Feedlot Update - April 17, 2014

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Feedlot Update

April 17, 2014

Herpes virus outbreak brings horse quarantine

Minnesota horse owners are facing quarantines due to an outbreak of Equine Herpes virus Type 1. The neuropathogenic strain is not uncommon, and occurs in horses throughout the U.S. each year. However, it is unusual to see multiple cases in horses with EHV-1 that show neurologic signs. This virus has no effect on people or other livestock.

The Board of Animal Health has followed at least eight cases in Minnesota. The affected horses had neurologic signs and tested positive for EHV-1 non-neuropathogenic strain. Equine herpesvirus is usually spread in nasal secretions between horses that are in close contact with each other or that share water or feed pails. The virus does not typically survive very long in the environment or on people or equipment. It is killed readily by most disinfectants, ultraviolet light and by drying.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health continually encourages horse owners to consult their veterinarians on ways to protect their animals. For more information on both checkout the Minnesota Board of Animal Health Animal Bytes update.

horse expo

Horse Expo places limits on horses to be on site

With the Minnesota Horse Expo scheduled for April 25-27 at the State Fair grounds, organizers announced that breed and registry groups, private farms and stables will not be bringing horses, but may set up informational displays in the Horse Barn. Allowed will be PRCA rodeo stock and participants, Ma’Ceo horses, clinician presentation horses, and pony and wagon ride horses. See the full announcement on the Horse Expo website.

MPCA to participate in Horse Expo seminars, trade show

The MPCA feedlot program will be represented at the Horse Expo with a display table in the Coliseum, and with presentations Friday and Saturday in the adjacent DNR building. Samantha Adams, Rhonda Adkins, and Dana Leibfried will talk about "Horse apples and where they roll," at 1 p.m. Friday, and again at 4 p.m. on Saturday, providing information about manure management and the environment.

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MPCA Board to consider feedlot rule changes April 22

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) citizens’ board is scheduled April 22 to hear and act upon a staff recommendation to adopt revisions and updates to environmental rules for livestock feedlots. The changes arise from 2011 legislative action, and ‘housekeeping’ updates. In 2011 the state legislature voted to follow a federal government change to remove the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for large feedlots if there is no discharge of manure from the site or from storage areas. In November 2011, the MPCA met with livestock industry representatives to discuss the need for rule changes (Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7020). Following several public meetings, public comment periods, and a formal hearing, the proposed changes were reviewed and approved by an administrative law judge. After all approvals have occurred, the revised rules would go into effect, perhaps by late May or early June. More information is available on the MPCA feedlot rulemaking webpage. The MPCA citizens’ board meets at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 22, MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Rd. N.

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News briefs

County feedlot staff attend training

The second in a series of training sessions for new county feedlot staff was held April 15 in Willmar. Topics included manure land application requirements and inspections, nitrogen and phosphorus balance, and the MPCA's manure management planner. In the photo, county staff practice a manure management plan review. Upcoming training dates for all county feedlot staff are scheduled for: May 22, Owatonna Hyvee; May 21, U of M-Crookston; May 15, Brainerd MPCA; and May 14, Redwood Falls Pizza Ranch.

CFO training

MPCA and county feedlot staff update

Dana Leibfried is moving from the Mankato MPCA office to the Willmar office. The resulting vacancy in Mankato will be filled. An offer has been made to a candidate for an MPCA feedlot staff vacancy in St. Paul. Interviews have been completed for the MPCA west feedlot unit supervisor vacancy. Cory Salzl started April 1 with Meeker SWCD in the feedlot program and ag inspector.

NRCS posts video on receiving conservation assistance

The website of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, nrcs.usda.gov, has been evolving to keep pace with the needs of today’s farmer. Our mission is to provide American farmers, ranchers and other visitors with the tools and resources they are looking for on a site that is easy to use and navigate. Learn more. Watch a video on how to receive conservation assistance from NRCS.

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Timely turnaround on most NPDES feedlot permits

The MPCA feedlot program issues most feedlot National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits well under the 150-day cap required in state law. The most recent report on overall permitting efficiency is posted on the MPCA permitting efficiency webpage. Below is the record for issuing feedlot NPDES general and individual permits. The category “Average days to complete” reports the average number of days between application receipt and when it is flagged as complete in the agency's database system. The category “Average days to issue” reports the average number of days between application receipt and issuance of the permit, and includes the 30-day public notice period. If a site is constructing, it is included in the “Priority” category, if not it is included the “Non-Priority” category.

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npdes permit chart

Bedrock removal at feedlot construction requires approval


As the construction season is approaching, the MPCA feedlot program advises the livestock industry to be aware of approval requirement(s) regarding bedrock removal. This is a significant concern in the karst regions in the southeast corner of the state. Planned removal of bedrock requires a State Disposal System permit (MPCA issued) and bedrock encountered during construction requires MPCA approval before removal.

When bedrock removal is planned (known before construction starts): Any permit application that proposes to remove bedrock in order to comply with the separation requirements of Minn Rule 7020.2100 subp.2.B (ie. 5 ft. separation to Karst bedrock) should be forwarded to the MPCA for permit application processing. This is considered a “New Technology” as defined in rule and will require the issuance of an Individual State Disposal System (SDS) permit to authorize construction and potentially long-term operation of the liquid manure storage area (LMSA). 

When bedrock is unexpectedly encountered during construction: In instances when the soil borings did not encounter bedrock but during excavation it is encountered, do not approve removal of the bedrock without first obtaining approval of the MPCA. Depending on the extent of bedrock encountered, alternative construction techniques may be required, additional safeguards may be required, and/or a SDS permit to authorize long-term operation of the LMSA may be required.

Workshops on soil subsurface, bedrock mapping technologies

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) and University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program are offering a workshop on emerging technologies in mapping soil subsurface characteristics and depth to bedrock. Click here for more information.

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Study: Little regulation of human health impacts of large feedlots

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future recently published the results of a study that examined the involvement of state agencies with large scale animal production sites and highlights barriers that were found to prevent more robust responses to health concerns. It concludes that “the human health implications of ‘industrial food animal production’ operations have thus largely fallen by the wayside from a regulatory perspective, with rural communities suffering the consequences.”

Link to journal article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0089870

Link to blog that explains the study and findings: http://www.livablefutureblog.com/2014/03/who-protects-the-people-who-live-near-industrial-meat-operations

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April 22: MPCA Citizens' Board, 9 a.m., MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Rd. N.
April 25-27: Minnesota Horse Expo, state fairgrounds coliseum.
July 8: Summer Beef Tour, Redwood Area Community Center, Redwood Falls.
July 8-9: Manure Expo, Springfield, MO.
Oct. 1: Animal Science Conference, MinnWest Technology Center, Willmar.

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Share the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news submissifrom partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissions to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Please note that the MPCA has switched to a new service, called GovDelivery, to deliver the Feedlot Update. To ensure delivery of these messages, please add mpca@public.govdelivery.com to your address book or safe sender list. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.

Forrest Peterson
Public Information Officer
MPCA-Willmar office