"Are we going to be victims, or will we set the stage on nutrient management?"
That was the rhetorical question posed by Steve Rowe, president and CEO of Newtrient. He raised that question to those attending the joint annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Management Inc. in late October.
"Dairy has three outputs: milk, calves and manure. We want to take manure from a cost center to a profit center," added Newtrient's board chairman Greg Wickham.
Newtrient is the name of a for-profit company that has a goal of being an incubator for all technologies related to nutrient handling on dairy farms. In being size neutral, Newtrient hopes to one day provide solutions for all dairy farms.
The company has started out with a $2.5 million annual budget and got its initial seed money from 12 dairy cooperatives making the entity farmer-owned. There is room for new investors; however, any new member would require two-thirds approval by the founding members.
If Newtrient could one day unravel nutrient handling, not only would dairy farming as a whole be better served, the original dairy farm investors, via their co-ops, would reap rewards, too.
"At the highest level, we will help recover nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and fiber," explained Greg Wickham.
Long term, the founders hope Newtrient benefits all farmers by:
• Focusing technology providers on what helps farmers the most
• Reducing risks
• Opening up the potential for-profit streams
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
January 4, 2016