Feedlot Update - April 2017

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Feedlot Update

April 2017

Feedlot Update name change expands ag-water quality news

ag water quality news logo

Starting next month, the Feedlot Update newsletter will appear under a new name: Agriculture Stewardship - Land, Water, Livestock. A continuation of the Feedlot Update newsletter, it will offer wider news coverage of ag and water quality issues. Going forward, the Feedlot Update newsletter will remain in use on a quarterly or as-needed basis. Launched in 2002, the newsletter currently goes to 2,331 reciepents among livestock and crop producers, organizations, and agency staff. You can log into our newsletter subscription service to see all MPCA newsletters, and choose which ones you would like to receive, or review your current selections. We welcome your ideas and feedback. Thanks for your readership and interest! Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972, forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. 

Cover crops, grazing, FAD among MACFO convention topics

Bill Suskovic BAH

County feedlot staff engaged in a full schedule of topics and presentations at the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers, hosted recently in Moorhead by the MACFO Northwest Region. Along with the usual program updates, county staff learned the details of cropland and cover crop grazing, and preparedness and responses to Foreign Animal Diseases (FAD).

NRCS staff gave presentations on grazing management and closure of abandoned manure pits. MDA staff gave an overview of the state nitrogen fertilizer management plan. Association of Minnesota Counties staff gave an overview of feedlot-lated bills in the state legislature, including a nuisance exemption for certain livestock facilities, 'farmer-neighbor' mediation act, and changes to the environmental review requirements for feedlots. Photo: Greg Suskovic of the Board of Animal Health reviews FAD emergency response program.

New look for MPCA feedlot web page

The new look of the MPCA feedlot program website homepage was introduced at the MACFO convention. The homepage has been redesigned for a cleaner look and organization. Virtually all of the pages and documents from the existing web pages remain. The new homepage design is intended to make navigation easier to the underlying pages. If you notice corrections needed or missing links, please contact Forrest Peterson, forrest.peterson@state.mn.us, 320-441-6972.

New staff in Lincoln, Polk counties 

Dallas Cornell started April 10 in Lincoln County working in feedlots and other programs including solid waste and AIS. Contact info: dcornell@co.lincoln.mn.us, 507-694-1038, 507-476-8508-cell. In east Polk County, Sarah Mielke is scheduled to start May 8 in the feedlot program, mielke.eastpolk@gmail.com.

kim brynildson

Kim Brynildson recognized for 33 years of service

Kim Brynildson, MPCA feedlot engineer, was recognized by MACFO for her 33 years of service in the feedlot program. Over the years Kim was involved in feedlot rule development, technical assistance, and often a resource for county feedlot staff. "She was always helpful and very approachable," says Deja Anton, Todd County CFO. "I could ask her about specific places and she could even recall the site I was referring to."  Doug Bos, Rock County, presents award to Kim. (Photo by Rebecca Sternquist, Douglas County.)

Deja Anton

Deja Anton receives 'Tina Rosenstein award'

Deja Anton, Todd County feedlot officer, received the "Tina Rosenstein award" at the 2016 convention last October for the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers. The award recognizes individuals for outstanding work, and is named in memory of the late Tina Rosenstein, former Nicollet County CFO and MACFO leadership. "Tina was an amazing woman who I do not even come close to in comparison, but I know our county board was happy to hear that our feedlot program is doing a good job," Deja said. Deja joined the Douglas County feedlot program in 2012, and later moved to a similar position with Todd County SWCD. She lives in Todd County where she owns Deja-view Dairy near Browerville.

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Todd County feedlot annual meeting draws a large crowd

Todd County feedlot panel

Attendance at the annual Todd County feedlot meeting has been growing steadily. March 16 about 180 farmers and livestock producers attended the event at Central Lakes College in Staples. A panel discussion hosted by the Todd SWCD featured six farmers who talked about surviving the challenges of changes in the ag industry.

"The program has been gaining support and momentum; this is very exciting for producers and the feedlot program as a whole," says Deja Anton, Todd County feedlot officer. "We have grown from an average attendance of 60 farmers in the past. The majority of those were Todd County producers, but we also had some from Becker, Wadena, Ottertail, Morrison, and Hubbard counties as well."

The MACFO education fund helped support this endeavor along with many other sponsors, including Central Lakes College. Photo L-R, producer panel: Pat Lunemann (at podium), Mike Stine, Joe Eischeid, Eric and Nate Stelling, Jeff Rinde.

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Ag Water Quality Certification Program tops 200,000 acres

Lochen farm marks 200,000 acres in ag water certification

More than 200,000 acres of Minnesota farmland are now enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP). The program marked the milestone recently at Dave and Jayne Lochen’s Shore Acres Farm near Kimball in Stearns County. Shore Acres Farm is a beef cattle and diversified crop operation growing seed and sweet corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Since the program’s inception under Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014, 365 farms have been certified across Minnesota. To date, certified farms have added 628 new conservation practices. The practices have kept more than 12.1 million pounds of sediment out of Minnesota rivers while saving nearly 17.4 million pounds of soil and 7,414 pounds of phosphorus.

With certification, Lochen has made changes to fertility, reduced some tillage practices, and added cover crops. After being certified, each farm is deemed to be in compliance with new water quality laws and regulations for 10 years. Certification is also an approved practice farmers can use to comply with the state buffer law. Photo L-R: MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Jayne and Dave Lochen, MDA Assistant Commissioner Susan Stokes.

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John Phipps to keynote Ag and Animal Science conference

john phipps

John Phipps will keynote the 2017 Ag and Animal Science Conference Sept. 26 at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. Registration is now open at www.aasc2017.org; there is no cost for animal science industry professionals. His topic will be: "Create Your Own Normal: Effective Decision-Making Amid Uncertainty."

Planning assumptions we have used for years, even decades, are shifting unexpectedly. Even in tradition-heavy industries like the agriculture value chain, extrapolating from the past can yield disappointing results. By adapting tools from behavioral economics, forecasting research, and cognitive psychology, we can augment our skills to avoid unforced errors, and encourage innovative responses to business challenges. Best of all, we can dial back the anxiety level that makes planning somehow drift to the bottom of our to-do list.

Phipps was raised on a five-generation farm in east-central Illinois and he his his wife returned to the family farm which now inlcudes 2,100 acres in Edgar County, IL. John writes humor and commentary, appearing regularly in Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines as a contributing editor. His work has been published in Farm & Country in Canada, Produktion in Denmark, and the American Enterprise. John is the former host and current commentator for US Farm Report, America's longest-running farm TV show. MinnWest Technology Campus, 1700 Technology Drive NE, Willmar, Minnesota 56201.

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Updated version of What’s In My Neighborhood now available

WIMN logo

The MPCA’s What’s In My Neighborhood application has been helping people find environmental information for nearly 15 years. The agency’s switch to a new data and information management system has made it possible for WIMN users to search for even more data.

Launched in 2003, the original application provided users with information about potentially contaminated properties only. In 2009, a vastly expanded version was introduced, giving people access to information about air emissions, wastewater discharges, and solid or hazardous waste activities. The latest iteration makes some new program activities available to users, including data about emergency management, environmental review and pollution prevention projects, to name a few. If you have questions or comments about the application, send us a note using the WIMN feedback form.

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Sustainable practices is April theme in Year of Water Action

year of water action logo

Sustainable Practices for Clean Water is the April theme of Governor Dayton's “Year of Water Action”. Governor Dayton encourages all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations. Governor Dayton has called on Minnesotans to work together to find solutions to keep Minnesota’s water clean and accessible to everyone. Despite the state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, groundwater and streams, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are currently listed as impaired or polluted. 

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ND creates separate Dept. of Environmental Quality

Reported in the Bismarck Tribune, April 7: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation separating the Environmental Health Section from the North Dakota Department of Health to create a standalone Department of Environmental Quality.The DEQ will continue to administer and enforce the same environmental protection programs as the existing Environmental Health Section. The change will take effect in July 2019.

Burgum noted many states already have a DEQ separate from their health department. Establishing a DEQ streamlines government and acknowledges the importance of environmental protection in North Dakota by elevating that responsibility to a cabinet-level agency whose director is appointed by and reports directly to the governor. The section has about 174 positions, including engineers, scientists, chemists, microbiologists and administrative support staff.

The DEQ will be overseen by a new 13-member Environmental Review Advisory Board, created through the consolidation of the existing Air Quality Advisory Board and the Water Pollution Control Advisory Board. The new board will consist of the state engineer, state geologist, director of the state Game and Fish Department and 10 members appointed by the governor. To address concerns raised by the agricultural sector, the board reserves three spots for representatives of crop agriculture, the livestock industry and agronomy/soil sciences.

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In the news

Board of Animal Health Animal Bytes newsletter

Second Tennessee flock confirmed with highly pathogenic avian influenza

Study quantifies effect of 'legacy phosphorus' in reduced water quality
Phys.org, 3/14/17
As hog feedlots grow, neighbors ask: What about our rights?
Star Tribune, 4/16/17
Dodge County feedlot appeal vacated
Agri-News, 4/18/17

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April 28-30: Minnesota Horse Expo, State Fair coliseum.
May 2: USDA animal disease traceability public meeting, Bloomington.
June 7-9: World Pork Expo, Des Moines.
July 10-11: Summer Beef Tour, Starbuck.
Sept. 26: 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.