Feedlot Update - July 2015

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Feedlot Update

July 2015

State Disposal System permit available for eligible feedlots

The general State Disposal System (SDS) permit for livestock feedlots capable of holding 1,000 animal units (AU) or more, or the manure generated by 1,000 AU or more, as defined under Minnesota law, is now available. Copies of the permit and application forms are available on the MPCA feedlot program webpage and at regional offices.

An SDS permit covers 10 years and is required for any facility that currently has capacity, or is proposing to have capacity, for a total of 1,000 or more AU. Only those feedlots that do not discharge are eligible for the general SDS permit. Discharge means the addition of a pollutant to waters. Common discharges include the release of animal manure or manure-contaminated runoff or process wastewater from an open lot, manure storage area, land application site, or feed storage area.

A facility that is required to obtain an SDS permit may choose to obtain an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in lieu of the SDS permit. More information on the NPDES and SDS permits for feedlots is available in a fact sheet: "NPDES and SDS permits for feedlots - determining when a permit is required." 

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2016-2021 NPDES general permit going on public notice

The next five-year National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) draft general permit for eligible livestock farms will have a 30-day public notice scheduled to begin July 20. The notice will appear in the Minnesota State Register, and the draft permit will be available on the MPCA feedlot program webpage and at regional offices. Any comments received will be reviewed and considered, leading to a final draft of the permit.

The current NPDES general permit expires Jan. 31, 2016. The 2016-2021 NPDES general permit for the most part remains unchanged from the current permit. One notable exception is a new requirement for feedpad runoff controls. Feedlots with uncontrolled feedpad runoff  will not be eligible for the general NPDES permit. This includes those feedpads with plastic covers. Stormwater runoff from feed stockpiles is an issue due to the adverse impact on water quality from decomposing organic material.

Livestock producers seeking the 2016-2021 permit for new construction or expansion must apply 180 days prior to the start of construction. According to the permit, applications for renewal of existing permits should occur Aug. 6, or 180 days prior to the Jan. 31, 2016 expiration. However, to allow more time to review the new permit, this timeline for permit renewal is being extended to Sept. 15.

The 2016-2021 NPDES general permit application is available on the MPCA feedlot program permit information and application forms webpage, and at regional offices. Livestock producers who submit an application will be notified by letter when the application is received. 

Livestock farms that meet the federal definition of a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation and that have a discharge to a water of the U.S. are required to have either an NPDES or SDS permit to correct the discharge. More information on the NPDES and SDS permits for feedlots is available in a fact sheet: "NPDES and SDS permits for feedlots - determining when a permit is required." 

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Summer beef tour July 21 in McLeod County area

2014 beef tour

The annual Summer Beef Tour of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association is scheduled for July 21 in Hutchinson. The trade show and tour headquarters will be at the McLeod County fairgrounds. The event draws more than 700 cattle producers, industry professionals and community members from across the state. The trade show has more than 100 agriculture related business that feature new products and services available to cattlemen.

MPCA feedlot staff will be available for questions and information at a trade show booth. Tentative tour stops will include Schiefelebein Farms, Kimball; Landwher Dairy, Watkins; Terry and Matt Schaefer, Cokato; Polzin Cattle/Polzin Embryo Center, Litchfield and Cashwise Foods, meat cutting and meat department.

Registration will begin at 6:15 a.m. through 8:30 a.m., with the first tour bus leaving at 7 a.m. and every 15 minutes after. A continental breakfast will be available before the tour. The registration fee is $35 after June 15. The student price is $20. An additional lunch ticket is $10 and an additional dinner ticket is $15. Send payment to Ashley Kohls, 23722 230th St., Hutchinson, MN 55350. Activities will begin July 20 with a MSCA quarterly business meeting, followed by a networking event and PAC fundraiser, and dinner. Photo: 2014 summer beef tour, Redwood County.

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Solid waste, feedlot staff offer avian flu clean-up response

avian flu-turkeys

Since early March, the avian flu epidemic has affected 108 farms in 23 counties. Soon after the crisis broke, the MPCA set up an emergency response team to work with the Board of Animal Health (the lead agency), the Department of Agriculture, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others, to respond to the epidemic.

While the avian flu epidemic has subsided for now, work continues in its aftermath — to clean up and disinfect barns, to dispose of carcasses and to repopulate flocks. The MPCA solid waste and feedlot programs have provided assistance and resources requested for the avian flu epidemic clean-up and disposal.

An MPCA emergency response team (ERT), led by the Emergency Response Unit, includes staff from solid waste, feedlot, communications, and operations programs. The ERT provides resources for the state response team and other affected partners, such as landfill operators, county feedlot staff, and the livestock industry. Key issues include disposal of carcasses, cleaning solutions, and related waste such as protective clothing and demolition debris. Millions of poultry have been destroyed, and composting is the primary means of carcass disposal. Feedlot rules help to ensure proper management of stockpiling and land application of the finished compost. MPCA avian flu response web page. Board of Animal Health avian influenza web page.

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News briefs

emily bartusek winona co.

Winona County names Bartusek new CFO

Emily Bartusek has been appointed County Feedlot Officer in Winona County. A native of Albert Lea, Emily graduated from St. Mary’s University in Winona with a degree in environmental biology. She moved to Salt Lake City to work for the Utah Division of Water Quality for five years as an environmental scientist sampling lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Her duties moved to regulating storm water, verifying compliance from construction sites, industrial facilities, and municipalities. After seven years in Utah she returned to Minnesota for a job with the DNR as an aquatic pesticide enforcement specialist. Emily says, "I’m excited to combine my water quality and regulatory backgrounds to promote local agricultural while protecting the county’s unique natural resources."

Holstein Association resolution supports reducing non-point source water pollution

At their annual meeting in March, the Minnesota Holstein Association approved a resolution addressing non-point source pollution and water quality: Resolution No. 1:
Whereas, several watersheds throughout the state of Minnesota have been classified as impaired waters, and;
Whereas, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) are being used as a measure to improve water quality in those watersheds,
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Minnesota Holstein Association supports being proactive in the legislative process and in implementing agricultural best management practices to reduce non-point source pollution.

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World livestock expert at Animal Science Conference


Christophe Pelletier, one of the world's experts on the future of food and agriculture, will be a keynote speaker at the 5th annual Animal Science Conference Sept. 24 at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.

Pelletier has filled a wide variety of positions in scientific and technical support, planning, supply chain, procurement, quality control, traceability, food safety, sales and marketing, and plant management. He has conducted business internationally on four continents, and negotiated multi-million deals with farmers, traders, wholesalers, leading retailers and food processors.

This session will highlight the influence of consumer demands, the impact of environmental and animal health issues, and various future scenarios between the different animal protein productions. The conference is offered at no charge to animal industry representatives, by registering online at Eventbrite

The MinnWest Technology Campus is home to companies such as Willmar Poultry, LifeScience Innovations, NovaTech Engineering, Epitopix, University of Minnesota Midcentral Research and Outreach Center, Anez Consulting, Prinsco, and numerous others. - Source: MinnWest Technology Campus website.

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Cannon Falls dairy farm hosts 2015 Hay and Forage Expo

hay forage expo

The 29th Hay and Forage Expo brought the latest hay and forage tools, technology and suppliers recently to the Hernke farm June 24-25 near Cannon Falls. Minnesota is one of the nation's top five alfalfa producing states along with California, South Dakota, Idaho and Iowa. The two-day event showcases mowing, conditioning, baling, hay handling and silage demonstrations on 200 acres of prime alfalfa and forages. It provides a look at new hay and forage technology with an extensive exhibit area and working field demonstrations conducted throughout each show day.

"We had a really good variety of equipment in the field demonstrations. Both round and square balers, self-propelled merger from Oxbo, and a bale wrapper were featured," said Dena Morgan Marketing Specialist, Penton Agriculture. The Hernkes, brothers Marc and Dave, and cousin Rahn, own and operate 2,500 acres. They raise 500 acres of alfalfa annually, chopping 80% of it as haylage for their 800-cow dairy herd. The Hay and Forage Expo is sponsored by Penton Farm Progress' local farm publications, The Farmer, Wisconsin Agriculturist and Wallaces Farmer.

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Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center News

LPE News logo

Upcoming webcasts (July-Aug): Two-part series on biochar; manure as solid waste.

Waste to Worth RFP. The request for proposals to host the third Waste to Worth is out. Do not miss the opportunity to bring this excellent event to your region. Proposals are due Sept. 11, 2015. More...

Waste to Worth recordings. The recordings from the Waste to Worth conference are being added to the topic-by-topic proceedings as quickly as possible (the page is a bit rough now, but it is getting better every week!)  If you haven't already, add your photos to the slide show

Avian Influenza. Some resources from Cornell University may be helpful in responding to catastrophic mortality events in the poultry industry.

In the news, Iowa's governor signed a declaration that will help Iowa poultry farmers utilize compost that includes mortalities from the avian influenza outbreak. More...

Nutrient Management

  • Some observations on manure nutrient management gathered at statewide workshops by Randy Pepin with University of Minnesota. More...
  • The Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) has gone into effect in Maryland as the state works to reduce the risk of phosphorus entering waterways (and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay). This article outlines some questions and answers about the PMT. More...

Grazing Management.

  • Managing grazing and other working lands for multiple uses is challenging, but can yield many benefits. A multi-year grant funded through the Leopold Center in Iowa looked at incorporating prairie grazing (native plants) into a farming system. More...
  • USDA NRCS hosted a webinar June 24 on "How to Implement Rotational Grazing on Horse Operations". More...

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        In the news

        U.S. lawmakers to examine worst-ever bird flu outbreak
        Reuters, 6/11/15
        Winona County feedlots remain in the spotlight
        Rochester Post-Bulletin, 6/12/15
        USDA updates department policy for climate change adaptation
        USDA news release, 6/22/15
        More feedlots expanding or starting in south-central Minnesota
        Mankato Free Press, 6/27/15

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        July 20-21: Summer Beef Tour, McLeod County fairgrounds, Hutchinson.
        July 14-15: North American Manure Expo, Chambersburg, PA.
        Aug. 18: Nutrient Management Day, NDSU, Carrington, ND.
        Sept. 24: 5th annual Animal Science Conference, MinnWest Technology Campus, Willmar.
        Sept. 28-Oct. 1: Mortality symposium, Lancaster, PA.
        March 16-17, 2016: Midwest Poultry Federation convention, St. Paul RiverCentre.

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        Send the news

        The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news from partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissions to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.