Feedlot Update - July 17, 2014

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Feedlot Update

July 17, 2014

Summer beef tour features Redwood County cattle producers

2014 beef tour

A breezy, balmy summer day greeted everyone attending the summer tour and trade show July 8 of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. The event headquartered at the Redwood Area Community Center featured more than 200 ag and related businesses, including the MPCA feedlot program. A dozen coach buses were used to tour to five Redwood County cattle farms. Tour stops included Grant Breitkreutz, Redwood Falls; David and Clint Engen, Revere; George and Mike Landuyt; Curt and Chad Thram, Sanborn (photo); Butch and Brandon Kerkhoff, Redwood Falls; and Redwood Metal Works-Artex. The operations included mono-slope bedding pack barns, slat floor pit barns, hoop barns, and rotational grazing.

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Discovery Farm analyzes runoff from cropland residue grazing

Bakken Discovery Farm

The latest Discovery Farm project in the state's far southwestern corner will sample any runoff from a field that raises crops, and then used for winter feeding cattle. The project was described at a field day July 15 at Bakken Farms, about 10 miles west of Luverne in Rock County, out where Peter Bakken's mailing address is from Garretson, SD. Any stormwater flow from a 25+ acre section of a 160-acre field (no tile), channeled through a grassed waterway, is directed to an outfall flume fitted with monitoring equipment. It measures weather conditions, takes photos and water samples that are tested for sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen. It recorded 17 inches of rain in May and June, but only 0.3 inches of outfall. The equipment is being maintained by Rock County SWCD staff. After harvest about 160 beef cattle forage on the soybean field, but they tend to congregate in the portion being sampled, Bakken said. "I'm interested in seeing the water quality." He uses no-till and applies manure from a cattle feedlot. "I'm a firm believer in (crop) residue. No-till with residue 'sucks up water'," he says. Bakken also uses cover crops such as turnips, winter peas, and rapeseed. After several seasons, the data will help make any improvements needed, says Tim Radatz, research specialist with the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Center. "If you don't measure it, then you don't know what to do," he says. Now with 11 core farms in the Minnesota Discovery Farms program, there are no immediate plans for more. (Photo: From left: Tim Radatz, Arlyn Gehrke, and Pete Bakken describe the project.)

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Feedlot expansion in Pipestone County clears environmental review

After reviewing an Environmental Assessment Worksheet and receiving comments, the MPCA has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary for an expansion project at the Heartland Hutterian Brethren feedlot in Pipestone County. The Heartland Hutterian Brethren operate a total confinement swine and chicken feedlot in Fountain Prairie Township. The project proposal is to expand the swine operation by building two total confinement barns measuring 103 feet by 213 feet, housing 4,800 market swine. To collect manure, the barns will have under-floor concrete pits. All manure will be applied to cropland as fertilizer. The current feedlot permit for the Heartland Colony feedlot lists a total of 2342.75 animal units, composed of swine and poultry. The expansion will bring the total to 3,782.75 animal units. There are 2,080 acres of cropland available for land-application of manure as fertilizer.

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News briefs

Three new staff in Stearns County

Three new staff joined the Stearns County feedlot program in July: Amber Mielke,  BethyJo Juetten, and Brian Krippner, who was the feedlot officer in Kittson County. Jennifer Kaminskie of the Stearns feedlot staff has moved to the wetland staff, but will continue in feedlots as needed to help train in the new feedlot staff. 

Deja Anton new feedlot tech in Todd County

Douglas County is looking for a feedlot technician, with Deja Anton leaving to become the feedlot technician for Todd County in the SWCD office. She will replace Ed Uhlenkamp, who is now an ag instructor at the technical college in Staples. See the job posting on the Douglas County website.

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First farm to gain water quality certification in Elm Creek area

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Rural Advantage July 17 will be certifying the first farm family, Darwin and Sandy Roberts, in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program for the Elm Creek pilot area. The Roberts’ have a corn and soybean operation near Granada in eastern Martin County. Their operation borders the pilot waterway, Elm Creek, and they have installed a number of conservation practices along the creek, including woodchip bioreactors, treatment wetlands, and cover crops. Darwin serves on the Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District board and partners with the University of Minnesota to do agricultural conservation research on his operation. Certification is a voluntary program designed to accelerate adoption of on-farm conservation practices that protect Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Producers who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn assured that their operation meets the state’s water quality goals and standards for a period of ten years. The Elm Creek pilot area was selected as one of four pilots throughout the state to test and refine the program. This pilot area includes parts of Faribault, Jackson and Martin counties. - MDA news release.

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Web tool for reporting swine enteric coronavirus disease

On June 5 the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a federal order that requires producers, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories to report herds that are positive with swine enteric coronavirus diseases (SECD), specifically porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV). The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has posted tools on its website for managing and reporting swine enteric coronavirus disease (SECD). Please visit http://www.mn.gov/bah/swine.html to:

  • Download forms for setting up fee-basis agreements with the USDA
  • Download a fillable SECD reporting form
  • Download a herd/premises plan summary
  • View case definitions of SECD

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In the news

Gold’n Plump Farms penalized for operating equipment without a permit
News release, 6/24/14
Northwest Minnesota farms to host Red River Valley agriculture water issues forums
Farm Bureau news release, 7/11/14
CREP proposal in early stage
Agri-News, 7/12/14
Cargill Turkey says 'no' to growth-promoting antibiotics
News release, 7/15/14
North America biofertilizers market expected to grow
AgProfessional, 7/1/614
Northeast Nebraska storms killed about 1,000 head
Iowa Farmer Today (AP), 7/17/14
MDA offers free waste pesticide container collection in west central counties
News release, 7/17/14
Social media, online resources help Minnesota rancher succeed
USDA blog, 7/16/14
Nomination deadline nears for Farm Service Agency county committees
News release, 7/17/14

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Aug. 5-7: Farm Fest, Gillfillan Estate, Redwood County.
Aug. 21-Sept. 1: Minnesota State Fair.
Aug. 26: Fertilizer value of manure field day, Lamberton.
Oct. 1: Animal Science Conference, MinnWest Technology Center, Willmar.

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Share 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.

Forrest Peterson
Public Information Officer
MPCA-Willmar office