Feedlot Update - Oct. 22, 2012

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Feedlot Update

Oct. 22, 2012


Feedlot program Q&A


Which county became the first to join the delegated county feedlot program?


Answer following Calendar

Dry soil allows early fall land application, poses challenges

land application hog

In addition to an early fall harvest, the dry weather has also widened the window for manure land application. Joe Hammerschmidt, a commercial applicator from Blomkest, says he expects to wrap things up the first week of November, about two weeks early. While the dry conditions have allowed earlier field work, they also pose some challenges with sweep injection of liquid manure. In the dry soil "large chunks of soil pop out, some as big as basketballs," he says. He has been encouraging his clients to work the ground beforehand with a disk-ripper. This helps equipment work better, and also reduces nitrogen loss, Joe says. Soil conditions have been good in his main work area of Kandiyohi and Renville counties, but farther south and west the soil is "pretty hard," he says, with some cracks up to four feet deep. Joe is also secretary of the Minnesota Custom Applicators Association 

Pork Checkoff has compiled some practical resources for producers in dealing with the current drought situation. A factsheet: Manure application on drought-affected fields, states: "Drought-impacted ground may have large cracks in the soil that serve as a “preferential flow” path that allows manure to rapidly seep down the cracks, bypassing absorption into the soil and providing a route for manure to rapidly reach shallow groundwater and field tile lines that could potentially contaminate ground and surface water. Aside from the environmental impacts if this occurs, producers also lose valuable manure nutrients that move below the root zone of the crops in the field where the manure was applied. Therefore, extra caution needs to be exercised when land-applying manure in these conditions." 

Manage corn silage to avoid runoff; check if permit needed

With a biological oxygen demand far greater than raw sewage or liquid manure, proper management is necessary for storing corn silage. When improperly stored and handled, the leachate (excess moisture from silage and pulp) can kill vegetation and contaminate surface and groundwater and poorly cased wells. With a few straightforward precautions, the leachate created by silage and other feedstock can be effectively managed by livestock producers without creating a pollution hazard. Anyone who stores 1,000 tons or more of fresh sweet corn silage on site at any one time must obtain a permit from the MPCA. For more information, see the fact sheet, "Proper storage of silage."

2012 MACFO conference highlights

sam and kathy

A variety of program topics filled the agenda for the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers Oct. 16-18 in Willmar. Topics included livestock research and development, marketing, nutrient management, legal issues, and a tour of Revier Cattle Company. It concluded with a new training tool using keypads for instant responses to a questionnaire.

Delegated county program 2012 review

Don Hauge of the MPCA gave an overview of delegated county program activity. Despite tight budgets at the state level, the Legislature earmarked nearly $2 million to be divided annually among the 55 delegated counties for 2012 and 2013. Some county program statistics from 2011: 2,031 inspections, 306 with non-compliance issues; 220 level II land application reviews; 77 interim permits; 117 construction permits; 71 partial corrections; 157 complete corrective actions. The latter represent activity with direct environmental results.

Proposed certification program

Steve Schmidt of the Rochester MPCA office presented a proposed project to establish a certification program for county feedlot officers. Benefits would include greater consistency among counties in administering the feedlot rule, provide mentors for new county feedlot officers, and strengthen credibility in the program. A team of PCA and county staff will develop the project.

New officers elected

Several new officers were elected at the MACFO annual meeting: Vice president, Richard Gruenes; Secretary, Kathy Henderschiedt; and Treasurer, Doug Bos. Continuing in office: President Dan Vermilyea, and past president, Becky Schlorf Von Holdt. 


Delegated county news briefs

Anton is new Douglas County feedlot officer

Even before she officially started her new job Oct. 22 as Douglas County feedlot officer, Deja Anton received a good orientation to the delegated county program at the MACFO convention in Willmar. After teaching school for 14 years in Maine, Deja moved to Minnesota in 2008 to become a pre-vet student, and manage a 1,200-head cattle operation near Sauk Centre. Starting about two years ago, she now operates a small dairy near Browerville milking about 40 cows. She will be working full-time for the county as feedlot officer and ag. technician.

  deja anton
Jake Grages

Grages named feedlot tech in Jackson County

In Jackson County, Jake Grages, started Sept. 24 as feedlot technician and in the SSTS program in the SWCD office in Lakefield. Originally from Lakefield, Jake is a December 2011 graduate of Bemidji State University with a BS in biology with wildlife management emphasis.

Geiger leaves Cottonwood for Jackson County post

Andy Geiger, who has been planning and zoning director and CFO in Cottonwood County, will be moving to the planning and zoning director post in Jackson County. Lloyd Kalfs continues as the feedlot technician in the Cottonwood County SWCD office.

Level III inventory under way in West Fork Des Moines watershed

Kiel Tschumperlin has been busy working on a Level III feedlot inventory for the Heron Lake Watershed District in the West Fork Des Moines River watershed. 592 total feedlots. As of Aug. 7 he has inspected nearly 60 feedlots out of 592 in Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, and Murray counties. He has run the MinnFARM on about 50 open lots so far. Originally from the Heron Lake area, Kiel is a May 2012 graduate of Gustavus majoring in environmental studies, biology emphasis. The project is being funded with a 319 grant, and is part of the watershed's TMDL implementation plan.

Stearns County posts feedlot technician opening

The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking a livestock feedlot technician with experience in evaluating and correcting feedlot runoff problems. The position will be located in Waite Park. The application deadline is Monday, Nov. 19, (application must be post marked by 11/19/12). The job description and application are available on the Stearns County SWCD website.

Todd County address update

The Todd County SWCD office has moved to the historic courthouse building at 215 1st Ave. S., Suite 104, Long Prairie, MN 56347.

Feedlot program roots in federal Clean Water Act 40 years ago

Jackson Co Pilot

Editor's note: The following is a portion of a news release in a series from the MPCA noting the 40th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972.

While industrial waste and city sewage captured the spotlight leading up to the Clean Water Act in 1972, agricultural waste was also a growing public concern.

For thousands of years, farmers used livestock manure as fertilizer for crops. However, in recent decades, commercial fertilizer took the lead because it was cheaper and easier to use.  Livestock manure often came to be viewed as an odorous waste. And when allowed to run off into waterways, it causes pollution.

The “waste” reputation is reflected in Minnesota’s rules enacted in 1971 to regulate livestock feedlots through the MPCA’s Agricultural Waste Division.

Today, that’s changing as rising costs for commercial fertilizer and new technology are restoring the reputation of livestock manure as a valuable crop fertilizer. Today’s feedlot regulations focus on management rather than disposal of livestock waste.

In 1974, the MPCA launched a program that brought counties into direct participation with regulation of livestock feedlots. Jackson County in southwestern Minnesota was the first to join the delegated county program. Today, 55 counties participate in the delegated county agreement.

Read the full press release online. 

MPCA feedlot program news briefs

After a brief stint in a water quality monitoring program, Courtney Ahlers-Nelson returns to the feedlot program in the position of feedlot program development. Courtney began her career with the MPCA in the feedlot program in the Marshall office, before moving to the St. Paul office. Her main duties will be legislative liaison, delegated county audits, and program development. 

Agency registered for livestock trade shows

The MPCA feedlot program has registered trade show space at several upcoming livestock organization conventions. Information and staff will be present at the Midwest Dairy Expo Nov. 26-28 in St. Cloud, and at Pork Congress Jan. 16-17 in Minneapolis. Registration is pending for the Minnesota State Cattlemen's convention and trade show. Dec. 6-8 at Alexandria.

CAFO roundtable update

Feedlot program manager Randy Hukriede reported to staff on the EPA CAFO Roundtable in Alexandria, VA. An updated compliance inspector's guide is expected to be available next summer, along with an update to the guide on 'what is a discharge?' 

Two feedlots on MPCA board agenda Oct. 22

Two feedlot issues are on the agenda of the MPCA citizens' board meeting Oct. 22: Gourley.
Gourley Brothers- Request for Approval of Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, and Order, and Authorization to Issue a Negative Declaration on the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); Magedanz Dairy information item, compliance and enforcement status/petition.


Discovery Farms launches website update

The Discovery Farms Minnesota program has a new website.  Please check out http://www.discoveryfarmsmn.org/ for information on Discovery Farm activities in Minnesota. For more information, contact Tim Radatz, research specialist, Discovery Farms Minnesota & Wisconsin Discovery Farms, (608)443-6587, radatz@mawrc.org

In the news

MPCA completes 78 enforcement cases in third quarter of 2012
News release, 10-22/12

Lippert re-appointed to American Lamb Board
The Farmer, 9/26/12


Nov. 13: Agri-Growth Council annual meeting, Minneapolis Convention Center.
Nov. 26-28: Midwest Dairy Expo, St. Cloud Civic Center.
Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Farm Bureau annual meeting, Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington.
Dec. 2-4: Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual convention, DoubleTree Hotel, Bloomington.
Dec. 3-4: Association of Minnesota Counties annual conference, St. Cloud.
Dec. 7-8: Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association convention, Alexandria Arrowwood.
Jan. 16-17, 2013: Minnesota Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center. 

Q&A answer

Jackson County

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