Feedlot Update August 2011

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Feedlot Update

Aug. 16, 2011

FarmFest forums focus on regulation, agencies

Several FarmFest forum topics on government regulation revealed a strong desire for using common sense with rules and enforcement. Regulations must reflect diversity in agriculture and the land, said Warren Formo, director of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition. "We need to work together to find solutions; we already have enough regulation." MPCA Deputy commissioner John Linc Stine, and MPCA Citizens' Board member Don Schiefelbein, participated in separate panel discussions at FarmFest Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 2 and 3. In his role as president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Don urged more focus on cooperation and assistance, and less on enforcement. On the panel Wednesday, with the topic, “Designing state agencies to enhance the agriculture industry,” John offered the agencies goals: help people make good environmental decisions, be pro-active and engaged, be a good partner and build trust, and protect Minnesota’s natural resources. Gov. Dayton spoke at the forum tent Tuesday, noting that the PCA and DNR are working to streamline permitting.
Farm Fest 2011
At the Livestock Pavilion, a new feature at FarmFest, a panel discussed "tips on navigating agency regulations." Main points included: work on local politics first; and make initial contact with agencies as early as possible. Panelists included,  Tim Gieseke, Tom Walsh of East Dublin Dairy, Curt Zimmerman of MDA, Jon Jaschke of BWSR, consultants Jared Anez and Andy Nesseth, and moderator Joe Martin, MSCA director.

MPCA studying potential impacts of recent legislation

The MPCA feedlot program is currently studying the potential impacts of recent legislation on feedlot permitting and pastures. No specific details are available at this time. Existing NPDES permits remain in effect., and more information will be available as time goes on. MPCA will be working with EPA to identify the impacts and implications. Livestock producers can contact EPA directly. Short- and long-term communications outreach will be developed. The text of the legislation is located on the Senate webpage, select Special Session, and search SF3.

105 livestock farms participate in LEQA project

In a step toward a more effective, integrated approach to helping livestock farms meet water quality goals, the Livestock Quality Assurance program involved 105 farms in its first year. The LEQA program is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, and was conducted by Tim Gieseke, Ag Resources Strategies of New Ulm. Eight of the 105 farms achieved the "Clean Water Legacy" goal, and 86 received assistance toward the goal. Conservation activities occurred at 65 percent of the 728 environmental concerns that were identified. The 105 farms contained 47,529 acres, 55,215 animal units, and 506 environmentally-sensitive areas. The full report will be posted on the MDA website.

MACFO working on program for fall convention

The program is shaping up for the 2011 convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers, set for Oct. 18-20 at the River Port Inn in Winona. Highlights include panel discussions on livestock industry perspectives on regulation, and nutrient management. The tour will cross the river into Wisconsin for a Discovery Farms tour. Local legislators are being invited to the conference. MPCA staff will provide feedlot program updates.

LPE Learning Center

Looking Forward to the September webcast: Findings from NAEMS. Monitoring for the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (or NAEMS) has been completed and the data has been turned over to EPA.  as Drs. Al Heber and Erin Cortus will highlight results of this multi-species study and offer their perspectives. Sept. 16, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. More...
Manure Expo Archive. Kevan Klingberg’s (University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms) presentation “Manure Application to Frozen and Snow Covered Soils” is now available at the LPELC webcast archive.
Feedlot Effluent Pumping. The Iowa State University Beef Center is sponsoring a project to look at the costs associated with pumping the settled effluent from open feedlots.  With this project small sewage pumps are being installed to pump the runoff water to corn fields where it will soak into the soil preventing any runoff water from leaving the property. The preliminary data is summarized in their July newsletter. More…

Grants available through Sept. 20 for feedlot BMPs

Conservation BMPs for feedlots can result in better animal health and a more efficient operation, and Legacy Amendment funds are now available to help landowners pay for those improvements. Counties and SWCDs are among the eligible grant recipients for more than $21 million in competitive grants and low-interest loans for projects that protect and restore water quality. Many types of feedlot projects qualify for grants, which are administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. The low-interest loans are administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's AgBMP Loan Program.Feedlots with fewer than 500 animal units are eligible, and they cannot be classified as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). The deadline to apply is Sept. 20, so now is a great time for local feedlot officers and SWCD staff to engage landowners in conversations about the many possible benefits of feedlot BMPs. More information is available on the BWSR website: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/.

Prepare emergency plans for summer heat losses

Livestock losses due to excessive heat this summer highlight need for emergency response plans, says Dr. Beth Thompson, veterinarian with the Board of Animal Health (BAH). BAH agriculture specialists in the southern half of the state have been extremely busy responding to calls about carcass disposal. With rendering companies becoming overloaded, more producers have been turning to burial and composting. Using proper methods and facilities, composting is a very effective disposal tool, even for large livestock. Some have been sent to a landfills in neighboring states, Thompson said. Having a plan in place can help producers deal more effectively with all types of emergencies, including fires, severe storms, and disease outbreaks. With new legislation in place, the BAH is the primary authority for livestock carcass disposal, in consultation with the Pollution Control Agency. For more information, go to the BAH website. Livestock producers who incur eligible livestock death losses due to the extreme heat may contact their local FSA office to learn more about the USDA’s Livestock Indemnity Program.

Delegated county news

  • Mid-year reviews with county feedlot officers and MPCA staff are starting to take. Primary topics include inspection goals, file maintenance, annual report process, and transition to using the Delta database system.
  • Darrin Welle started Aug. 2 in Morrison County as assistant P&Z director and CFO. Previously, he was with the Big Stone County SWCD. Lloyd Kalfs is the new feedlot technician in Cottonwood County, working with CFO Andy Geiger.
  • The county program grant appropriation for 2012 and 2013 was maintained at the 2011 level of $1,959,000 per year. Counties soon will be receiving notice about their 2012 grant amount.
  • With the absence of CFO training events at regional offices this summer, a training session using Web-Ex will take place Sept. 7. Topics will include using the Delta database system, latest University research, and feedlot program updates.
  • A one-day training program for new CFOs will be held 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 27 in the St. Paul MPCA office.This is offered to CFOs on the job less than a year and addresses topics from delegation, registration, inspections, permitting and an introduction to DELTA. 

County profile: Cottonwood-Andy Geiger, Lloyd Kalfs

New staff in Cottonwood County have been busy working into the delegated county feedlot program. Straddling the divide between the Minnesota River basin and Des Moines River watersheds in southwestern Minnesota, Cottonwood County lists 330 registered feedlots. Christensen and Schwartz swine farms account for most of the 31 large feedlots with NPDES permits. "We're just getting everything going," says Andy Geiger, county environmental office administrator and CFO. Andy came from Jackson County in April.
In a contract with the SWCD office, technical duties are assigned to Lloyd Kalfs, the new water resources technician who began April 25 working in the SSTS and feedlot programs. Already, he's been out on inspections and conducting MinnFARM evaluations, under the tutelage of Ben Crowell, Jackson County CFO. Lloyd is a recent graduate of Northland College in Ashland, WI, majoring in natural resources. He has moved back to the farm near Okabena where he grew up, and continues to help with farm chores. Cottonwood County environmental office website.
lloyd kalfs

In the News

MPCA news release, 8/16/11
MPCA news release, 8/2/11
CattleNetwork, 7/22/11


Aug. 19: AgroEcology Summit, Willow Lake Farm, Jackson County. website.
Sept. 10: Horse Power, Swenson Farm, Chippewa County. website.
Sept. 27: CFO training, 9:30-3, MPCA, St. Paul.
Oct. 18-20: MACFO convention, River Port, Winona.

New submissions welcome

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news submissions from 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.