Feedlot Update - December 2015

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Feedlot Update

December 2015

NPDES and SDS permit annual reports due March 1

Annual reports for livestock farms with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or State Disposal System permits are due March 1, 2016. Forms are available on the MPCA feedlot program website. Links to the form are located on the feedlot program main page, and permits and forms webpage, or download the document. Paper copies of the form may be requested by contacting the MPCA regional offices. The office phone numbers are listed on page 5. All land application records for the 12-month period starting Sept. 1, 2014, through Aug. 31, 2015, must be submitted as part of the report and on the included forms. For farms that do not transfer manure, land application records can also be generated and submitted using the MPCA excel based Manure Management Planner under Create Crop Year Records. A link to the planner is located on the feedlot program Nutrient and Manure Management webpage. Annual reports provide valuable information for determining compliance with Minnesota’s feedlot rules. Failure to submit annual reports by the March 1 deadline may result in an enforcement action from the MPCA. 

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Many NPDES permit renewal applications still needed

MPCA feedlot program staff are busy processing permit renewal applications for the 2016-2021 NPDES general permit, or applications for the new 2015-2025 State Disposal System general permit. Although, of the approximately 1,300 CAFOs and feedlots with 1,000 animal units or more with current NPDES permit coverage, only 45% have submitted applications thus far. Applications were due to be submitted Sept. 15, 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter. Permit holders that fail to submit a complete and approvable application for either an NPDES or SDS permit by the expiration of their current permit coverage, Jan. 31, 2016, will  be without permit coverage starting Feb. 1, 2016, and in violation of Minnesota’s feedlot rules. Livestock farms no longer required to have either operating permit can notify the MPCA that they will not be submitting a permit application. A permit termination request form can be used to make this notification. Submitting a permit termination request form before the end of 2015 may avoid the annual fee for 2016. For more information, contact your MPCA regional feedlot staff.

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2016 feedlot inspection record calendar available soon

2016 feedlot calendar promo

The 2016 edition of the feedlot inspection record-keeping calendar soon will be available on the feedlot program main webpage and publications webpageYou can download the calendar and post it in the office, and use the daily check boxes to record regular inspections of water lines, weekly basin inspections and depth mark readings, storm water and runoff controls, and perimeter tile inspections monthly. The calendar notations would fulfill those NPDES and SDS permit record-keeping requirements. A limited number of printed copies will be available at the MPCA booth at Pork Congress.

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Otter Tail SWCD staff receive Outstanding Employee awards

darren newville-brad mergens-otter tail

Brad Mergens and Darren Newville received the Outstanding District Employee award at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual convention Dec. 7. As managers of the West Otter Tail SWCD and East Otter Tail-Wadena SWCD, respectively, Brad and Darren have been working to seek feedlot program delegation for Otter Tail County. One of the largest counties in the state, Otter Tail lists more than 600 registered feedlots.

West Otter Tail also received the Conservation District of the Year award. Among its accomplishments, West Otter Tail reached out to their neighboring district, East Otter Tail SWCD, and their county to develop a three phase, nine-year plan to move toward 100 percent voluntary compliance with the existing shoreland buffer ordinance. The county supported the SWCDs financially to inventory, map and provide technical assistance to landowners who may be out of compliance. Photo: Darren Newville and Brad Mergens.

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Case studies address excess phosphorus in manure

Minnesota livestock producers now have access to strategies for coping with excess phosphorus. University of Minnesota Extension announced the availability of case studies from Minnesota farms that describe strategies for reducing excess phosphorus on land-limited dairy and beef operations.

When phosphorus imports in feed, fertilizer, and other sources exceed exports in milk, livestock, grain, manure, and other products, then soil test phosphorus can gradually rise to excessively high levels. The result can be increased phosphorus in field runoff to lakes, streams, and rivers stimulating growth of algae. The case studies provide examples of cost-effective strategies to reduce phosphorus imports or increase exports. Six case studies, each highlighting one strategy, are available at: http://z.umn.edu/manure.

Manure Application/Phosphorus Management on Livestock Farms

The case studies have been presented at workshops for livestock producers and agricultural professionals and highlighted in articles in the Dairy Star. More case studies will added in early 2016.

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Ripka named to Board of Animal Health

peter ripka-BAH

Peter Ripka from Ogilvie was recently appointed by Governor Dayton to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Ripka co-owns a 200-cow dairy operation and raises nearly 700 acres of wheat, beans, corn and alfalfa. We welcome Mr. Ripka to the board and appreciate the experience he brings to the table.

Peter Ripka grew up on the dairy farm that he and his family now own and operate. Ripka Dairy, a joint venture between Peter and his wife Stacy, opened in 1997. His children (one son and three daughters) also help with the day-to-day chores that take place on the farm.

Peter Ripka replaces Steve Brake as one of the three livestock producers on the board. Steve served three terms totaling 12 years.

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Poultry testing lab to expand in Willmar

willmar poultry testing lab

The Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory in Willmar will be undergoing an $8.5 million expansion and renovation. A ground-breaking ceremony for the lab expansion will be held Monday, Dec. 21, 2:30-4 p.m. at the adjacent Willmar Community and Activity Center.

Operated by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the 20-year-old lab runs tests on garden variety poultry diseases but it has never been equipped to test for the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza. When the 8,235-square-foot addition is completed next fall, the lab will be able to process samples for H5N2, as well as other poultry diseases. - Reported in the West Central Tribune, Willmar, 12/15/15.

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Carcass management alternatives open for public comment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for carcass management alternatives that could be implemented during an animal health emergency. The EIS finds that carcasses resulting from an animal health emergency can be disposed of safely using a variety of available methods.  The EIS is not specific to any one animal disease.  The findings of the EIS will be used to support animal health emergency planning and decision-making.

The final EIS is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/eis_carcass_management.pdf (252 pages).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. APHIS will consider all comments received on or before Jan 17, 2016 in the Record of Decision.  Comments regarding the EIS may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0044 or sent to: USDA APHIS Policy and Program Development, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, 4700 River Road, Unit 149, Riverdale, MD, 20737.

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Fields to Streams: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes

field-streams cover

Fields to Streams: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes, is a new publication from Extension Water Resources, that details connections between land use, runoff, and water quality in rural landscapes. The two-part handbook highlights practices to improve and protect rural streams and shows how land management can affect the rate of runoff that shapes them.

The handbook was prepared for landowners, land managers, and the conservation professionals who work with them to help them talk about and address local watershed issues. Fields to Streams draws on research from Minnesota and Iowa, providing concise explanations and extensive graphics to highlight concepts and practices.

Part One, Water Shaping the Landscape, explains the role of Minnesota's geology, changing rainfall, and land management practices in altering the amount and timing of runoff reaching and shaping streams and rivers.

Part Two, Managing Sediment and Water, describes practices for managing crops, drainage systems, surface runoff, wetlands, impoundments, and stream corridors to reduce peak flows and lessen the amount of streambank, bluff, and ravine erosion.


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Quarantine lifted on all farms infected with HPAI

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced that it has lifted the last of the quarantines that were placed on each of the 108 farms infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) this year. All sites have completed cleaning and disinfection of their facilities and have received negative influenza test results from environmental samples taken in and around the infected barns. 

Ninety percent of previously-infected sites were cleared to restock as of Oct. 6. The few sites that remained have also completed the steps required to gain clearance for restocking their barns with poultry. Restocked poultry on all the affected farms have tested negative, which provides additional assurances that the HPAI virus has been eradicated from Minnesota. For additional information on Minnesota’s response and recovery from HPAI, visit www.mnairesponse.info. - Board of Animal Health news release.

In the news

Dodge County Board approves feedlot permit
Rochester Post-Bulletin, 12/11/15
Fine-tuning for feedlots: New Nobles County ordinance moves closer to reality
Worthington Globe, 12/11/15

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Dec. 18-19: Minnesota Angus Association annual banquet and sale, Hutchinson.
Jan. 8-9: Organic conference, River's Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud.
Jan. 19-20, 2016: Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.
Jan. 27-28: Minnesota Ag Expo, Verizon Center, Mankato.
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.