A multi-page article in the July 2016 issue of Turf Magazine dealt with landscapers turning grass clippings into profitable silage for cattle food. Todd Graus is marketing equipment and a system through Yellowstone Compact & Commodities Corp. for the sale of the Biopac’r equipment and proprietary accessories to accomplish this.
There are some basic questions that Graus will have to answer if this system is to be viable.
Will this system work with farmers that raise beef and dairy cattle? Bio-security is the new buzz word in agriculture. Farms want to avoid the extreme cost of recalling or destroying contaminated crops or animals. Feedstock on farms are more carefully monitored and regulated than in the past.
Is there any evidence this system is in place at major beef or dairy operations? Farms that are using this system effectively will be pivotal in its success. Testimonials and technical data from the farms regarding use of grass clipping silage will be very helpful for landscapers.
Will this system work with regulators? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and various state agencies are all involved in food safety. Landscapers and farms will need to know how these agencies will regulate a new source of animal feed.
Will this encourage organic lawns? Consumers and landscapers apply many types of pesticides and other chemicals to turf. Some of the pesticides may not be licensed for animal food. No single process or action can put all of the preventative controls in place to produce a safe, quality animal food product where dozens of pesticides or other contaminants could be present.
What do consumers think? People are more concerned today with the sourcing and feed in their food. Grass fed beef is all the rage, but do consumers want their grass fed beef to be off the neighbor’s lawn or the local golf course?