Feedlot Update - February 2017

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Feedlot Update

February 2017

New e-mail address for submitting permit annual reports, feedlot registrations

The MPCA feedlot program has created an e-mail account for submitting permit annual reports, and feedlot registrations from counties outside the delegated country program. These may be submitted to: FeedlotSubmittal.pca@state.mn.usNPDES or SDS permit annual reports are due March 1, 2017. The form is available on the MPCA feedlot webpage. We encourage everyone filing to download the document (wq-f3-22b), fill out the Word version, and e-mail the completed report as a PDF document.

All land application records for the 12-month period starting Sept. 1, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016, must be submitted as part of the report and on the included forms. For farms that do not transfer manure, land application records can also be generated and submitted using the MPCA excel based Manure Management Planner under Create Crop Year Records. A link to the planner is located on the feedlot program Nutrient and Manure Management webpage. Annual reports provide valuable information for determining compliance with Minnesota’s feedlot rules. Failure to submit annual reports by the March 1 deadline may result in an enforcement action from the MPCA.

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MPCA recognizes Bartholome Farms for responsible feedlot manure management

bartholome farm aerial

Above and beyond

Southeast Minnesota’s Karst lands are known for land fractures, sinkholes, and underground streams and caves. These natural land features can make it difficult for communities and farmers to properly manage wastewater and manure lagoons. Bartholome Farms, near Bellechester in Wabasha County, has gone to great lengths and expense to overcome the challenges Karst creates, and responsibly manage their dairy feedlot.

Karst caused a breach of a city of Bellechester wastewater lagoon in 1992, showing the importance of thorough underground investigation prior to constructing liquid storage areas in southeast Minnesota.

In 2014, Bartholome Farms proposed to build a new liquid manure storage basin, but the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency required a detailed study due to the potential risk to groundwater if a basin were to be compromised by Karst. The study, known as electro resistivity imaging (ERI), locates and maps underground voids and fractures. The ERI confirmed that the proposed basin location was within a high-risk Karst area and indicated significant voids in the bedrock directly below the proposed basin. As a result, Bartholome and the MPCA agreed to reject that location. This aerial photo of the farm shows the lines from the first ERI.

More than a year later, Bartholome took the initiative to find a different location, pay for another ERI, and submit a new proposal. This time the ERI confirmed the new location to be lower risk and led to MPCA approval. The approved basin location required higher construction and operational costs, but because it was safer for surrounding resources and ultimately better for the farm, Bartholome moved forward and completed the project last year.

Learn more about Karst lands in Minnesota, and why they are a concern, on the MPCA’s Karst web page.

For continued cooperation and spending significant time and money to follow rules and do what’s best for groundwater, the MPCA thanks Bartholome Farms for responsible feedlot manure management.

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MDA launches cropland grazing exchange website

crop residue grazing

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture along with NRCS and Sustainable Farming Association have launched a website intended to match up livestock farmers with crop farmers who have forage to harvest. Cropland Grazing Exchange is a public, interactive map where users with an account can contact other operators via a web-generated email address. Currently in demonstration mode, the website is scheduled to be functional March 1. 

Benefits of grazing livestock on cropland to the crop producer include reduced tillage, soil erosion, increased cropland fertility from manure and increasing diversity on the landscape. It is also a way for crop producers to graze off corn or wheat crop residue, pasture that needs grazing or land coming out of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Benefits to the livestock producer include a source of fall or winter feed, reduced pressure on pastures, lengthening the grazing season and lessening the time needed to feed hay to cattle. Read article in Kanabec County Times.

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Feedlot program exhibits at crop consultant winter meeting

MICCA conference Schwint

The MPCA feedlot program made a first-time appearance among the industry exhibits at the winter education meeting of the Minnesota Independent Crop Consultants Association Feb. 2 in Hutchinson. About 50 attended the event, which included updates from the University of Minnesota on topics including weed, disease, insect, and resistance management. Industry perspectives were provided by representatives from Dow, Syngenta, BASF, and Bayer. MNICCA has 40 members whose clients farm in the neighborhood of three million acres.

Speaking at the fall Watershed Network meeting in Mankato, crop consultant Steve Sodeman said they provide information and advice to farmer-clients about all aspects of crop production. They do not sell products, instead building relationships and trust, Sodeman says. While they may advise and encourage clients to use conservation practices, the incentives must come from elsewhere, he says. There is a need for "conservation consultants" to provide on-going education for crop producers, Sodeman says.

The MPCA exhibit featured manure and nutrient management, and the statewide nutrient reduction strategy. Nearby, the Minnesota Water Quality Certification Program was promoted by a certification specialist. Photo: Feedlot engineer George Schwint, right, talks with a visitor at the MPCA exhibit. Map of crop consultants.

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Poultry convention includes avian disease conference

avian flu-turkeys

The North Central Avian Disease Conference (NCADC) will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Minnesota Poultry Federation convention  at the St. Paul RiverCentre. It features a variety of scientific presentations and a symposium. There is a separate fee to attend this event. Name badge pick-up and onsite registration is available, beginning Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. MPF attendees may attend NCADC’s Tuesday, March 14 morning symposium at no additional charge.

Conference webpage statement: The poultry industry is faced with balancing the need for a safe, abundant and affordable food supply while protecting flocks from new external threats. In the face of transboundary diseases and market requirements for abundant, inexpensive food, poultry commodities face new challenges. Risk management becomes an important strategy to meet demand while mitigating uncertain threats.

The MPCA solid waste and feedlot programs provide assistance and resources requested for avian flu epidemic clean-up and disposal in Minnesota. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) has the lead role in dealing with livestock emergency response cases and carcass disposal.

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    MPCA Feedlot Program News briefs

    Henderschiedt named CFO in Nobles County

    Kathy Henderschiedt has been named Nobles County feedlot officer, taking the position vacated when Al Langseth moved to Carver County. She started with Nobles County in 1992 with the assessor's office, and in 1999 went full-time in the environmental services office. One of her first roles was to develop a database for all of the feedlots in the county. For the past 15 years, she’s been the primary support staff for the feedlot officer.

    2017 MACFO conference April 11-13 in Moorhead

    The 2017 annual convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers is scheduled for April 11-13 at the Courtyard Marriot in Moorhead. From now on the convention will be held in spring instead of the fall as it has in the past. MACFO represents the 51 counties delegated to administer the 7020 feedlot rule except for farms with state and federal operating permits for farms with more than 1,000 animal units.

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    MN-WI Discovery Farms launch online discussion site

    waterway network

    The Discovery Farms programs of Wisconsin and Minnesota have launched an online farmer-only discussion forum. The WaterWay Network is a password-protected, online platform exclusively for farmers, crop consultants, and hand-picked experts. It will discuss cover crops, nutrient management, soil health, and water quality. Farmers and crop consultants will provide the applied knowledge and experience, while Discovery Farms and University experts will bring science to the discussion. If you are a farmer or crop consultant, register for an account today and get your questions answered at www.waterwaynetwork.org. There is no fee to participate.

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    Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center news

    LPE News logo

    Feb. 17 webcast: Composting Catastrophic Avian Influenza Mortalities

    February's webinar builds on a previous presentation and will outline mortality management options during an animal disease outbreak and highlight the composting methodology implemented on poultry operations during the HPAI outbreak, as well as the successes, challenges and lessons learned. More... Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m.

    Whats going on in the LPELC?

    Waste to Worth. The 2017 Waste to Worth conference is being held in Raleigh, North Carolina April 18-21. Day One will include a mortality workshop and tours and the rest of the conference will include keynotes, posters, and oral presentations. Visit the conference website... 

    Soil Health. The LPELC is co-sponsoring (with the North Central Region Water Network being the primary sponsor) a series of roundtable discussions on manure and soil health. The first of these weekly webinars will be held Feb. 9 and will focus on soil health testing. Learn more about this series...


    • The North Central Region Water Network is sponsoring a webinar on "Communicating Conservation".Speakers are Michael Dahlstrom (Iowa State) and Kristin Runge (University of Wisconsin) and they will discuss storytelling and using frames for effective communication. Feb. 15 at 2:00 pm. Read more or register...
    • Complex problems require many people working together to negotiate the best strategy. The same is true of manure management issues facing many areas of the country. The University of Wisconsin is leading an effort to develop decision-making frameworks to tackle manure management. Learn more...

    Policy & Regulations

    Calibration. Iowa State University researchers provide some reasons and advice for calibrating liquid manure applicators. Achieving uniform manure and nutrient distribution also involves attention to manure density, as well as equipment settings and configuration. Read more...

    Manure Management

    • Iowa State University's monthly newsletter from the manure management action group includes information on biosecurity, odors, manure injection and more. Read the newsletter...
    • The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative has released videos about three strategies they used for manure removal from two-cell manure holding ponds. A link to the final report is also included. Summary and video links... | Final report and project details...

    Water Quality. An Arkansas hog farm was the subject of a recent study because of concerns about its location and potential for pollution to reach the Buffalo National River. A drilling study was interpreted to show no evidence of leakage from the farm's manure holding pond. News release... | Executive Summary and responses (PDF format)

    Events and announcements

    Soil Health. Iowa State University is hosting the 2017 Soil Health Conference, "Building Soil Health for Healthy Environment and Farm Profitability". Feb. 16-17 in Ames. More...

    Midwest Manure. The biannual Midwest Manure Summit is being held Feb. 22-23 in Green Bay. More...

    Waste to Worth. The 3rd Waste to Worth conference will be held on April 18-21 in Raleigh, NC. The focus is on animal agriculture and stewardship topics from nutrient management, climate change, small farms, treatment technologies, and much more. Conference Website

    Manure Expo. The next Manure Expo will be held in Arlington, WI on Aug. 22-23. More...

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    In the news

    Beef producers urged to connect cows with crops
    Kanabec County Times, 2/6/17
    Appeals Court to decide Dodge County hog farm lawsuit pitting pollution vs. water
    Star Tribune, 2/13/17
    To save the planet, give cows better pasture
    NPR, 2/13/17
    Goodhue County committee moves Circle K hog farm toward commissioners
    Rochester Post-Bulletin, 2/14/17

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    Feb. 22-23: Midwest Manure Summit, Green Bay, WI.
    March 13-14: North Central Avian Disease Conference, St. Paul RiverCentre.
    March 14-16: Midwest Poultry Federation convention, St. Paul RiverCentre.
    April 11-13: MACFO conference, Moorhead.

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    Share 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.