April 10, 2023 at 5:52 p.m.
Dairy Star interviews ag professionals for a inside look at their careers.

One-On-One with Bob and Tim Boogaard Boogaard Pumping LLC in Villard, Minnesota Custom manure applicators

Tell us about your business. Bob started the business in spring 1992 with one employee. In the fall of 2001, Tim joined the business. Currently, we have two additional employees. We use drag hoses and inject the manure at the desired rate as directed by the farmer. Each tractor has a flow meter that is used to determine the speed and rate at which the manure is applied. A lot of farmers like using the hoses because there is less compaction on their fields. We started with a traveling gun then quickly switched to injecting with the hoses. It is more evenly applied this way and is better utilized with the hoses compared to the traveling gun. We’ve worked with a lot of the same farmers, and they are basically like family to us.
How did you get into the manure pumping business? Bob was looking for something to do after selling his herd of cows in 1992. He thought he would give manure pumping a try. He already owned a tank and pumped his own pit and his parents’ pit. He read an article about a guy using hoses to pump manure and called and talked to him about it. Then, Bob started Boogaard Pumping.

What does a typical day look like for you? First, we decide how much equipment we need to bring to a job. Once we get to the job, we figure out what fields we are going to and what rates we need to apply at. Then, Bob starts agitating the pit and setting up hoses. Then, we start pumping. As soon as that job is done, we head to the next one. We start in the spring as soon as we can get into the fields, typically April and May. Occasionally, we get asked to a job on some hay ground in the summer, but usually the equipment stays parked until Labor Day. In the fall, we start as soon as farmers start harvesting their crops, typically from September through early November.

What is the most challenging part of your occupation? Weather. This year is a good example, because there is still so much snow on the ground. It will be a few weeks before we can get started. In late springs like this, it’s hard because farmers want to get in the fields as soon as possible, but they need to wait for us to apply the manure. Also, if the spring or fall is really wet, it slows us down and pushes our schedules back even farther. Thankfully, our own families are very understanding and know we need to put in a lot of long days in the spring and fall.

Tell us about a unique experience you had while working. The crazy things we have found at the bottom of a pit. There have been a lot of kid’s shoes and occasionally a toy.

How has the trade changed in your career? In the beginning, it was more of a getting rid of a waste product, and now, it is carefully applying a valuable product. Most farmers today get their manure tested to know exactly what is in it.

What are some of the different roles your workers have on your crew? Bob takes care of the pit, running the pumps and agitating. Tim is in charge of figuring out a route for the hose and setting up the fields as well as making sure the right rates are applied. One worker does the applicating, and he is very good at what he does. The other worker is a runner and helps where needed.

How has technology changed to enhance better utilization of manure? GPS and flow meters have greatly benefited us to better apply manure.

What are three tools you keep with you on a daily basis? Hand-held radios, GPS and a measuring app on Tim’s cell phone. Tim can use the app to zoom in on a map and measure exactly how big each field is to determine in advance how many fields they need to be able to get to in order to empty the pit.

Tell us about the best and worst day you had. There aren’t any that particularly stick out, but just like farming, there are good days and bad days.

How do you stay alert while doing your job? We try to eat good filling meals and stay hydrated. We try to stay away from snacking on Little Debbies because then you don’t feel good the next day.

Tell us something about your occupation that most people don’t know. How much planning goes into the processes before we even show up. Farmers get their manure tested and determine how much to apply, and we look and determine the layout of the field.

What are some of the yearly regulations you have to abide by? Custom applicators need to have a commercial animal waste technician license and attend yearly meetings. We need to be cognizant of waterways and tile inlets.

Tell us about yourself and your family. Bob is married to Betty and has four grown children and 12 grandkids. Tim is married to Darcie and has four young children. Tim’s kids are in 4-H and in several sports.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? We enjoy running our own farm between Villard and Osakis. We go snowmobiling in the winter and four-wheeling in the summer. Then, we enjoy doing stuff with family like going to dance recitals, sports games and going to the lake.


You must login to comment.

Top Stories

Today's Edition



27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.