Feedlot Update - March 2019

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Feedlot Update

March 2019

Low-interest loans available for snow damage to feedlots

The Rural Finance Authority Board issued a disaster declaration for the state, which now makes low interest loans available for Minnesota farmers whose operations suffered barn collapses or other damage due to the record winter snowfall. Governor Walz signed a bill allowing the RFA to declare a disaster due to excessive snowfall. The funds are available to farmers for expenses not covered by insurance.

The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and septic and water systems, as well as replace cropping inputs, feed, and livestock. The program offers affordable financing to repair existing agricultural buildings to pre-disaster conditions. Eligible farmers must have received at least 50 percent of their annual gross income from farming for the past three years and will work through their bank to secure the loans from the RFA.

More information on the Disaster Recovery Loan is on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website at: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/ .

Calm before the flood: Now's the time to prepare

flooding manure basin

With spring flooding in the forecast, if you live in a flood-prone area, you can tap into state and local resources to help reduce damage and aid in any clean-up. State emergency management officials have been making plans, and urge the public to check out their information. Useful websites include:

Given current conditions, state emergency management officials estimate flooding could develop in the first part of April.

If you live in a rural area or operate a feedlot where flooding is a possibility, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says there are simple things you can do to minimize pollution threats.

  • Secure all propane and liquid fuel tanks so they will not tip over or float away in floodwaters. If possible, liquid fuel tanks should be emptied by your petroleum provider until floodwaters recede.
  • Move household and farm chemicals to an area that is safe from floodwaters. If that is not possible, make sure they are in secure containers that will not leak, rupture or float off.
  • Smaller livestock operations that spread solid manure must ensure that it doesn’t run off with snowmelt flowing to surface waters. If possible, farmers should refrain from spreading manure during periods of rapid snow melt.

Calling State Duty Officer first step in basin overflow response

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. They should call the Duty  Officer at 800-422-0798, and take immediate action to reduce environmental impact, such as creating temporary berms to stop discharge, temporarily plugging culverts and drain tile intakes to prevent manure inflow, and soaking up liquid with absorbent material, such as hay, straw, cornstalks or wood shavings.

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 sheet. State Duty Officer — 1-800-422-0798.

Minnesota rules require a 300-foot setback from surface waters and open tile intakes for manure spread on frozen or snow-covered soil. To reduce the impact of manure applied under these conditions, avoid steeper slopes; seek fields, or parts of fields with less than 6 percent slope for solid manure, 2 percent for liquid manure, or have greater than 30 percent crop residue.

Minnesota Extension Service offers a list of possible things you can do to limit the environmental impact of manure application during wet conditions. Click here for more: https://z.umn.edu/3sze .


Side-dressing can extend window for applying manure

U of M Extension reports promising results from side-dressing finishing swine manure into V4 corn. "In recent years, the window of manure application has narrowed due to wet or unseasonably cold weather. Side-dressing opens up a non-traditional window of opportunity," says Melissa Wilson, Extension manure specialist. "We have also heard from some farmers that older-style hog barns no longer have a full year of storage and need somewhere to apply manure in the summer. Studies of sidedressing swine manure into corn in Ohio have shown promising results, so we wanted to test it in Minnesota."

The liquid manure was injected with a 12-row applicator and dragline, which did surprisingly little damage to the standing corn. Yields were comparable with conventional nitrogen sources. Read full story.

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.