Feedlot Update - May 15, 2014

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Feedlot Update

May 15, 2014

MPCA board approves update of feedlot rules

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizens’ Board on April 22 approved the staff recommendation to adopt revisions and updates to environmental rules for livestock feedlots. The revised rules will go into effect five working days after publication in the State Register, which is scheduled for May 19. 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. Livestock industry representatives had argued that the state law change also removed the requirement for a State Disposal System permit for feedlots of 1,000 animal units or more; however, the Administrative Law Judge upheld the agency's authority to require SDS permits for large feedlots. They may choose to apply for an NPDES permit, and most large feedlots still operate with the NPDES general permit currently in effect to until 2016. 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. More information on the rule process is available on the MPCA feedlot rulemaking webpage.

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Pierz dairy recognized for energy efficiency

marshik dairy

The Midwest Dairy Association announced that Marshik Dairy of Pierz was recognized for its Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency. They are among winners of the third annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which recognizes dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships that are committed to stewardship and sustainability. In 2010, Marshik Dairy, a fifth-generation 155-cow family farm, implemented a new, technologically advanced and energy efficient barn in design that included robotic milking facilities, energy efficient lighting and ventilation, and renewable wind and solar power. “Dean and Clare Marshik have made a strong commitment to farming’s next generation and taken every opportunity they can to be energy efficient, including the production of renewable wind and solar power,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Their approach is good for their community, good for the environment, and good for business.” To learn more about the industry’s commitment to sustainability, visit DairyGood.org. To get to know more about Midwest dairy farmers and their sustainability practices, visit DairyMakesSense.com. (DairyStar photo)

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Staff notes

Andy Yost is new CFO in Freeborn County

Andy Yost is the new County Feedlot Officer in Freeborn County. He replaces Colin Wittmer, who is now with the solid waste program working half-time in Freeborn and half-time in Steele County. Andy started April 14, and also handles the Freeborn household hazardous waste program. Prior to Freeborn County, Andy was the overnight plant operator at Poet ethanol in Glenville. He graduated from UW-River Falls majoring in ag. business and animal science. He grew up on a dairy farm southwest of Albert Lea, and worked on a dairy for a year after college. His contact info is Andy.Yost@co.freeborn.mn.us, 507-377-5242.

andy yost

Cords leaving feedlot program for watershed section

The MPCA has announced that Wayne Cords is leaving the supervisor position of the MPCA East Feedlot Unit, to become manager of the South Watershed Section, effective June 18. The position also includes management of the agency's Mankato office. Wayne joined the MPCA feedlot staff in 2006; prior to that he was county feedlot officer in Waseca County. Wayne has many years of experience at the local government level as an assistant zoning administrator, feedlot officer and as an elected SWCD supervisor. He also owns and operates a small farm. 

wayne cords

Scheier named West Feedlot Unit supervisor

Lisa Scheirer has accepted the MPCA West Feedlot Unit Supervisor position that was vacated by the retirement of Mark Jacobs. Lisa has worked at the MPCA since 1993 and has more than over 13 years’ experience in the Feedlot Program, including serving as program’s compliance coordinator since 2007.

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News briefs

Watch for manure management planner updates

Livestock producers and consultants who use the MPCA's manure management planner program are encouraged to periodically go to website to check and see if a new version is available. The MPCA will attempt to issue advisories when major updates have been made. The latest version 6.13 was posted Oct. 1, 2013 on the Nutrient Manure and Management webpage. Questions or comments can be directed to George Schwint, george.schwint@state.mn.us, 320-441-6971. 

Training set for assessing bedrock with electro-resistivity

The MPCA is providing training for county feedlot staff in using electro-resistivity for assessing bedrock at manure storage basin construction. Classroom training is scheduled May 19 at the People’s Energy Coop in Oronoco. Depending on the weather, a second training day will take place at the construction site of a liquid manure storage area in Winona County. This will look specifically at when bedrock is encountered and potentially removed. For more information, contact George Schwint, george.schwint@state.mn.us, 320-441-6971.

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Johns Hopkins study misses dairy health regulations

The article in the April 17 Feedlot Update about the Johns-Hopkins study of state regulations of livestock in terms of human health impacts, failed to note the food safety and health regulations in the dairy industry, according to Bob Lefebvre, of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association. The majority of the study referred to hogs. All dairy farmers must comply with the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. "While the PMO is focused on food safety, it also has an impact on health as it pertains to some of the criteria the researcher uses to determine 'health concerns'," he says. "And, OSHA has also become more involved on our dairy farms as well. The MMPA has provided dairy farms with OSHA regulation education seminars. And, the FSMA recently passed may lead to more HACCP analysis on dairy farms. The articles lead readers to believe that perhaps Minnesota is not regulating dairy farms in other ways (food safety/health), which is not true. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has been regulating food safety and health concerns on dairy farms for decades."

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In the news

Pipestone Sheep Facility Tour Set For June 9
The Farmer, May 2
MPCA begins water quality monitoring field work
News release, 5/8/14
Heartland Colony feedlot expansion open for public review
News release, 4/28/14
Important 2014 deadlines for livestock disaster aid
News release, 5/13/14
Census profiles Minnesota farmers and agriculture
News release, 5/2/14
Illinois: Livestock industry opposes feedlot registration
Illinois Times, 5/15/14
MDA awards sustainable agriculture project grants
The Farmer, 5/15/14

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May 23: 1:30 p.m., Webcast: Bioaerosals from feedlots and dairy farms. Airborne bacteria and endotoxins (bioaerosols) have been detected fairly long distances downwind from livestock operations. Two research studies examining the formation of bioaerosols and their offsite transport will be presented. Assessing risks to downwind populations will be the primary focus of the webcast. More...

June 9: Pipestone sheep tour, Minnesota West campus, Pipestone
June 4-6: World Pork Expo, Des Moines.
June 18-20: Minnesota Turkey Growers Association conference, Arrowwood, Alexandria.
June 22-25: World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, Winnipeg.
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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Spread 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