Feedlot Update Oct. 11, 2011

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Feedlot Update

Oct. 12, 2011

MACFO convention plans farm tour with a Swiss twist

Switzerland is nearly 5,000 miles east of Buffalo County Wisconsin. But it may seem a lot closer for those on the Discovery Farms tour during the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers convention. A tour of Wisconsin's first Discovery Farm Oct. 19 will visit the Bragger Farm, owned and operated by a family originally from Switzerland. The hilly terrain of southwestern Wisconsin's driftless region may remind them of scenic Switzerland, but it also presents environmental challenges. The Discovery Farms program develops on-farm and related research to determine the economic and environmental effects of agricultural practices on a diverse group of Wisconsin farms. More recently, Minnesota has developed Discovery Farm research projects. The Oct. 19 tour will begin with several hours on the Bragger farm viewing its conservation practices, followed by an afternoon panel discussion with several area producers. The Braggers operate a diversified farm with beef, dairy, poultry, and crops. The MACFO convention is Oct. 18-20 at the River Port hotel in Winona.
Bragger Farm

Delta database training in November for county staff

In November the MPCA Feedlot Program will be conducting mandatory training for primary users in delegated counties of the agency's Delta database. There will be seven sessions at six different computer lab locations around the state. Each primary user must attend one of the trainings. RSVP by Wednesday, Oct. 26. The training will focus on the Delta inspection module, as all feedlot inspections after Jan. 1, 2012 must be entered into Delta. The inspection module training includes: generating an inspection form, entering inspection data, creating an inspection follow-up letter, monitoring non-compliance with the violations list in Delta and business practices related to inspection documentation. In addition, the training will cover useful and newly added reports, including the annual report form for delegated counties. A chart detailing training dates and locations is located on the feedlot program training webpage. The inspection checklists in use prior to the Delta system are located on the CFO Toolbox webpage under Inspections.

County feedlot work plan forms to be mailed soon

County feedlot officers can expect to see the county feedlot work plan form for 2012-2013 mailed in the coming week. CFOs are requested to complete the form by Dec. 1 and to send a copy to their MPCA regional staff contact as well as Karen Barenz in St. Paul (Karen.Barenz@state.mn.us). The work plan is similar to the two-year work plan completed for the 2009-2010 program years. Minor changes that have been made are mostly due to the shifting of data storage from eLINK to Delta. The work plan helps CFOs develop goals, unique to their county, in the areas of feedlot registration, inspections, compliance and owner assistance. The work plan also reviews permitting practices and procedures for consistency with Minnesota feedlot rules

U Extension, Blue Earth basin alliance, name nutrient management specialists

Now Minnesota livestock producers have two people with University of Minnesota-Extension to contact about manure management questions. Duane Starkey has been named Local Extension Educator working with livestock manure management. He joins Jose Hernandez, who has moved to a Regional Extension Educator, but is still working with nutrient management, particularly manure. They are also now doing soil phosphorus run-off studies leading to alternative application and management strategies for 2012, which would update all participants on the latest project. Contact information: Duane Starkey, 507-635-3778 stark180@umn.edu. Jose Hernandez, 612-625-4731, jahernan@umn.edu.

Also, Andrew Ahrens is the new nutrient management specialist for the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance. Working from the Cottonwood County SWCD office in Windom, he will provide nutrient management assistance to crop and livestock producers. Previously, he held a temporary position with the Iowa DNR. He replaces Annalie Plaetz. Contact information for Andrew Ahrens: 507-831-1153 ext. 3, andrew.ahrens@windomnet.com.

LPE Learning Center News

November webcast: Moving manure nutrients: Methods and implications

Moving manure nutrients out of vulnerable watersheds has become an issue with much national focus. Researchers have studied alternative storage systems that can make transport of poultry litter more feasible and economical. Learn more about those systems as well as the implications of moving nutrients out of the [Chesapeake Bay] watershed at the Nov. 18 webcast at 1:30. It will feature Erik Lichtenberg, University of Maryland and Jeff Vitale, Oklahoma State University. More... (a flyer will be posted at that link as soon as it is available).

October webcast: Proper Closure of Manure Storage Lagoons”

Speakers are: Karl Vandevender, University of Arkansas; Thomas Bass, Montana State University; Catherine Nash, USDA NRCS; Jeremy Seiger, USA EPA Region 6; Terry Medley, KS Dept of Health and the Environment; and Saqib Mukhtar, Texas AgriLife Extension. The presentation will begin at 1:30 pm Oct. 21 More... .

Extension launches new nutrient management website

The University of Minnesota Extension Service has launched a new nutrient management website that houses most of the current fertilizer suggestions and data from the University of Minnesota. It offers much of the current publication, research reports, and selected extension presentations. This is the first stage in the development of the nutrient management website and new material will be added. In addition to the website, there is a Facebook page for the nutrient management group. This is meant to be a forum where issues can be discussed, and to highlight current finding or observations from the field on a daily basis.

Tim Gieseke to discuss book, 'EcoCommerce 101' at PCA

Tim Gieske is scheduled to speak about his book, "EcoCommerce 101: Adding an ecological dimension to the economy," at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 2, at the MPCA board room in St. Paul, 520 Lafayette Rd. N. Tim has some forward- thinking ideas about how to encourage better farming practices while also acknowledging the economic realities facing today’s farmers. “…It provides the framework to build an ecological intelligence system that allows the public arena of commerce to define sustainability” – Foreword J. Hatfield, USDA-ARS Director, Environmental and Soil Laboratory, Ames, IA. Reviews and information at www.ecocommerce101.com. Ag Resources Strategies website.
Tim Gieseke

Counties host workshops on ag. emergency preparedness

Throughout this year, county officials in Minnesota have hosted workshops geared towards agricultural emergency preparedness. They have brought veterinarians, farmers, and government officials together to work through possible scenarios. There are three workshops scheduled for October. The meetings are free and include lunch. Veterinarians, technicians, crop and livestock farmers, and all other interested parties are encouraged to attend a future workshop. For more information or to RSVP, call the contact person listed.
• Tuesday, October 25 - Scott County
The SCALE Regional Training Facility
17706 Valley View Drive, Jordan, MN
Contact: Chris Weldon - 952-496-8381
• Wednesday, October 26 - Dakota County
U of M Ag Extension Services
4100 220th St West, Suite 101, Farmington, MN
Contact: David Gisch - 651-438-4703
• Thursday, October 27 - Goodhue County
Law Enforcement Center
430 W 6th St, Red Wing, MN
Contact: Diane Richter-Biwer - 651-267-2639

County profile: Winona - Mark Gernes

With the county feedlot officer convention taking place next week in Winona, county feedlot officer Mark Gernes has been busy making contacts for speakers and other convention plans. The convention takes place Oct. 18-20 at the River Port hotel. Mark has been Winona County CFO for more than 13 years. He is the past southeast representative for the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers, and served on the county programs team. He currently serves on the joint MPCA-MACFO data team. Mark lives on a farm about 10 miles south of Winona, near the hamlet of Witoka, renting out the cropland. The Winona County feedlot program lists 846 registered feedlots, of which many are small dairy and beef operations. Located in the driftless region of southeast Minnesota, incised with scenic streams and valleys, the open lot agreement and milkhouse waste programs have been important to livestock production. Mark continues to work with open lot improvements, and some dairy expansion and upgrades. Mark joined the Winona County staff in the summer of 1998 and spends most of his time in the feedlot program along with some zoning chores. He grew up on a 140-cow dairy farm in Winona County, and graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in animal science.  Winona County website.

In the News

The Farmer, 9/30/11
The Caledonia Argus, 9/29/11
New York Times, 9/23/11


Oct. 18-20: MACFO convention, River Port, Winona.
Nov. 16: Minnesota Agri-Growth Council annual convention, Minneapolis Convention Center.
Nov. 29-30: Midwest Dairy Expo, St. Cloud Convention Center.
Dec. 1-3: Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association convention, Jackpot Junction, Morton.
Dec. 5: Minnesota Association of SWCD convention, Doubletree Hilton, Bloomington.
Jan. 18-19: Minnesota Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.
Jan. 23-24: Minnesota Ag Expo, Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato.
March 14-15: Midwest Poultry Federation convention, St. Paul RiverCentre.

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