Feedlot Update - October 2016

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Feedlot Update

October 2016

Be proactive about wet weather impact on manure basins

manure basin

Heavy rains over the last two months are challenging the capacity of manure storage basins. Livestock producers are being asked to communicate proactively with the State Duty Officer to report if their basin is full or nearly so. County Feedlot Officers also want to hear from producers who may have storage room to spare, as it may be needed in emergency situations. The CFOs will provide advice on best management practices for farmers to minimize impacts. Tips on bad weather manure management are available in the Managing manure, land application during adverse weather conditions fact sheetState Duty Officer — 1-800-422-0798.

Large turnout at Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab open house

poultry testing lab

Several hundred state and local officials and community members gathered for an open house Sept. 22 for the new Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab in Willmar. The new construction expanded the 20-year-old space from a 3,665 square-foot building to an 11,900 square-foot one. MPTL is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

The MPTL serves and supports Minnesota’s poultry industry, performing all of the required disease testing for the state’s poultry industry and conducting full-range poultry testing for salmonella, influenza, mycoplasma, and other poultry diseases. MPTL also serves as the Authorized Laboratory for the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) in Minnesota and is the center for management of Board of Animal Health poultry programs.

The 2015 avian influenza outbreak highlighted the need for additional surge capacity in the state to respond to time-sensitive testing requirements such as those required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for diagnosis and safe product movement out of control zones. This addition to the MPTL will provide the facilities needed to create a second accredited National Animal Health Laboratory Network laboratory that can perform the molecular diagnostic or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests required for USDA avian influenza diagnosis and product movement. The 2015 Minnesota Legislature provided an appropriation of $8.5 million, which fully funded the project. Sept. 19 news release. Photo: Dr. Dale Lauer, MPTL director, leads a tour for news media prior to the open house.

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Ag-animal science event highlights GMOs, animal welfare

ag conference robert saik

Fear fueled by misinformation - and not science - is a driving force in the anti-GMO movement that could harm agriculture and make it difficult to feed a growing world population. That was the message delivered by Robert Saik during the sixth Ag and Animal Science conference Sept. 20, at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. Saik, an ag consultant from Canada, encouraged agri-business leaders to “stand as a voice of reason” regarding genetically modified organisms, such as corn and soybeans.

Dr. Wayne Freese, CEO and chairman of Prairie Holdings Group in Worthington, opened the conference with remarks about the future prospects of animal growth promotants and animal welfare. With some exceptions, the former will be coming off the market in 2017. He said there is growing pressure against the use of antibiotics, and moving toward prevention. He said food industry audits of livestock production creates more work;  "it's all good, but it's all changing fast." Regarding manure land application, Freese noted a 20-year study in Nobles County on N-P-K and the benefits of organic matter, seeing higher crop yields from applying hog manure.

Joanna Schrupp, project manager for MinnWest Technology Campus, said the conference is an opportunity for area businesses to collaborate with the network of campus enterprises with the goal of helping agriculture and animal science grow. Photo: West Central Tribune, 9/21/16.

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Feedlot program news briefs

feedlot-watershed connection

Feedlot, watershed staff can work together

Connections between MPCA feedlot and watershed programs have been reviewed recently with their respective staffs. Wayne Cords, manager of the MPCA South Watershed section, presented the watershed perspective to feedlot staff Oct. 10, reviewing the Total Maximum Daily Load and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy programs.

The basic difference is that a TMDL is a study on an impaired water, setting allocations for various pollutants. A WRAPS is a report covering an entire watershed, includes a 10-year cycle, and protection of good quality waters. Beyond those, the One Watershed-One Plan promotes counties working together on a watershed scale. Watershed staff are encouraged to seek input from feedlot staff on such tasks as identifying monitoring points and developing plans to protect and restore water quality. 

MACFO convention offers learning and networking 

County Feedlot Officers will be networking and learning with a wide range of subjects at the 15th annual Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers conference Nov. 2-4 in New Ulm. Topics begin with an update from the MPCA, carcass disposal, construction inspections, and permitting. The first day concludes with the MACFO annual meeting. Other topics include: closing a feedlot, swine industry overview, nitrogen rates, ag bag recycling, and legislative update.

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LPELC Oct. 28 webinar topic: Manure and soil health

LPE News logo

The Oct. 28 Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Cener webinar at 1:30 p.m. will be a discussion on manure and soil health. Several panelists will discuss some of the ongoing efforts to "round up" research data and other information on the impacts of manure on soils. Participants are welcome to add to the discussion, if they wish, and help add to the inventory of resources available on this increasingly important topic. More...

Upcoming webcasts: Look for future presentations on GoGraze software/app, pathogens, climate change, and precision nutrient application. Have an idea? Fill out the webcast suggestion form.

Policy and Regulation.

Nutrient Management

  • Nitrogen efficiency an ongoing study for Discovery Farms. The Wisconsin Discovery Farms program is tracking nitrogen around working farms and building a knowledge base to help inform nutrient application decisions for future crops. More... | Discovery Farms website | Related: [Waste to Worth proceedings paper]  "What practices are reducing environmental and economic risks on Wisconsin farms?"
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension offers some tips on getting ready for manure spreading season by revisiting your nutrient management plan. More...
  • North Dakota State University released their Livestock Environmental Management newsletter. It includes information on nutrient management, harmful algal blooms, bale grazing, and more...

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Global Harvest Initiative director to keynote AgriGrowth convention

margaret ziegler

Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Executive Director of the Global Harvest Initiative, will deliver the morning keynote address on the topic of “Agricultural Sustainability in an Uncertain Season” at the 2016 AgriGrowth Council annual meeting Nov. 10 in St. Paul. GHI is a private-sector voice for productivity growth throughout the agricultural value chain to sustainably meet the demands of a growing world.

In a conversation recently with AgriGrowth about some of the issues related to the mission of GHI, Dr. Zeigler stated: "Major challenges today include creating a more nutritious, safe, and affordable food supply and conserving water and soil while minimizing the release of carbon in agricultural production. Research also must center upon how to reduce food and agriculture waste and losses along the production chain." Full interview.

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In the news

SD: Ranchers, farmers show support for updating manure regulations
Aberdeen News, 10/4/16

Deborah Murray receives 2016 Allen D. Leman Science in Practice award
Zoetis news release, 9/20/16

State grants help fund livestock improvements on the farm
Dept. of Agriculture news release, 9/30/16

SD state office completes update of permit regulations for feedlots
Aberdeen News, 9/30/16

New poultry testing lab in Willmar prepares industry for next avian influenza event
West Central Tribune, 9/22/16

Crops, environment benefit from proper application of livestock manure on harvested fields
MPCA news release, 9/22/1

Wisconsin: Hidden streambed phosphorus key to lake cleanup, county says
Wisconsin State Journal, 9/26/16

Wisconsin DNR to fund manure regulation
Wisconsin State Journal, 9/26/16

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Oct. 20-23: Minnesota Beef Expo, State fairgrounds.
Nov. 2-4: Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers conference, Best Western New Ulm.
Nov. 29-Dec. 1: Minnesota Milk Dairy Conference, St. Cloud.
Dec. 1-3: Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association convention, Bloominton DoubleTree.
Jan. 12-13, 2017: Organic agriculture conference, St. Cloud.
Jan. 13-14, 2017: Minnesota Elk Breeders Association conference, Arrowwood, Alexandria.
Jan. 17-18, 2017: Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2017: International Production and Processing Expo, Atlanta, GA.

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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.