Feedlot Update - July 2016

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Feedlot Update

July 2016

Ag water quality certification reaches 100,000 acres

ag water quality certification

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program reached a milestone with the enrollment of its 100,000th acre in the state. This voluntary program for farmers and landowners protects the state’s water resources. Since the program’s inception, nearly 200 farms have been certified. The 100,000th-acre enrollment goes to Dean Marshik and Clare Palmquist, and their son Daniel Maurer.

The family runs a 150-cow dairy and associated crop farm near Pierz in Morrison County. To date the program has kept over 7.7 million pounds of sediment out of Minnesota rivers, while saving nearly 10.3 million pounds of soil and 4,795 pounds of phosphorous on farms, each year.

Those numbers will increase as more landowners enroll in the program. More than 391 new conservation practices have been implemented that protect Minnesota’s waters. (MPCA photo by Steve Mikkelson. L-R: MDA Assistant Commissioner Matt Wohlman, Dean Marshik, Clare Palmquist, Dan Maurer.)  Full story.

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Nice, summer day for Midwest Cattlemen to host beef tour

Circle S Cattle Company

Sunny weather and smooth organization combined for another very successful Summer Beef Tour of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. Hosted by the Midwest Cattlemen's Association and headquartered at the Minnesota West Technical College in Canby, the tour visited five cattle farms and a forage demonstration spread among Yellow Medicine, Lac qui Parle, and Lincoln counties.

The farm visits featured grazing on public lands, hoop barn, monoslope barn, new calving barns, and custom feeding and breeding. Before and after the tours, more than 1,000 attendees could visit the numerous vendor exhibits, and refuel with hamburgers at lunch and ribeye steaks for supper.

Throughout a sunny, warm and windy day around 'Buffalo Ridge' in southwestern Minnesota, tour stops included Circle S Cattle Company, Rockin H Ranch, Pesek Cattle Farm, Wiesen Limousin, and Crazy Fate Ranch. A large field of freshly-cut alfalfa awaited live demonstrations of mowers, conditioners, rakes, balers and wrappers.

Circle S Cattle Company is among a growing number of cattle producers taking advantage of a program to graze U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands. According to J.B. Bright of the Morris FWS office, 30 producers are grazing cattle on about 4,000 acres of public land. More information is available by calling the Morris FWS office at 320-589-1001, or online at National Wildlife Refuge System permits. Photo: Holding his young son, Mark Schoenfeld describes the solar-power well for watering their cattle pasture at Circle S Cattle Company.

crazy fate ranch
More than 700 acres of hilly, native prairie for grazing, along with a new hoop barn large enough for 500 head of beef cattle, comprise the Crazy Fate Ranch on Buffalo Ridge in Lincoln County

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Manure application videos receive communications award

CAWT training video

Last summer, staff from feedlot program delegated counties, MPCA and U of M Extension worked with the Dept. of Agriculture on a series of MDA training videos. The online instruction is meant to prepare people to be certified as Commercial Animal Waste Technicians and licensed to apply manure to the ground.

The videos cover safety issues, land application setbacks, determining application rates, and more. Training the people who apply manure to farmland, particuarly in large volumes, is critical to protecting water quality and human health in Minnesota.

Recently, the MDA was recognized by the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators with a bronze Northern Lights award for excellence in an instructional video. For more information contact MDA at 651-201-6615 or, Pesticide.Licensing@state.mn.us.

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MPCA feedlot program news briefs

walter jordan

Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit wraps up feedlot staff meeting

Walter Jordan, who recently joined the MPCA feedlot staff in the Marshall office, studies the MPCA's portion of the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit following a staff meeting July 6 at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer. The first of six stops in Minnesota, the exhibit runs through Aug. 7 at Prairie Woods. 

Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program. The exhibit reveals the central nature of water in our lives by exploring how Americans use water, how water unites communities, how water affects every element of life, and how Americans care for our water and protect this valuable resource. 

Upcoming Water/Ways schedule:

Aug. 13-Sept. 25: St. Peter, Nicollet County Historical Society.
Oct. 1-Nov. 13: Red Wing, Goodhue County Historical Society.
Nov. 19-Jan. 1, 2017: Sandstone (Pine County), Audubon Center of the North Woods.
Jan. 7-Feb. 19, 2017: Lanesboro (Fillmore County), Lanesboro Arts.
Feb. 25-April 9, 2017: Detroit Lakes (Becker County), Becker County Historical Society.

Courtney Habedank joins Norman County SWCD staff for feedlots

Courtney Habedank started with the Norman County SWCD in April, working in the feedlot program with Mark Christianson. While attending U of M-Crookston, where she received a degree in Natural Resources, she worked as an intern at the SWCD. In 2015 she was hired at the Wild Rice River Watershed. She will be working on the buffer law stuff, feedlot, GIS mapping, education and outreach, well monitoring, and other programs. She grew up in Ulen and graduated high school there in 2008. She now lives in Gary with her husband and son.

Lance Wheeler joins feedlot program in Rock County

In Rock County, Lance Wheeler will be working along with Doug Bos in the feedlot program, following the resignation of Mark Jensen, who took another job. Lance joined the county land management staff last October, working on surveying and designing waterways, terraces, and basins. Lance is from Madison, SD, and graduated last year from SDSU majoring in range and grasslands science. He worked at Cargill in Pipestone before joining the Rock County staff. Contact info: lance.wheeler@co.rock.mn.us, 507-283-8862, ext. 4.

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Case studies outline options for reducing excess phosphorus from manure land application

County feedlot officers, regional MPCA feedlot staff, and Soil and Water Conservation District staff work with some livestock producers who are land-limited and who may reach excessive soil test phosphorus levels from over-application of manure and fertilizer phosphorus. This creates a risk of elevated phosphorus in field runoff and drainage water.

Strategies for reducing total farm phosphorus import/export imbalances are illustrated in nine Minnesota farm case studies posted in the Manure Application section of the University of Minnesota Extension Manure Management and Air Quality website at z.umn.edu/manure. These strategies and others were presented and discussed in workshops, field days, and presentations across the state in 2015 and 2016. They are available for anyone working with livestock producers.

Case studies addressing grid soil sampling for guiding manure application, others for economic valuation of manure nutrients for optimal application rates, as well as other resources, are available for use by livestock producers, agricultural professionals, and agency staff at the same website.

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BAH makes changes to Influenza Surveillance Program

(Board of Animal Health Animal Bytes newsletter): The USDA is implementing four changes to the Influenza A Virus (IAV-S) Surveillance Program as part of a plan to extend the program within current funding. The four efficiency measures went into effect June 27, 2016. Read Full Story

The IAV-S Surveillance Program was initiated in 2009 to support both animal and public health objectives. Program goals include monitoring the evolution of the virus and providing isolates for research, development of diagnostic reagents, and updating diagnostic tests and vaccine seed stock products.

The four new measures to extend the program include:

  1. Lower the CT cutoff values for USDA funded further testing.
  2. Discontinue USDA reimbursement for NAHLN lab sequencing of the M gene.
  3. Reduce the number of samples per accession from two to one that will move forward for subtyping PCR's.
  4. Discontinue USDA reimbursement for the Matrix PCR screening test.

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Meadow Star Dairy open house draws 5,000 visitors

meadow star-FFA

Dairy Month wrapped up in a big way June 30 with an estimated crowd of  5,000 attending an open house at Meadow Star Dairy west of Willmar. The sixth large dairy in Minnesota by Riverview Farms, Meadow Star is permitted for more than 9,000 head of dairy cattle and heifers. 

Riverview provided 16 tour guides and eight school buses for guided tours. Princess Kay of the Milky Way along with the Kandiyohi Dairy Royalty greeted visitors. Willmar FFA members served malts. KWLM  radio had a live broadcast, interviewing Riverview employees, neighbors and guests. Photo: Willmar FFA members serving malts.

West Central Cattlemen grilled cheeseburgers, and First District Association of Litchfield provided cheese and milk. Kids enjoyed bounce houses, corn pools, games, and visitors were also to interact with baby calves.

meadow star lines
Some of the estimated 5,000 visitors at the June 30 open house of Meadow Star Dairy near Willmar, waiting for school buses to shuttle them around the huge site.


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In the news

State expands emergency response activities and preparedness for foreign animal diseases
Board of Animal Health news release, 6/21/16
MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed hog feedlot in Faribault County
News release, 7/11/16
DNR releases Minnesota buffer map; implementation begins
News release, 7/12/16

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Aug. 2-4: FarmFest, Gillfillan Farm, Redwood County.
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.