Feedlot Update Nov. 8, 2011

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Feedlot Update

Nov. 8, 2011

MACFO tour discovers farm conservation practices in Packerland

The 10th annual convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers offered an interesting variety of topics, tours and discussion Oct. 18-20 in Winona. On Wednesday, a tour of the Bragger diversified farm in Wisconsin brought rave reviews. It showed how Wisconsin's first Discovery Farm was meeting the challenges of raising crops and livestock among the hills, valleys and streams of southwestern Wisconsin. Following the tour, Joe Bragger and several other local farmers held a panel discussion and took questions from the group of about 75 county and agency staff. The first day featured a legislative  update from Sen. Jeremy Miller and Rep. Gene Pelowski, followed by a livestock industry panel. They noted the value of county feedlot staff who understand agriculture and provide local contacts. Consistency, communication, and training need continued emphasis, they said. Thursday wrapped up with presentations on nitrogen and crop nutrient needs. A slide show from the tour is posted on the MACFO webpage, along with slides from the county program update presentation.
WI Discovery Farm tour

Feedlot forms and fact sheets updated

Several feedlot forms and fact sheets have been updated recently:
  • The updated inspection checklist (wq-f3-45) for feedlots not required to have an NPDES permit is located on the County Feedlot Officer Toolbox webpage.
  • The factsheet, "Proper Storage of Silage" (wq-f8-20), has been updated and will be posted on the feedlot program publications webpage, and other locations.
  • A revised, updated version of the manure management planner spreadsheet has been posted on the feedlot program nutrient and manure management webpage.
  • A new factsheet, "State Disposal System Permit for Large Feedlots" (wq-f3-48), addressing the recent law change governing the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, will be posted on the feedlot program permit and application forms webpage.

Ag, conservation groups in Fishers and Farmers Partnership

Several Minnesota conservation and agriculture organizations have joined the Fishers and Farmers Partnership of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. This is a group non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies "united to add value to farms while protecting, restoring, and enhancing the 30,700 miles of streams and rivers in the Upper Mississippi River Basin." It is a partnership of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. Member organizations from Minnesota include: Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Trout Unlimited, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

EPA proposes NPDES-CAFO reporting rule

On Oct. 14, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) submit a specific set of basic operational information so the agency can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health. The proposal, which is part of a settlement agreement reached with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Waterkeeper Alliance, and the Sierra Club, will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), a part of the Clean Water Act, requires that CAFOs obtain a permit from EPA or authorized states before discharging any pollutants from their operations into a water of the United States. CAFOs that do not discharge pollutants do not need a NPDES permit. EPA’s proposal does not change which CAFOs need permits under NPDES. For more information: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/aforule.cfm

Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center News

The December LPE Webcast will feature the proposed new EPA reporting rule for CAFOs, Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m.For more information about the proposed CAFO reporting rule, visit the Ag Compliance Assistance Center.
The Nov. 18 webcast focuses on moving manure nutrients out of vulnerable watersheds. 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. The presentation will start at 1:30 pm. More...
Publications about manure storage covers
The LPELC Air Quality team has developed a series of three fact sheets about manure storage covers. One is an overview, and the others discuss permeable and impermeable covers. The air quality team is finishing a multi-year project aimed at developing curriculum for classroom and extension educators to use in programs for future professionals and in continuing education for current industry professionals. More...

County profile: Stearns - Becky, Ron, Allison, Richard

Both in geographic and livestock terms, Stearns County can be considered the hub of feedlot activity in Minnesota. With more than 2,000 livestock farms over 10 animal units, and more than 1,500 required by state rule to be registered, Stearns holds about twice as many feedlots as the next in line, Fillmore and Todd counties. Dairy continues to lead the way as the predominant livestock type, followed by poultry. The county's Feedlot Review Committee meets monthly to review projects and feedlot rule information. On Nov. 29-30, the dairy industry takes the spotlight with Midwest Dairy Expo at the St. Cloud Civic Center. Visitors can choose from a variety of educational sessions on production and management topics.

With the comparatively large number of feedlots, the Stearns Environmental Services Department has four staff assigned to the feedlot program: Becky Von Holdt, Ron Peterson, Allison Remer, and Richard Gruenes. Becky is supervisor of the Ag and Water Resources Division; Richard also works with wetlands. Ron Peterson is on leave for health reasons. (Our thoughts and prayers go out for Ron, who is receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer. Ron's CaringBridge webpage.) More information about the Stearns County program is available on the County Ag and Water Resources webpage.

Ron Peterson

In the News

Twin City Public Television's Almanac program Nov. 4 includes a section featuring Carver County CFO Lori Brinkman and Elmbrink Farm near Waconia. (Select segment No. 4)
Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, 11/6/11
St. Paul Pioneer Press, 10/31/11
Dept. of Agriculture news release, 10/6/11


Nov. 16: Minnesota Agri-Growth Council annual meeting, Minneapolis Convention Center
Nov. 17-19: Minnesota Farm Bureau annual meeting, Northland Inn, Brooklyn Park.
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.

Share your news

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.