Feedlot Update - April 2016

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Feedlot Update

April 2016

Busy spring with annual reports, annual fee, permit renewals

Livestock producers with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System operating permits are being reminded to submit their annual fees, and also permit renewals and annual reports if the latter have not yet been completed. As of last week, nearly 300 annual reports and more than 80 permit applications remain to be submitted. While the fees and reports are submitted annually, 2016 also includes the next five-year NPDES permit covering 2016-2021. In addition, livestock producers have the option of applying for the new 10-year State Disposal Sytem permit. Approximately 1,000 large livestock operations in Minnesota are required to have either the NPDES or SDS permit. 

Annual fees are due to the MPCA each year in April. Annual fee invoices were mailed on April 1, and payments are due to the MPCA by April 30. The April 1 invoice represents activity for all or any portion of the calendar year 2015. If you held the permit for some portion of time in 2015 you are required to pay the annual fee.

Annual reports are due to the MPCA each year on March 1. Annual reports were due March 1. Failure to submit an annual report in a reasonable time may result in an enforcement action from the MPCA. Report forms are available on the MPCA feedlot program website. Links to the form are located on the feedlot program permits and forms webpage. Paper copies of the form may be requested by contacting the MPCA regional offices.

NPDES permit applications for permit renewals are due to the MPCA once every five years. SDS permit applications for permit renewals are due to the MPCA once every 10 years. A single permit application has been developed for use when applying for either the NPDES or the SDS permit. The manure management plan, submitted as part of the permit application for either the SDS or NPDES permit, must be done on a form provided by the MPCA. A fact sheet, titled “NPDES and SDS Permits for Feedlots,” is available to assist in determining the type of permit coverage preferred or required for a facility. Forms and factsheet can be found on MPCA feedlot website at: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/feedlot-program

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Dr. Beth Thompson named BAH executive director

beth thompson

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has selected Dr. Beth Thompson to succeed Executive Director Dr. Bill Hartmann, who is retiring. Currently BAH assistant director, Dr. Thompson primarily oversees the swine and emergency planning operations. She earned her DVM and swine medicine certification from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After graduation, she spent more than a year as a swine production system veterinarian for Holden Farms in Northfield, Minnesota. She also holds a JD from the William Mitchell College of Law, and comes from an agricultural background; her brother and nephew are the fourth and fifth generation on the family farm.

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Cattlemen's summer tour July 11-12 in Canby area

2015 beef tour

The 2016 Minnesota State Cattlemen's summer tour and trade show is scheduled for July 11 and 12 at Canby. The trade show and tour headquarters will be based on the campus of the Minnesota West Technical School. (Photo: 2015 summer tour in Hutchinson and McLeod County.)

The first leg of the tour will include the Wiesen Limousin Farm, operated by Jordan, Jim and Paulette Wiesen; Crazy Fate Ranch, operated by Faith and Chad Olsen, and Rockin’ H Ranch, operated by Chuck and Laurie Hoffman. The second leg of the tour will include Circle S Cattle Company, operated by Kami and Mark Schoenfeld and Gladys and Harvey Hastad, and Pesek Cattle Farm, operated by Dick, Judy, Mark and Ally Pesek, and Jill and Steve Resler.

New to the tour this year will be a forage demonstration stop, hosted by the Pesek Cattle Farm. Highlights of the tour will include a monoslope feeding system, hoop barn feeding system, public grazing programs, and high quality breeding stock. A variety of equipment manufacturers will demonstrate new technologies in forage equipment and forage preservation practices.

Tour registration will begin on July12 at 6:15 a.m., with the first tour bus leaving at 7 a.m. and every 15 minutes after that until 8 a.m.  A continental breakfast will be available before the tour. The tour registration fee is $25 before June 15 and $35 after June 15. The student price is $20. An additional lunch ticket is $10 and an additional dinner ticket is $15. For more information about tour stops, trade show, or sponsorship opportunities, contact Krist Wollum at 507-530-3854 or Dick Pesek at 507-829-3774, or email mncattletour16@gmail.com.  

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Course offered on holistic grazing management

crop residue grazing

A two-day course on planning a grazing system utilizing holistic management will be held April 22-23 at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society, 610 NE Highway 71, Willmar. The course runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and is open to anyone. The cost is $250 per household/business, with a $40 charge for every extra person. The fee covers all course materials. For more information and to register, contact the Land Stewardship Project's Robin Moore at 320-269-2105 or rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

“This course will help farmers increase the production capacity of their grasslands while improving conservation on the land,” Moore says. Instructor will be Ralph Tate, a certified holistic management instructor who developed a software version of the grazing plan. Tate custom grazes cattle using holistic management on a quarter-section in south-central Nebraska. More information.

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Report to legislature shows overall livestock industry growth

livestock study report

A Dept. of Agriculture report to the legislature shows overall growth in Minnesota’s livestock industry over the past 10 years, and compares well with neighboring states. Hogs, dairy, and chickens were up, turkeys level, and cattle slightly down. The report includes recommendations on ways to expand the state’s animal agriculture.

Here is a look at the 10-year trends:

  • Dairy—Minnesota cow numbers stabilized with milk production increasing 1.5 billion lbs. Milk cow inventory increased in all states except Nebraska and North Dakota, with South Dakota showing the greatest increase at 21%.
  • Hogs—Hog inventory and pork production in Minnesota increased 15%, or 1 million hogs. Only Iowa’s 20% increase topped Minnesota's growth. North Dakota and Wisconsin saw decreased hog inventories.
  • Beef—Minnesota beef cows decreased 10% with most states in the survey declining 4 to 10%. Average feedlot size gradually increased with cattle feeding operations steadily on the decline.
  • Poultry—Minnesota’s annual turkey production fairly constant over the last 10 to 15 years at 44 to 46 million turkeys. Iowa’s turkey production increased from 8.5M to 10.5M. Egg production shows an increase in all states with the exception of North Dakota. Broiler inventories grew in Minnesota and Wisconsin by 3 and 4%, respectively.

Some of the factors listed in the study that influence change were: Labor availability, processing plant capacity and location, availability of water, severe weather events impacting feed costs and quantity, regulatory environment and financial and technical assistance programs.

Recommendations in the report included: Encouragement for processors to modernize and expand; support the dairy processing infrastructure; fund programs that provide assistance to young, beginning farmers; fund educational programs that train and teach tomorrow’s agriculture professionals; support state and federal efforts to allow the use of more conservation acres using proper grazing practices; support local ordinances that seek solutions that support livestock production, and increase the permitting process assistance for livestock producers. Full report.

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County program news briefs

Paul Hunter will be starting April 18 with Mower County. Jonah Olson is leaving Polk County for West Otter Tail SWCD. Mark Jensen is leaving Rock County. 

Training for new county feedlot program staff has been scheduled for April 26-27, followed by all staff training April 28 at the Days Inn in Hutchinson.

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Filing for SWCD supervisor positions open May 17-31

Minnesotans interested in influencing natural resources issues at the local level are encouraged to run for supervisor of their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). SWCD supervisor positions are filled through general elections on Nov. 8, 2016. Those interested in running for supervisor should file at the county auditor’s office from May 17 through May 31, 2016. 

SWCDs are a primary source of conservation information, support, and program management for landowners and other local units of government. They are the technical experts that understand their specific communities’ needs and help landowners navigate conservation programs from start to finish. An elected board of supervisors governs each of Minnesota’s 90 SWCDs. 

Supervisors meet monthly to discuss the business of the SWCD, including state grant allocations to landowners, district conservation priorities, coordination with other local units of government and state and federal agencies. Supervisors do not receive a salary, although they do receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses. Contact your local County SWCD for more information: SWCD Directory.

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Livestock and poultry environmental learning center news

LPE News logo

April 15 webcast: Manure Entomology: Manure Management That Won't "Bug" You

Learn how Mother Nature manages manure through the wondrous dung beetle. Presenters will also cover black soldier flies and their potential as a waste management tool and animal feed source. Learn about filth flies and how correct identification and knowing their habits can help control them.  More...  April 15 at 1:30 p.m. Speakers are: Jeffrey Tomberlin, Texas A&M, Jeff Bradshaw, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kristina Friesen, USDA ARS and will be moderated by Jamie Cohen, University of Florida.

Mortality Management. University of Nebraska research is looking at whether composting pig carcasses or raising pH of manure with lime can help control porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). Composting, when done properly, will result in temperatures that exceed those required to kill pathogens and this was confirmed in this research. Using lime to bring the pH of manure above 10 also eliminated the virus.  More...   Related: Waste to Worth proceedings paper

Irrigation Study. The University of Wisconsin will host a public webinar on the results of a study that looked at irrigating fields with manure or process wastewater. April 14, 2016 at noon (central). More...

Manure Regulations

  • An article published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association reviewed the debate about farm nitrates and drinking water. The authors discussed fertilizer and manure cases related to dairy farms and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the lawsuit filed by the Des Moines water works. More...
  • The magazine "Farming" looked at manure rules in Vermont, Pennsylvania and New York and compared/contrasted policies including the size of farms affected and winter spreading rules. More... Some of the new rules in parts of Ohio (Lake Erie watershed) have been highlighted as well. More... | Related: State nutrient management resources

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In the news

USDA reports record growth In U.S. organic producers
USDA news release, 4/4/16

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April 22-24: Minnesota Horse Expo. state fairgrounds, St.Paul.
April 19: Ag Awareness Day, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
July 11-12: Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association summer tour, Canby.
Aug. 3-4: North American Manure Expo, London, Ohio. 
Sept. 20: Ag and animal science conference, Minnwest Technology Campus, Willmar.

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Send the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news from partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissions to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.