Feedlot Update - February 2019

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Feedlot Update

February 2019

NPDES and SDS feedlot permit annual reports due March 1

Feedlots with NPDES or SDS operating permits are required send their annual reports to the MPCA by March 1, 2019. New this year, the completed form must be submitted as a PDF via e-mail to FeedlotSubmittal.pca@state.mn.us. The form is available on the MPCA feedlot program NPDES-SDS permit webpage. Submittal instructions are included on page four of the form. If you have questions or need assistance, contact your regional MPCA office. A map of regional offices along with addresses is found on page 4 of the report form.

All land application records for the 12-month period starting Sept. 1, 2017, through Aug. 31, 2018, 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.

Farms receiving manure must keep records, follow rates

The MPCA feedlot program is looking for ways to spread the word about the responsibilities of crop farmers who receive manure transferred from livestock farms for crop fertilizer. Manure recipients are required to provide information on field locations and the manure application rate on each field back to the feedlot owner where the manure was generated.

It is recommended to use the same record keeping forms available to feedlots that do not transfer manure, which are available at: www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/land-application. These records must be kept for a minimum of three years for land outside special protection areas, and six years for land located within special protection areas. These records are different than those required to be kept by custom applicators. All manure applications are required to observe setbacks to sensitive features. In general, if manure is surface applied and not incorporated within 24 hours, a 300 ft setback is required to all water features.

For more information, contact your regional Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) office feedlot staff.

Online tool helps timing of manure applications with weather

runoff risk advisory map

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has teamed up with the National Weather Service to design a tool that helps farmers and commercial applicators determine the best time to apply manure.

The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast tool uses past and predicted National Weather Service weather data like precipitation, temperature, and snow melt. It predicts the likelihood that applied manure will run off fields in daily, next day, and 72 hour increments. Farmers and commercial applicators use an interactive map to locate their field and find the forecasted risk. Users can also sign up for email or text messages for their county that alert them to a severe runoff risk for that day. Full news release.

The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast is the first active tab.  There are four levels of risk (No Runoff Expected, Low, Moderate and Severe) that could be shown on the map. When the risk is Moderate or Severe, it is recommended that the applicator evaluate the situation to determine if there are other locations or later dates when the application could take place. You can select to see risk for Day 1 (default shown), Day 2 (Tomorrow), Day 3 or Multiday (72 hours). 

The forecasting tool can also be used by others looking for climate information including 2” soil depth temperatures which are useful at planting time, 6” soil depth temperatures which are helpful when determining fall fertilizer application in appropriate areas and daily precipitation forecasts. These can be found on the tabs at the top of the website.

11th annual Nutrient Management Conference Feb. 19

University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center invite you to the 2019 Nutrient Management Conference. It will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. at the Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Cloud. Sessions will cover challenges in phosphorus and sulfur management, nitrogen applications under irrigation, effects of phosphorus availability due to residue management, Haney Soil Health Test, and managing micronutrients for soybeans. Certified crop advisers will be able to earn continuing education credits in soil and water and nutrient management. The $20 registration fee is payable at the door, or register online.

Waste to Worth highlights science on livestock, environment

The 2019 Waste to Worth conference will be April 22-26 at the Graduate Hotel on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis East Bank campus. Waste to Worth brings together the nation’s best science on animal agriculture and the environment with:

  • Innovative outreach
  • Opportunities to meet and network with outstanding people
  • Mix with multidisciplinary specialists in a collaborative atmosphere

Optional tours will visit various agriculture and livestock tours including: Simply Shrimp near Willmar, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, Creekside Soil, Riverview Dairy, West Central Research and Outreach Center, AURI, and Sustane organic fertilizer. More information and registration are available on the W2W website.

Bahr, Kashmark join MPCA feedlot program staff

The MPCA feedlot program will be welcoming two new staff members in February. JoLisa Bahr is joining the MPCA feedlot staff Feb. 25 in the Marshall office. She is a graduate from South Dakota school of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, with a BS in environmental engineering. She has several years of environmental permitting and compliance experience, including as a Brownfields coordinator in Montana, a health, safety and environmental specialist for a company in South Dakota, and more recently as the director of environmental protection and natural resources for the Upper Sioux Community, in Granite Falls.  

Dustin Kashmark will be joining the feedlot program starting Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Detroit Lakes office. He is a graduate from Minnesota State University Moorhead, with a BA in biology. He has various work experiences including at an early age for his family’s livestock trucking company in western Minnesota and more recently as a technician at a plasma center in Moorhead and a lab assistant at RMB Environmental Laboratories, in Detroit Lakes.

In October the feedlot program welcomed Dave Malakowsky in the Mankato office, and Nathan Bird in the Rochester office.

MPCA reviews permitting, EAW process at Pork Congress

The 2019 Pork Congress included a workshop by the MPCA on "Navigating the permitting and environmental review process." While most feedlot construction and expansion projects require a construction permit, and some larger ones an operating permit, that's just one part of the overall permit process. Counties and some townships require other permits such as zoning, conditional use, or building. Large projects may require a water appropriation permit from the Dept. of Natural Resources. All permitting animal unit thresholds are determined by the capacity of the facility according to industry standards, not the actual livestock number.

Before even submitting a permit application, the MPCA encourages proposers to lay important groundwork. Talk to neighbors and local authorities. Develop manure management and emergency response plans. Hosting a public information meeting is a good way to create goodwill for a project and head off possible misunderstandings. An Environmental Assessment Worksheet is required for new or expanding feedlots with 1,000 or more  animal units, or 500 AU in sensitive areas. An EAW is a very general overview of potential environmental impacts of a project on air, land and water. EAWs are placed on public notice for 30 days, and publicized with a news release.

More information on permits and EAWs are located on the MPCA feedlot permitting and environmental review webpage.

Delegated county feedlot program news

County feedlot officers convention March 26-28 in Marshall

The 18th annual convention of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers will be March 26-28 at the Ramada Inn in Marshall. MACFO represents the 50 counties delegated by the MPCA to administer the state feedlot rule (Chap. 7020) with the exception of large feedlots requiring a state or federal operating permit. The program includes: Program updates (legal, permitting, compliance), industry presentations (Pipestone Systems, Centrol, Whitetail Farms), and tour of the swine research facility at South Dakota State University.

County feedlot staff update

Several feedlot delegated counties have announced new County Feedlot Officers: Mower: Valerie Sheedy; Stearns: Shelby Richard-Hoffman; Waseca: Brian Zabel. A vacancy has occurred in Norman County with the resignation of Courtney Habedank from the SWCD. Formerly with the MPCA feedlot program, Reba VanBeusekom is the new CFO in Todd County.

In the news

Farmer drops 'karst country' swine feedlot plan, Star Tribune, 2/11/19

University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms and Discovery Farms Minnesota have a large dataset from working farms on controlling nutrient loss. The data are valuable in making conclusions and recommendations about farming systems' impact on water quality. Here are four tips for controlling nutrient loss on your farm.

Following a preliminary environmental review, the MPCA has concluded that the proposed Prairie Feeders swine finishing feedlot in Pipestone County does not have the potential for significant environmental effects. The total confinement barn will house up to 4,800 (1,440 AU) finishers. The Environmental Assessment Worksheet and Findings of Fact are available on the MPCA environmental review web page.


Feb. 19: 11th annual Nutrient Management Conference, Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Cloud.
April 22-26: Waste to Worth Conference, Graduate Hotel, Minneapolis.

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.