Feedlot Update - October 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a webpage.
Feedlot Update

October 2017

Be proactive about wet weather impact on manure basins

manure basin

Similar to last fall, above average rainfall over the last two months is challenging fall manure management, this time with wet fields slowing harvest. Livestock producers are being asked to communicate proactively with the State Duty Officer to report if their manure storage 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.

Back to top

Re-registration under way for livestock feedlots

Owners of Minnesota's estimated 24,000 registered livestock feedlots must submit updated registration information to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) by Jan. 1, 2018. The information includes location, type of operation, and number of livestock. The state’s feedlot rule requires all feedlot registrations to be updated at least once in a four-year cycle. The current four-year cycle runs from Jan. 2, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2018.

Records show that so far 14,751 feedlot owners have already re-registered for the current cycle. Feedlot owners who have not already re-registered will receive a registration form from either their local county office or an MPCA regional office. The feedlot owner must review the information on the form, make any needed corrections, and return the form to the appropriate office.

“Accurate registration data is critical for County Feedlot Officers to run a successful feedlot program in their counties,” says Virginia Westlie, president of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers (CFO) and Goodhue County feedlot officer. “Registration data is used to develop inspection strategies based on feedlot type, size and relationship to surface water and wells. It also helps CFOs stay abreast of feedlot trends in their counties, which helps them develop pertinent educational materials and programs for the producers.”

Registration started with the feedlot rule revision enacted in 2000. It replaced the need for operating permits for the vast majority of livestock feedlots. Minnesota Rules Chapter 7020 requires feedlots with 50 or more animal units, and 10 or more located in shoreland, to register. More information and the Registration Form for Feedlots and Manure Storage Areas are available on the MPCA’s Feedlot Operations webpage or from county or MPCA regional offices.

Back to top

Turkey litter losing a market with pending power plant closure

Turkey producers who had been sending barn litter as fuel for Benson Power, formerly known as Fibrominn, will be looking for alternatives following the plant's reported pending closure. Xcel Energy, which had been operating the plant as part of its biofuels effort, cited cost as the primary reason. MPCA feedlot officials are encouraging affected turkey producers to review requirements and procedures for poultry litter management, including manure management plans, land application, and stockpiling. When it began operating more than 10 years ago, the plant reported taking about 500,000 tons of poultry litter annually, or nearly one-third of the state's total amount. More information about turkey litter management is available on the MPCA feedlot program web pages.

Back to top

State grants fund on-farm livestock improvements

livestock dairy grant

St. Paul - Dept. of Agriculture news release: Livestock producers may apply for a portion of $1.9 million in Livestock Investment Grants. Funds are provided by the Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Program and may be used for on-farm improvements. Last year, 105 livestock farmers received grants to improve their operations.

Qualifying producers are reimbursed 10 percent of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction or improvement of livestock buildings or facilities. Fencing, feeding and waste management equipment are also eligible. Producers who suffered a loss due to natural disaster may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock, land purchases or debt refinancing. Projects must begin after Jan. 1, 2018.

Past applicants who did not receive an award must reapply for the 2018 program. Applications for beginning farmers, farmers transitioning into livestock, and those with a positive environmental impact receive priority. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2017. Details and grant guidelines.  Apply online. 

Back to top

MnDOT to host listening sessions on ditch mowing/haying

The Minnesota Dept. of Transportation will host a series of listening sessions across the state to hear from Minnesotans about their concerns and wishes regarding mowing and haying in ditches and other rights of way along state roadways. During its 2017 session the Legislature imposed a moratorium on permitting for mowing and haying on state rights of way. Legislators directed MnDOT to conduct public outreach and develop a legislative proposal regarding mowing and haying in state right of way. Listening sessions will be:

  • Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m., University of Minnesota Crookston, Bede Ballroom, 2900 University Ave.
  • Nov. 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Marshall Middle School, 401 South Saratoga Street, Marshall.
  • Nov. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. St. Cloud MnDOT Conference Center, 3725 12th St. N., St. Cloud.
  • Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m., South Central College, 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato.
  • Nov. 15, 6-8 p.m.,U of M Morris Conference Room, 600 E 4th St., Morris.
  • Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m., Arden Hills Training Center – 1900 County Road West, Shoreview.
  • Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m., MnDOT Baxter, 7694 Industrial Park Rd, Baxter.

Detailed information on the listening sessions is available at the project website. Individuals who cannot attend a listening session are invited to submit a public comment via MnDOT’s website.The legislation regarding this issue can be found here.

Back to top

New venue, format for Minnesota Milk Conference and Expo

Minnesota Milk Producers Association announces that this year’s Minnesota Milk Conference and Expo will be held at Treasure Island Resort and Casino, Welch, MN. The conference will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 28 with the annual meeting, followed by a variety of inspirational and cutting edge dairy industry speakers from 11 a.m. through the following evening, Wednesday, Nov. 29.

New to the Expo will be a change in schedule and focus, including a track for both Spanish speaking employees and new or potential dairy farmers. The first evening will celebrate Minnesota Milk’s 40th anniversary with a banquet and awards program, followed by the annual scholarship auction with UMDIA. The second evening will include a bowling tournament and time for socialization. Members and non-members will be invited to partake in the fun, education, and business minded show Nov. 28 and 29. For more information, contact Lucas at lucas@mnmilk.org. - Minnesota Milk Minute newsletter. 

Visit the MPCA exhibit at the Expo

Again this year the MPCA feedlot program will be participating with an exhibit at the Dairy Expo. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about all feedlot environmental topics such as manure management, land application, permitting, and construction. Forms, factsheets and other information will be available. 

Back to top

MPCA feedlot program document updates posted on web

The MPCA feedlot program has posted several updates of forms and factsheets on its Feedlot Program website.

Links to the following are located on the NPDES and SDS permit, Construction and Interim permits, Feedlot Operations, and County Feedlot Officer Toolbox webpages:

Back to top

Dairy farmers give high marks to ag bag recycling

ag bag recycling

Minnesota Milk Minute, 9/8/17: Dairy farmers love their Revolutions Plastics LLC dumpsters, according to a study compiled by Haely Leiding, the 2017 University of Minnesota Extension intern for Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties.

On a scale of 1 to 5, farmers ranked the program at 4.65 thus far, from distributions in December-February, March-May, and June-July. Farmers evaluated the signup at 4.48, the wait for arrival/delivery at 3.75 and the ease of pickup at 4.30. Instructions for pickup for 4.48. 

More than 50 percent of participants use the dumpster every day. Farmers are using 34% Ag Bag plastic, 30% bale wrap, 24% bunker covers, and 10% ag/grain bags. Minnesota Milk, the Recycling Association of Minnesota, and other stakeholders are meeting with Revolution Plastics LLC to talk about more opportunities and changes to the program.

Back to top

UM Animal Science searching for new department Head

william dayton

Minnesota Milk Minute, 9/8/17: With U of M Animal Science Dept. director William Dayton’s retirement after 42 years with the University, it is beginning a search for a new department head. Dayton earned both a B.S. in animal science and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Iowa State University. He accepted an assistant professor position in the department of animal science at the U of M in 1975 becoming full professor in 1985.

His research emphasized animal growth biology using molecular biology and muscle cell culture methods to study the regulation of muscle growth during embryonic and postnatal growth. He has taught the undergraduate Animal Growth and Development course; additionally, he organized a cooperatively-taught, on-line, graduate-level Animal Growth and Development course involving professors from four different universities. For more information about the Department of Animal Science Department Head search, click here.

Back to top

News briefs

County Feedlot Officer staff news

Bill Craig is the new CFO in Marshall County taking over for Brett Brandon.
Matt Steele is new CFO in Renville County.
In Jackson County Karen Pressley is the new CFO.
Mitchell Hartwig is the new Nobles CFO taking over for Kathy Henderschiedt who has moved to Nobles County Planning and Zoning Administrator.
Vacancies for CFOs remain in McLeod and Waseca counties.

MPCA feedlot staff news

Will Martens has transferred from Mankato to the Brainerd office, and Walter Jordan is moving from Marshall to Mankato. Vacancies remain to be filled in the Marshall and Mankato offices. Desiree Hohenstein has left the MPCA feedlot program for a new job in the Washington D.C. area.

Back to top

In the news

Schafer Herefords celebrates 100 years of Hereford production
Minnesota Farm Guide, 10/13/17
Finding feedlot pollution less than simple in South Dakota
Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 9/12/17

Back to top


Nov. 28-29: Minnesota Milk Conference and Expo, Treasure Island Resort and Casino, Welch.
Nov. 30-Dec. 2: Minnesota Cattle Industry convention, DoubleTree Hotel, Bloomington.
Jan. 11-12: Minnesota Organic Conference, Rivers Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud.
Jan. 16-17: Minnesota Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.

Back to top

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.