Training sessions for County Feedlot Officers are being scheduled at four locations during July: July 20-Detroit Lakes MPCA office; July 21-Brainerd MPCA office; July 28-Steele County government center, Owatonna; July 29-Pizza Ranch, Redwood Falls. More details will be announced closer to the dates. The schedule and other training information are found on the Training and Events webpage
The feedlot delegated county program is entering the mid-year
review phase. County Feedlot Officers and MPCA regional staff are requested to either meet
or discuss by phone county program results to-date and to address issues that
may have arisen. On-site reviews are done as a matter of practice
for counties that are newly-delegated or have had recent performance
issues. CFOs are encouraged to review their work plan during this
time to ensure that they are on course to complete their goals by the end of
the year. Basic administrative requirements include: Completed Level I land application inspection form on file for all feedlots
>100 AU; a letter of notification on file for any producer that has been
discovered in non-compliance; a completed permit checklist on file for any
permits that have been issued including manure management plan and liquid
manure storage area checklists, as applicable.
The main page of the MPCA website
contains questions and answers about a potential state government shutdown. Regarding grants to other agencies, such as the county feedlot program, a June 27 update to the FAQ states:
"If the grant agreement allows advanced payments and the grantee has received the
advanced payment from the State on or before June 30, 2011, the grantee may
continue the activities and duties listed in the grant agreement until the
advance payment has been expended." The FAQ are intended to provide information for MPCA
customers — citizens, regulated parties, grantees, local governments, and others
— on MPCA services potentially affected by a shutdown.
For the past 10 years, Watonwan County farmer Norman Penner has been making
weekly visits to a small bridge over the Watonwan River, about 1,000 feet from
his home near Darfur, Minn. Penner, who grows corn and soybeans and raises beef cattle, is a volunteer
for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizen Stream Monitoring
Program. Penner and 1,700 other volunteers across the state take regular
readings of water clarity at assigned lakes or streams. The information the
volunteers collect aids in the MPCA’s efforts to improve water quality and
ensures a long-term, continuous data record for water scientists. MPCA news release, 4/28/11. Full story.
For livestock farms with open liquid manure storage areas, now is a good time to inspect them for any necessary maintenance, such as mowing, removing woody vegetation, and inspecting for animal burrows. Intense rainfall also can impact earthen basins, and emphasize the need for diverting surface flow and nearby pooling of stormwater. Operation and maintenance details are located on the Feedlot Program forms webpage
It’s not too early to plan some
required manure nutrient and soil phosphorus testing this summer. Soil samples for phosphorus can be taken anytime there is access to
adequately sample a field (Examples: after an alfalfa cutting or on a late
planted soybean field ) as long as there have not been recent manure or
fertilizer applications. Manure samples can be taken from covered liquid storage
structures and from stockpiles later in the
summer, but check the results for consistency against past results. If
results are not consistent, it may be best to re-sample closer to application
time. If samples have never been taken, it is best to sample during
hauling. More information is available in "Land application of manure: Minimum state requirements," located on the Nutrient and Manure Management webpage.
We are (tentatively) making plans to live broadcast
some of the educational sessions from the North American Manure
Expo to be held in Norfolk, Nebraska on July 20, 2011. We are
definitely going to record as many of the presentations as we can and post them
for on-demand viewing. More information will be provided as the sessions are
scheduled. Visit the Manure Expo website to view the
Ag STAR Conference. The proceedings and presentations from the sixth annual national AgSTAR
conference (focusing on anaerobic digestion) have been posted. Some of the
topics are funding and financing, regulations, biogas recovery systems,
co-digestion, and alternative technologies. More...
Air Quality Paper. The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) recently
released an issue paper “Air Issues Associated with Animal Agriculture: A North
American Perspective”. This paper examines each species, different air
emissions of interest, and summarizes research available in each of these
Outdoor Dairy. USDA’s
Ag Research Service has completed research on the ecological “hoofprint” of
dairy farms. The study compared four different systems ranging from total
confinement to seasonal dairies. The study concluded that, even with lower
production, the outdoor dairy had advantages in carbon footprint, ammonia
emissions, and nutrient runoff. More...
The U.S. Government is establishing a claims process to make
available $1.33 billion or more to farmers who alleged discrimination by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on being female, or
based on being Hispanic, in making or servicing farm loans during
certain periods between 1981 and 2000.
Producers may be eligible if:
they sought a farm
loan or farm-loan servicing from USDA during that period; and
loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested,
approved with restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide an appropriate
loan service; and
believe these actions occurred because you are female or Hispanic.
If they want to register their name to receive a
claims package in the Hispanic and Women farmers and ranchers claims process, ou can call the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or register
Benton County may not be well-known to many
people, until you mention St. Cloud, Highway 10, or the Mississippi River. They
all anchor the western portion. To the east, Benton County remains very rural, dotted
with small towns and farms, including 305 registered feedlots, primarily small
dairy, beef, and chicken farms. While not delegated to administer the state’s feedlot
rules, the county does a lot of feedlot work through the SWCD office. District technician, Mike McMillin, keeps busy with manure and nutrient management projects, Livestock Environmental Quality Assessment, and other feedlot work. In 2010,
Benton SWCD channeled more than $1 million in direct financial assistance to
land owners through a variety of programs. The Clean Water Fund helped 10 land
owners participate in nutrient management test plots including manure
application. Nearly $300,000 came from EQIP for projects including manure
storage, LEQA, grazing, and
fencing. Using test plots and poultry manure spreaders, chicken producers were able to reduce land application rates from about 15 tons per acre to three to five tons, Mike says. Prior to joining the Benton SWCD staff, Mike was with the Wabasha County SWCD, and also served as county feedlot officer for two years. For more information, see the Benton SWCD website at www.soilandwater.org, and 2010 annual report. http://www.soilandwater.org/Document%20PDFs/2010AnnualReportFinal.pdf
MPCA news release, 6/28/11
MPCA news release, 6/27/11
MPCA news release, 6/27/11
MPCA news release, 6/9/11
Pipestone County Star, 6/2/11
USDA news release, 6/2/11
Minnesota State Cattlemen Summer Tour, Worthington.
July 20: North
American Manure Expo, Norfolk, NE More...
2-4: FarmFest, Gilfillan-Redwood Falls. More…
Aug. 22-Sept. 5: Minnesota State Fair. More...
18-20: MACFO convention, River Port, Winona.
The purpose of this electronic newsletter is to
provide another communication tool for the MPCA and county feedlot officers. It
will attempt to provide accurate, objective, concise, and timely information
about the feedlot program, but not necessarily reflect official agency policy.
Please forward to anyone
who might be interested in this information. If you know of anyone who would
like to be on this distribution list, please send us their e-mail address. If
you have any questions, or would like to suggest a newsletter topic, please
contact Forrest Peterson, MPCA Willmar office, 320-441-6972, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.