Feedlot Update - March 28, 2013

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Feedlot Update

March 28, 2013

In this issue

Feedlot program Q&A

Question: What is the number of animal units that require a feedlot to have a State Disposal System permit?

Answer following Calendar

MPCA staff tend booths at New Ulm farm show, Horse Expo

New Ulm farm show

MPCA feedlot staff participated in the 32nd annual Farm-City Hub Club farm show March 8-9 in New Ulm. They will also be staffing a booth at the 31st annual Minnesota Horse Expo April 26-28 at the State Fairgrounds. 

The New Ulm Farm-City Hub Club was organized in 1974 by agri-businesses seeking a better promotion of agriculture between city and rural business owners. The farm show draws more than a 1,000 visitors to the New Ulm civic center. The MPCA booths provide information about the feedlot program and tools for efficient and effective manure and nutrient management.

The three-day Horse Expo draws an estimated 50,000 visitors to the State Fairgrounds, with many programs, demonstrations, and vendor booths. A focus of the MPCA booth will be feedlot registration. Horses are included in the 7020 feedlot rules. All livestock facilities, including horses, must be registered if they have 50 or more animal units, or 10 or more animal units within shoreland (300 feet of a stream or river, or 1,000 feet of a lake).

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Take action to prevent manure runoff in snowmelt

winter land app

As a another winter of heavy snowfall gives way to warming temperatures, rapid melting and potential for flooding pose challenges for manure management. Many livestock farmers who spread solid manure during winter must ensure that it doesn’t run off with rapid snowmelt flowing to ditches, streams and other waters. This may be even more important in some areas this year because of frozen snow conditions. In January and February the snow was saturated by rain, and then froze. This can prevent surface-applied manure from soaking in to the soil, and being more susceptible to runoff.

Minnesota rules require a 300-foot setback from surface waters and open tile intakes for all manure spread onto frozen or snow-covered soil. However, this spring the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency encourages farmers to refrain from surface application until the snow and ice layers are melted.

If manure land application can’t wait, to reduce the impact of manure applied to the surface of wet or frozen soil, avoid steeper slopes – seek fields, or parts of fields with less than 6 percent slope for solid manure, 2 percent for liquid manure, or have greater than 30 percent crop residue.  Tillage along contours creates furrows to help capture any potential runoff. Avoid flood or floodway zones. Keep application rate low enough to avoid runoff or ponding during application.

Livestock farms that experience manure runoff into waters of the state must report to the Minnesota Duty Officer by calling 800-422-0798, and take immediate action to reduce environmental impact, such as creating temporary berms to stop discharge, temporarily plugging culverts and drain tile intakes to prevent manure inflow, and soaking up liquid with absorbent material, such as hay, straw, cornstalks or wood shavings. For more information, see the MPCA fact sheet, “Managing manure and land application during adverse weather conditions”contact your county or MPCA feedlot staff, or call the MPCA at 800-657-3864. In Wisconsin, the Discovery Farms program posted an article about "Concrete frost."

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Feedlot program newsbriefs

Ag BMP Handbook training topic

The MPCA feedlot program Training and Events webpage has been updated, with dates of upcoming web and in-person training events for county feedlot staff. It includes a link to a webcast of a Feb. 27 WebEx presentation by Tom Miller of Emmons and Olivier Associates about the Ag BMP Handbook (5.7 mb).

Feedlot staff training meetings scheduled

Regional meetings for county feedlot officers have been scheduled as follows:
May 8 – Brainerd MPCA office, May 9 – Marshall Pizza Ranch meeting room, May 15 – Detroit Lakes MPCA office, May 23 – Owatonna Hyvee meeting room. The annual meeting for MPCA feedlot program staff is scheduled for April 30-May 1 at Hutchinson.

Scott County leaves delegated county program

Scott County has withdrawn from the delegated county program as of Jan. 1, 2013. This leaves 54 counties in the program that provides some funds and training enabling counties to administer feedlot rules for all but the largest feedlots with federal NPDES permits. 

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Annual reports received from 91 percent of NPDES sites

As of March 27, about 91 percent of feedlots with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits have submitted annual reports, 1,160 of !,277. Annual reports were due March 1. Permittees that have not yet submitted their annual report are in non-compliance with their permit and in order to return to compliance, a complete report must be submitted as soon as possibleA final list will be compiled in early April, and a letter of warning will be sent to those that have not yet submitted reports. Annual report forms for livestock farms with NPDES permits are available on the MPCA website on the feedlot program main page, and permits and forms webpage, or download the document.

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7020 feedlot rule update being prepared for public comment

Work continues on the proposed updates to the 7020 feedlot rule. Sometime in April a draft will be ready for the review process involving the state Revisor's office, governor's office, and eventually public review. A 31-day public comment period could begin in mid or late May. The soonest that the rule update could be approved and enacted would be some time in August. If a public hearing is required, completion likely would be delayed to this fall. The development of a State Disposal System permit hinges on the completion of the rule update. An SDS permit is required by the 7020 feedlot rule for livestock operations of 1,000 animal units or more, that choose not to have a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Updates on the rule update process will be issued as needed. Approval by the MPCA Citizens' Board will be part of the process to make the documents official.

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LPE Learning Center news

LPE News logo

Waste to worth conference
There will be a live webcast April 3-5 about the activities at "Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions," broadcasting the keynote and luncheon speakers as well as selected breakouts throughout the conference. Check the website for a complete schedule at W2W Live Webcast Central.

Air Quality II A series of videos and a decision tool produced by the University of Minnesota have recently been added to the LPELC air quality website. Check out Resources for Policy Makers | Health Impacts of Air Emissions | Biofilters and Manure Covers | Odors/Neighbors and Setbacks. The decision tool is designed to assess the costs of various air treatment technologies (scrubbers, biofilters, covers, digesters, manure belts, etc.) to assist in making the most economical decisions. Feedlot Air Treatment Cost Calculator is a spreadsheet and includes four video tutorials.

Grazing Animals Intensification is often discussed relative to confined animal production. A growing group of producers with grazing livestock are also embracing intensive management--through grazing practices. This video of grazing guru Allan Savory argues that livestock will be necessary to prevent widespread environmental disaster. This video is part of the popular TED talks series. More...

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Agencies working on statewide nutrient reduction strategy for water quality

nutrient reduction strategy

Agencies and stakeholders in Minnesota and other Mississippi River basin states are working to address excess nutrients for improved water quality at home and downstream. The statewide nutrient reduction strategy will guide existing state-level programs to achieve additional reductions in nutrients within Minnesota water bodies by maximizing ongoing efforts. This will help to enhance the health of aquatic life in Minnesota water bodies, and increase the recreational potential of Minnesota waters. The strategy will also provide incremental benefits for the Gulf of Mexico hypoxia problem and other waters downstream of Minnesota. Excessive amounts of nutrients in the water can cause algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Large growths of algae (algal blooms), can severely reduce or eliminate oxygen in the water, leading to illnesses in fish and sometimes fish kills. More information is available on the Minnesota Nutrient Reduction Strategy webpage

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In the news

Public meeting conducted for new Hatfield feedlot
Pipestone County Star, 3/20/13
Hakanson hired to work on agricultural programs for Cannon River Watershed Partnership
Agri-News, 3/20/13
Environmental Congress talks state climate priorities
Minnesota Daily, 3/17/13

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April 12: Commissioners' forum: Environmental priorities in 2013, Science Museum, St. Paul. Register with Environmental Initiative. 
July 9: Summer Beef Tour, Northwest Stockmen's Association, Roseau.

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Q&A answer: 1,000 or more animal units. (Animal units defined in 7020.0300, subp. 5).

Share the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news submissifrom partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissito 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. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.

Forrest Peterson
Public Information Officer
MPCA-Willmar office