Feedlot Update - August 2015

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a webpage.
Feedlot Update

August 6, 2015

Summer beef tour ranges from farm to fork

summer beef tour

More than 800 cattlemen and women, cattle industry professionals, community members and consumers from multiple states attended the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association annual tour and trade show July 21 in Hutchinson. The tour featured three innovative family beef farms, a progressive family dairy farm and a stop at the Cashwise Foods Meat Department (Photo outside Cashwise Foods in Hutchinson). The MPCA participated in the trade show with information about permitting and manure management.

Attendees had the opportunity to interact with each farm owner, while learning how their farm functions and succeeds. Farm highlights included production practices, progressive genetics, rotational grazing, cattle marketing strategies, and innovation within the beef industry. Cashwise foods meat department highlights included how beef is marketed in stores, consumer buying trends and what the consumer is asking before purchasing beef at the meat counter.

The tour concluded with livestock handling expert and Montana rancher, Curt Pate, demonstrating cattle stockmanship, low stress cattle handling and BQA best management practices at the fairgrounds. Tour stops included 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.

schaefer farms-beef tour
The Beef Tour stop at Schaefer Farms near Cokato showed the fencing and pasture irrigation systems of Grassland Solutions, founded in 1998 by Terry and Matt Schaefer.

Back to top

NPDES draft general permit open for public comment

The 30-day public notice for the next five-year National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) draft general permit for eligible livestock farms began July 27 and continues through Aug. 26. The draft permit is available on the MPCA Public Notices webpage, and at regional offices. Comments on the draft permit can be sent to Kim Brynildson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155, kim.brynildson@state.mn.us

Written comments on the draft general permit must be received by 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26. Comments must include a statement of your interest in the draft feedlot permit; an explanation of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft permit that you believe should be changed; and specific reasons supporting your position. Comments will be reviewed and considered, leading to a final draft of the permit. The current NPDES/SDS general permit expires Jan. 31, 2016. 

Back to top

Court rules SDS permit necessary for cattle producer

In the case of Minnesota vs. Reichmann Land and Cattle Co., the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled (A13-1461) that Reichmann's winter cattle feeding operation requires a State Disposal System feedlot permit under state law because it does not qualify for an exemption as a “pasture.”  However, the Supreme Court concluded that a winter feeding operation does not require a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit so long as crops are grown during the growing season. Key to the Supreme Court’s decision that a state permit was required was the fact that no vegetative cover was present at the start of the growing season due to the concentration of animals on the fields.

The Court of Appeals had previously ruled that the Reichmann operation cattle did not meet the pasture exemption because they were not “allowed to forage.”  Pursuant to this decision, the MPCA will continue to require State Disposal System permits for winter feeding operations where the concentration of cattle exceeds the capacity of the cropland to supply forage and vegetative cover.

Back to top

Be sure to use correct forms for NPDES permit application, manure management plan

Livestock producers seeking the 2016-2021 NPDES general permit coverage for new construction, expansion, or continuing permit coverage are reminded to use the most current application form, and the MPCA's Manure Management Planner spreadsheet. The current forms are available on the MPCA website, and at regional offices.

According to the permit, applications for renewal of existing permits should occur Aug. 6, or 180 days prior to the Jan. 31, 2016 expiration of the current permit. However, to allow more time to review the new permit, this timeline for permit renewal application 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.

The new application form and the Manure Management Planner spreadsheet, are located on the MPCA's Nutrient and Manure Management webpage

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." 

Back to top

Feed storage area changes in 2016-21 NPDES general permit


Current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit holders wishing to upgrade feed pad base materials or install a vegetative infiltration area may do so by applying for a minor modification to their existing NPDES permit that remains in effect until Jan. 31, 2016. This provides feedlots without feed pad runoff controls the opportunity to install controls yet this construction season so they may be eligible for the 2016 NPDES general permit. Feedlot owners wishing to expand their feed pad or conduct other expansion/construction activities yet this year (2015) are not eligible to apply for this minor modification exemption. For more information contact your MPCA regional office.

Brainerd: 7678 College Road, Suite 105, Baxter, MN 56425, 218-828-2492, 800-657-3864, Fax: 218-828-2594.

Detroit Lakes: 714 Lake Ave., Suite 220, Detroit Lakes, MN, 56501, 218-847-1519, 800-657-3864, Fax: 218-846-0719.

Duluth525 Lake Ave. S., Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802, 218-723-4660, 800-657-3864, Fax: 218-723-4727.

Mankato12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 2165, Mankato, MN, 56001, 507-389-5977, 800-657-3864, Fax: 507-389-5422.

Marshall: 504 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite 200, Marshall, MN, 56258, 507 537-7146, 800-657-3864, Fax: 507 537-6001.

Rochester: 18 Wood Lake Drive SE, Rochester, MN 55904, 507-285-7343, 800-657-3864, Fax: 507-280-5513.

St. Paul: 520 Lafayette Road N, St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, 651-296-6300, 800-657-3864.

Willmar: 1601 Highway 12 East, Suite 1, Willmar, MN 56201-6002, 320-214-3786, 800-657-3864, Fax: 320-214-3787.

Back to top

All HPAI control areas released from quarantine

July 30, 2015: The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced that all remaining HPAI control areas have been released from quarantine. This means that all Minnesota poultry and poultry products from non-infected farms are no longer restricted by additional testing and movement requirements.

The Board continues to work together with Minnesota’s poultry industry and other state and federal agencies to prepare for introductions of influenza in poultry. Commercial and non-commercial poultry flocks are routinely monitored for influenza as part of the state's voluntary surveillance program.

A total of 43 farms have restocking agreements in place. At least 31 of those farms already have birds back in their barns. There have been no new infected flocks in Minnesota since June 5. Collaborative response efforts between animal health officials and affected poultry producers have resulted in:

• Release of quarantine on 11 previously-infected farms
• Completion of carcass disposal process on all but one farm
• Completion of cleaning and disinfecting on 72 farms

Visit the Board's website for a detailed summary of affected farms and counties.

Back to top

In the news

Is Feedlot Beef Bad for the Environment?
Wall Street Journal, 7/12/15
Diversifying to stay ahead of the game
Farm Weekly, 7/13/15
Where Minnesota's farm animals live
St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch, 8/4/15
MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed feedlot expansion in Nobles County
News release, 8/4/15
MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed beef feedlot expansion in Nobles County
News release, 7/23/15

Back to top


Aug. 11: Organic dairy day, 10-3, UM-Morris, 320-589-1711, hein0106@umn.edu.
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.
Jan. 19-20, 2016: Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.
March 16-17, 2016: Midwest Poultry Federation convention, St. Paul RiverCentre.

Back to top

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.