

Ready to find the solution?


Come up with your challenges. We help you further.

Back to top