TMC and Menicon Jointly Develop Improved Livestock Manure Composting Product
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and contact lens manufacturer Menicon Co., Ltd. (Menicon) have jointly developed a livestock manure composting product that will join the “resQ45” series of TMC-Menicon developed manure composting systems. The new product, “New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko” (new special express enzyme), will be manufactured and sold by Toyota Roof Garden Co., Ltd., a TMC subsidiary, starting today, and distributed through the livestock feed sales channels of Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Toyota Tsusho).
In Japan, where 84 million1 tons of livestock manure are generated annually, concerns about manure’s adverse impact on the environment, including its offensive odor, pollution of water, and greenhouse-gas generation, have made livestock farmers recognize the need to find ways to properly process and effectively utilize manure. Composting of the manure has been shown to be beneficial for both farmers and the environment.
New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko combines two products2 in the resQ45 series that are currently sold separately: “Tokubetsu-Kyuko”, containing an enzymatic agent that promotes decomposition of dietary fibers in manure, and “Thermo Master”, containing thermophilic bacteria to raise fermentation temperature. Tokubetsu-Kyuko has been added to manure for each compost cycle, while Thermo Master has been recommended for the initial batch only as the product’s inherent bacteria breeds during the composting process, meaning finished compost contains “seed” bacteria that can be used for successive compost batches.
However, market feedback revealed concerns that composting effectiveness declined over time due to thermophilic bacteria population and efficacy decreasing with repeated use. In addition, feedback suggested that the process of using “seed” compost was labor intensive.
The introduction of New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko removes the need for “seed” compost, as the manure becomes reliably inoculated with thermophilic bacteria, thus ensuring stable compost production. Including initial costs, TMC estimates annual costs of approximately 10 percent less3 for a livestock farmer using New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko instead of Tokubetsu-Kyuko and Thermo Master together.
New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko comes in eight-kilogram bags with a suggested retail price of 5,800 yen per bag4. Although it will initially be sold in-parallel with Tokubetsu-Kyuko and Thermo Master, a complete switchover to New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko is planned for 2014, with annual sales of approximately 22,000 bags forecast to follow.
TMC, Menicon and Toyota Tsusho aim to strengthen their collaboration toward the goal of realizing a recycling-based society, as well as to continue to help reduce greenhouse gas generation and improve farmlands.
1 Quoted from the 2012 statistics from the Statistic Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
2 Launched in July 2006
3 Estimation based on annual use of manure from 100,000 egg-laying hens
4 Includes shipping for orders of 20 bags or more, excludes consumption tax (previously, both shipping and consumption tax excluded)
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