Feedlot Update - July 2018

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Feedlot Update

July 2018

Cottonwood Cattle Producers host Summer Beef Tour

summer beef tour ashley kohls

The Cottonwood Cattle Producers hosted the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association’s summer tour and trade show Tuesday, July 10 in the Windom and surrounding area. “It's a good opportunity to show how we do things in our part of the state and use the resources that we have,” Cottonwood County Cattle Producer board member and tour coordinator Jamey Hochstein told the Worthington Daily Globe. “It’s also good to show innovative things that producers are doing.” Photo: MSCA executive director Ashley Kohls is interviewed on radio. Tour stops included:

  • Graff Feedlots LLC, northeast of Jeffers: Cow-calf pasture operated by Troy and Hilary Paplow and Glen and ValRee Graff that implements rotational grazing and cover crops.
  • Minnesota Supreme Feeders, south of Lamberton: Modern feedlot owned by Warren, Maxine and Mark Pankonin.
  • J&S Grazing, west of Windom: Stocker pasture operated by Jeff and Scott Fredin.
  • Extended Ag Service, Lakefield: Agriculture service provider operated by Jim, Andy and Matt Nesseth that offers scouting, research and advice.
  • O’Connor Farms, southwest of Lakefield: Vintage feedlot with improvements to meet demands of today’s production expectations and market owned by Dan O’Connor.
  • Marlin and Kelly Piotter cow-calf pasture, southeast of Windom: Rotational grazing pasture.

The event included a trade show featuring 56 indoor and 12 outdoor ag-related vendors at the Cottonwood County Fairgrounds in Windom. The Cottonwood Cattle Producers last hosted the event in 2008, and also hosted in 1998. The 2019 Summer Beef Tour will be July 9 in the Morris area.

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beef cattle summer beef tour
Black angus cattle at Minnesota Supreme Feeders south of Lamberton

Producers needed for pig environmental footprint project

hog barn

From UM Extension Swine Newsletter, July 2018: Want to know more about your environmental footprint? Get additional information about operational costs? University of Minnesota Extension specialist, Erin Cortus and Extension Educators, Diane DeWitte, Jason Ertl and Sarah Schieck are looking to work with producers in confidentially assessing their own operations using The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator - a tool developed with support from and maintained by the National Pork Board.

Pork producers have made tremendous strides in productivity - as measures like pigs weaned per sow and live weight marketed per ton of feed and per pig space continue to improve. These measures of productivity serve the industry well, but consumers increasingly want to hear more about how the pork they enjoy eating makes productive use of limited resources, like energy, water and land. An 'environmental footprint' flips the point of view around to consider how much of a limited resource is used to produce a live pig or a pound of pork. Read more.

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Check the animal health rules for livestock at the state fair

goats state fair

Board of Animal Health news release, 7/2/18: The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reminds livestock owners to review their responsibilities before exhibiting animals at their county fair or other events this summer. Animal health is a shared responsibility and is part of overall public health, especially at events that bring people and animals together.

In general, animals should have official identification and be free from infectious, contagious or communicable disease, including ringworm and warts. Any animals coming to Minnesota from another state need to be inspected by a veterinarian before movement, and move with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) and permit (if required) filed with the Board of Animal Health. Proper identification and records allow for a quick and thorough response to minimize spread of animal disease.

Not all forms of identification are approved by the Board and acceptable forms of official identification vary by species. You can find a breakdown of acceptable official identification on our website, www.mn.gov/bah/official-id. The Board’s website is also a great resource for species specific guidelines and requirements for exhibiting animals in Minnesota. Check out the exhibitions page for more details: www.mn.gov/bah/exhibitions.

Owners should be aware of any specific rules or expectations of the fair or event they’re attending. Additional questions or concerns regarding exhibition of livestock in Minnesota can be directed to the exhibition manager, official veterinarian or by calling the Board at 651-201-6826.

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Wet weather challenging for manure storage capacity

flooding manure basin

Continued summer rainfall in southern Minnesota finds some livestock producers scrambling to stem overflow from livestock manure storage basins. Pollution problems include overflowing manure and wastewater storage structures and releases from underground and above-ground storage tanks as well as open feedlots located in floodplains or in sensitive areas where runoff can enter surface waters. Photo: Overflowing cattle manure storage basin from recent heavy rains in southwest Minnesota.

Farmers must call the Minnesota Duty Officer immediately at (800) 422-0798 (calls answered 24/7) if their manure-storage facilities overflow, if manure enters surface waters or if their manure-storage structure is inundated by floodwaters. If their manure-storage facilities are in danger of overflowing, farmers can contact the MPCA at (800) 657-3864 or (651) 296-6300 (during regular business hours) and ask for a feedlot staff person. Farmers in feedlot delegated counties also may contact county feedlot staff. NPDES and SDS permit holders experiencing a discharge must submit the 5-day discharge report and notify the agency when the level encroaches on the freeboard.

To reduce the likelihood of an overflow, feedlot operators are encouraged to divert water from manure-storage facilities if possible. Manure stockpiles located in areas that could flood should be removed immediately.

While we can’t control weather, planning ahead helps to better deal with the impact of bad weather on manure management and land application. A little more investment in storage, conservation practices, and planning can be a very cost-effective form of insurance. It also reduces the risk of economic loss of nutrients from surface-applied manure without incorporation. Farmers with open feedlots should scrape-and-haul weekly if possible.

For more information about flooding and the environmental problems it can create, visit the minimizing flood risk page on the MPCA website. Factsheet: Managing manure storage and land application during adverse weather conditions.

Zero interest loans available for farmers affected by flooding, MDA news release, 7/6/18 

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MPCA clarifies animal unit factor for gilts

The MPCA feedlot program has clarified when a gilt should be assigned a 0.3 or 0.4 animal unit (AU) value. The need for this clarification results from a change in the industry from operating stand-alone gilt facilities to now incorporating gilt developing/acclimation components as part of breeding/gestation facilities. Historically, all animals at breeding/gestation facilities were considered as breeding stock and typically assigned a 0.4 AU value. A 0.3 AU value will now be used for facilities (barns or an area of a larger barn) that house gilts prior to breeding. Any gilts housed in crates, pens, etc. where insemination takes place will continue to be assigned a 0.4 AU value. All bred gilts shall be assigned a 0.4 AU value regardless of the weight of the animal. This clarification is consistent with Minnesota’s feedlot rules (Minn. R. ch. 7020): One head of swine over 300 pounds is given a 0.4 AU factor and one head of swine between 55 pounds and 300 pounds is given a 0.3 AU value. Gilts prior to breeding weigh approximately 250-275 pounds, whereas a bred gilt is expected to exceed 300 pounds at the time of farrowing.

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Secure pork supply plan a response to disease outbreak


If foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) is found in United States livestock, regulatory officials will limit the movement of animals and animal products to try and control the spread of these very contagious animal diseases.

The Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Continuity of Business Plan provides opportunities to voluntarily prepare before an outbreak. This will better position pork premises with animals that have no evidence of infection to:

  • Move animals to processing or another pork production premises under a movement permit issued by Regulatory Officials, and
  • Maintain business continuity for the swine industry, including producers, haulers, and packers during an FMD, CSF, and ASF outbreak.

The plan requires a written enhanced biosecurity plan for each site. It is the producer’s responsibility to protect his or her herd by keeping the disease off the farm. It is the regulatory official’s responsibility to protect the U.S. herd by keeping the disease from spreading. 

Dr. Dave Wright is the Minnesota coordinator for the Secure Pork Supply Plan. Contact him at wright2me.dave@gmail.com or 763-242-7535 if you need assistance in the participation process or would like supplemental information about the three basic concepts of the Secure Pork Supply Plan: Traceability and Movement Management, Enhanced Biosecurity, and Foreign Animal Disease Training and Response.

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Feedlot program staff notes

  • Cory Salzl has resigned as Meeker County feedlot officer.
  • Walter Jordan is leaving the feedlot staff in the Mankato MPCA office for a job with J.R. Simplot in Grand Forks, where has worked before coming to the MPCA.
  • MPCA feedlot program position openings will be posted in the near future for Mankato and Rochester.
  • A student worker is starting in St. Paul MPCA office to assist with the backlog of entering feedlot registration data into the TEMPO database. LesLee Jackson is currently a student at the U of M pursuing a BS in Environmental Science Policy and Management. She has held student worker jobs at the U of M, most recently acting as a recycling coordinator for the agricultural plastic generated from multiple departments at the U of M campuses, and Revolution Plastics, an ag plastic recycler.

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    In the news

    SDSU to host tour of S.D. heifer  development and feedlot facility Aug. 9
    Tristate Livestock News, 6/29/18
    MPCA sets up air monitoring at Goodhue County hog farm
    Rochester Post-Bulletin, 7/5/18
    Hog farm opponents encouraged by meeting with governor
    Rochester Post-Bulletin, 7/5/18
    Fillmore County backs EIS request for proposed feedlot
    Fillmore County Journal, 7/9/18
    Minnesota's livestock producers and veterinarians should be on the lookout for seasonal diseases like anthrax
    Board of Animal Health news release, 7/17/18

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    Aug. 6-9: Minnesota Farm Fest, Gilfillan Farm, Redwood County.
    Aug. 15-16: North American Manure Expo, Brookings, SD.
    Aug. 16: Drainage water management, SWROC, Lamberton.
    Aug. 23-Sept. 3: Minnesota State Fair.
    Sept. 25: Ag and Animal Science Conference, MinnWest Technology, Willmar.
    Oct. 18-21: Minnesota Beef Expo, Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

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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.