Feedlot Update May 2011

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Feedlot Update

May 25, 2011

Report issued on Livestock Environmental Quality Assurance program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has launched the Livestock Environmental Quality Assurance Program (LEQA) program to help livestock producers take the initiative on a non-regulatory basis to evaluate water quality issues and implement appropriate practices.  MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program.  The company trains technicians to look at the farm in separate resource management areas, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas.  The technicians then develop an assessment and an action plan, if necessary.  The assessment and plan is confidential unless the farmer decides otherwise. The cost to register for the program is $225.  The farmer then receives an assessment, action plan and up to 20 additional hours of assistance from the LEQA technician. Report to legislature,  Dec. 15,  2010. More information is available at www.agresourcestrategies.com or contact Tim Gieseke at 507-359-1889. Citizens League comments: http://www.citizensleague.org/publications/reports/land/.

Updated list of NPDES permits issued posted on feedlot Web site

An updated list of recently-issued NPDES permits is located on the Web at: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/udgx69b.  Nearly 1,100 general permits have been issued, covering 2011-2016. According to the state’s delegation agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, inspections or reviews are conducted at NPDES sites at least once during the five-year period.

Training opportunities

A refresher for MinnFARM users via WebEx is scheduled for 10 a.m. – noon, Wednesday, June 8, with David Schmidt, engineer, Dept. of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, U of M. WebEx information will be distributed at a later date. Updated training dates and locations can be found on the Feedlot Program Training and Events webpage. Also, the SNAP survey regarding the upcoming regional CFO trainings this summer must be completed by Friday, May 27.  If you have not done so, please complete the survey at www.snapsurveys.com/swh/surveylogin.asp?k=130513209511.

New tool for assessing air emissions from livestock farms

The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) is an online tool designed to evaluate the opportunities to reduce the air emissions and odors associated with livestock facilities and manure handling, storage and application. It is available for producers, their advisors and management team online. The tool addresses eight management categories related to air emissions: animals and housing, feed and water, collection and transfer of manure, manure storage, land application, mortalities, on-farm roads and public perception. More.

Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center News

June Webcast: Improving Implementation of Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs)
This webcast will cover three topics (1) U.S. EPA nutrient management plan permit terms, (2) perspectives on how better implement a NMP from an Extension educator, professional nutrient management planner, and farmer, and (3) improved record keeping. Presenters are: Caitlin Conover, US EPA, Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin, Rachel Mueller, Cornerstone Crop Consulting, Melony Wilson, University of Georgia and Shawn Hawkins, University of Tennessee. More...

Environmental Leader. The beginning farmer team in the LPE Learning Center recently recognized Peter Juergens, an Iowa swine producer as the first “Environmental Leader” award winner More... The applications are now open for the 2012 environmental leader class More... The “Environmental Leaders” award program seeks to recognize young or beginning producers who have a proactive stewardship ethic.

Value of Manure. With the rising cost of commercial fertilizer, more and more farmers are looking to use manure and other organic nutrient sources in their cropping systems. The “manure value and economics” team has developed a section on the business side of manure management More... .

Research Summary. A newly published research summary examines the timing of manure application in relation to the availability of nitrogen. More... (North Dakota State University)

Calibration Page Updated. The web page on calibrating solid manure application equipment has been updated and now includes a video produced by the University of Wisconsin More...

County Profile: Becker

Looking at a highway map of Minnesota, you see a crescent of blue shapes curving across the center, toward the southeast. They represent the chain of lakes sprinkled over the vast moraine left by the last glacier. It begins around Detroit Lakes, Becker County, in northwestern Minnesota and stretches almost to the Twin City metro area.  The county’s population temporarily swells each August as thousands attend the popular country musical festival, WE Fest, just outside Detroit Lakes.

In the livestock world, small dairy and beef farms comprise the majority of the county’s 247 registered feedlots. A large dairy, three turkey and one swine farm are large enough to have federal NPDES permits.  Although not a delegated county, Becker NRCS and SWCD offices have done a fair amount of work with livestock facilities over the years. “Becker County has done more feedlot work than a lot of counties.
becker county

They were really pretty good,” says Mark Steuart, who recently retired from the MPCA working in the feedlot program at the Detroit Lakes office. Although the days of putting in 20 to 30 manure pits a year are gone, the NRCS/SWCD continues to provide cost share and technical assistance for livestock related practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), according to Jeff Norby, NRCS soil conservation technician. Practices include waste storage facilities, livestock exclusions, closure of waste impoundments, and planning for waste management (manure) and rotational grazing.  On average, three rotational grazing plans get funded each year along with a waste storage facility (lagoon). The recently rolled out Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) also addresses livestock related issues. The local field office uses the local work group process to prioritize and fund projects in Becker County, and livestock-related issues are one of the priorities addressed by the work group.

Delegated county news

>       Morrison County P&Z administrator Mark Anderson is filling in on feedlot program duties for Megan Molitor, who has taken a job with the Stearns County SWCD. Mark says they hope to fill the vacancy by July.
>       MACFO convention: Oct. 18-20, River Port Inn, Winona. Sens. Dan Sparks and Jeremy Miller. Panel: livestock and environment.

In The News

Agri-News, 5/18/11
MPCA news release, 5/12/11
The Farmer, 5/17/11
Agri-News, 5/5/11


June 8-9: Farm Progress Hay Expo, Henke’s Farm, Inc., Goodhue County. News article.
June 15-16: Bus tour, Minnesota Milk Producers Association. Brochure.
July 20: Minnesota State Cattlemen Summer Tour, Worthington.
July 20: North American Manure Expo, Norfolk, NE More...
Aug. 2-4: FarmFest, Gilfillan-Redwood Falls. More…
Oct. 18-20: MACFO convention, River Port, Winona.