Feedlot Update - Aug. 6, 2013

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Feedlot Update

Aug. 6, 2013

Feedlot Program Q&A

Question: How many signatures are required on a petition requesting an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for a large feedlot project?

Answer following Calendar

MSCA, MPCA schedule permit information meetings

revier cattle

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association (MSCA) will be hosting five informational meetings around the state for cattlemen and women looking to expand their livestock operations. The meetings will focus on how a feedlot with 1,000 animal units or more can obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System (NPDES/SDS) permit.

Meetings are scheduled for:
Aug. 12, 10 a.m., Kandiyohi County government services building, Willmar.
Aug. 14, 1 p.m., Lyon County courthouse, Marshall.
Aug. 15, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Detroit Lakes.
Aug. 21, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Brainerd.
Aug. 22, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Rochester.

To register for the meetings, visit the MSCA website at www.mnsca.org/, or contact Joe Martin, MSCA executive director, at 612-208-6722.

The informational meetings will provide producers with the opportunity to meet the MPCA staff and feedlot program engineers working in their region as well as delegated county feedlot officers.  It will also be an opportunity for producers to get practical information on the NPDES/SDS permit process, including application requirements and tips for navigating the process smoothly.  Additional topics may be discussed as time permits. 

Approximately 1,300 large feedlots are covered by an NPDES/SDS permit statewide. The MPCA issues federal NPDES permits jointly with a state SDS permit. The combination is an NPDES/SDS permit, which includes both federal and state requirements. For more information on feedlot permitting, log on to www.pca.state.mn.us and search ‘feedlot permitting’. 

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Feedlot rule update open for comment through Aug. 26

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announces a public comment period, from July 22 through Aug. 26, 2013, on proposed amendments to state rules regulating animal feedlots.

The MPCA proposes to amend these rules to address law changes made by the Minnesota Legislature in the 2011 special session. The MPCA is also taking this opportunity to remove obsolete rule requirements, address other law changes adopted since Chapter 7020 was revised in 2000, and provide clarification to certain existing rules in Chapters 7020, 7001 and 7002.

To review the proposed rule amendments and the Statement of Need and Reasonableness, together with the official public notice, which explains how interested persons can comment on the proposed amendments, go to the MPCA’s Public Notices webpage Other rule documents are on the agency’s Feedlot Rulemaking webpage. A poster about the public comment process will be on display in the Dept. of Agriculture building at FarmFest.

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Feedlot Program newsbriefs

chelsea hussong

Watonwan contracts with Brown for feedlot program chores

Chelsea Hussong started July 9 as a feedlot tech in Brown County, and also will be working part-time for Watonwan County under a feedlot program agreement between the counties. "We were contacted by Watonwan county earlier this year regarding the idea of sharing or splitting the time of our feedlot technician between our counties," says Desiree Hohenstein, Brown County feedlot officer. Watonwan county has agreed to pay for .4 FTEs of their time to assist with feedlot inspections, registration updates, education of feedlot owners, etc. After completing training Chelsea will split her time with three days in Brown and two days in Watonwan. The Brown County feedlot newsletter, The Applicator, will be sent to producers in both counties. Contact info: chelsea.hussong@co.brown.mn.us, (507) 233-6645, cell (507) 766-9640. office. Bruce Johnson continues to work in the Watonwan County environmental service department. 

Martin Larsen is feedlot tech in Olmsted County

Martin Larsen started just over a year ago as the feedlot tech in Olmsted County. He is a county employee, but works from the SWCD office. Previously, he was an agronomist with a local co-op. Contact info: Olmsted Soil & Water Conservation District, 1485 Industrial Drive NW Rm 102, Rochester, MN  55901, (507) 280-2850.

Environmental review factsheet, manure transfer form get update

An updated version of the factsheet, "When is environmental review required for feedlots?" (wq-f1-10) has been posted on the Feedlot Environmental Review webpage. It contains the change enacted by the legislature in 2011 about the petition process. A petition requesting an EAW must contain the signatures of at least 100 people and meet the criteria found in the Environmental Quality Board rules. These criteria require the petitioner to present a case based on environmental factors, for why a project should have an EAW prepared.

An alternative version of the feedlot manure transferred-ownership form (wq-f6-43e), which allows filling in the form electronically, has been developed and will be placed on the feedlot nutrient and manure and management webpage. This record-keeping form is for feedlot owners who transfer the ownership of manure generated by 300 animal units or more. The form must be completed by the feedlot owner, where the manure is generated, and by the manure applicator.

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Farm tour Aug. 8 features grazing, cover crops

forbord cattle

Farms that are using grazing and cover crops to produce wildlife habitat, clean water and profits will be featured during a field day Thursday, Aug. 8, in the Glenwood area. The tour will begin at 10 a.m. at the Dan and Linda Jenniges farm (22887 County Road 10, Glenwood), and the tour bus will return people to their vehicles at the farm by 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The tour is free and open to the public but RSVPs are strongly encouraged for the lunch count. To sign up or for more information, contact Andy Marcum at 320-634-5327 or andym@landstewardshipproject.org.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production area where Jess and Tammy Berges manage grassland with their grazing animals will be included in the tour. Participants in the tour will also see how these farmers are balancing profitable agricultural production with environmental protection. One tool they are using is cover crops, which control erosion while building healthy soil and providing inexpensive livestock feed. The tour is sponsored by the Land Stewardship Project, the Chippewa 10% Project, Chippewa River Watershed Project, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Morris, Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Pope County Cover Crops Network.

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DNR opens emergency haying on 43 WMAs

A severe livestock forage shortage has prompted DNR wildlife managers to identify 922 acres on 43 wildlife management areas (WMA) in 22 Minnesota counties for emergency haying. Identified sites include areas in need of prescribed fire where burns were not accomplished; areas where haying or mowing can be done sooner than originally planned; and areas where haying can replace or enhance other planned grassland disturbances such as mowing or grazing. Only Minnesota livestock producers who need forage for their own livestock are eligible to cut hay on WMAs. Counties with potential sites include Blue Earth, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Jackson, Kittson, Le Sueur, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Nicollet, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Roseau, Sibley, Wabasha, Wilkin and Winona. Livestock producers have until Friday, Aug. 9, to contact area wildlife managers about emergency haying opportunities. Contact information for area wildlife managers by county is available at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/wildlife_managers.pdf.

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Milk producers report survey on regulation experiences

Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) commissioned a survey of dairy farmers on experiences and perspectives they have toward environmental regulations in Minnesota. The survey was conducted by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Center. Farmer input was gathered from several focus groups held in three regions across the state, along with telephone interviews. Statements in a report on the survey include: Producers agree that education and knowledge are more effective than rules and regulations at improving farm management; the solution is in education and helping farmers understand the connection between their practices and the environment; several producers called for a targeted education program to help dairy farmers understand the regulatory process; a training program could be developed in partnership with agencies; agencies should also be encouraged to hire staff with agricultural training; MAWRC is currently developing an environmental education program as a web-based tool to make farmers aware of environmental pressures, evaluate and acknowledge the things they are already doing. Currently, there are 7,585 registered dairies in Minnesota, of which 116 are large enough to have federal/state operating permits. View full report.

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MDA announces $1 million for Livestock Investment Grants

The Department of Agriculture has announced that $1 million in grant funding is being made available to livestock producers in the state for on-farm improvements. The Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry. The 179 grant recipients to date have invested an estimated $55 million in upgrades to their operations since the program began in 2008.

Qualifying producers would be 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 buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered a loss due to a natural disaster or unintended consequence may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock or land purchases or for the cost of debt refinancing.

Minnesota livestock producers who applied for but did not receive a grant in past years will need to reapply to be considered for the 2013 program. The deadline to apply for the grant program is Sept. 23, 2013. More information on the Minnesota Livestock Investment Program can be found on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant.

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Green Star Farms offers environmental assessment tool

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) has launched the Green Star Farms Initiative, a voluntary education program that raises awareness regarding water quality issues and conservation practices utilized by farmers and ranchers. Administered by MAWRC, the Green Star Farms Initiative provides an environmental assessment tool designed to assist farmers and ranchers in evaluating their agricultural practices – either on their own or with guidance from the MAWRC’s field staff. The centerpiece of the Green Star Farms Initiative is a web-based assessment worksheet that can be utilized by farmers and ranchers to identify and assess their conservation practices. For information, visit www.greenstarfarms.org.

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In the news

State Beef Tour features northwestern farms, ranches
The Farmer, 7/11/13
Forsman Farms proposes expansion to Wright County egg-laying facility
MPCA news release, 7/11/13
New county feedlot officer details scope, status of local feedlots
Osakis Review, 7/17/13
Feedlot frenzy: Concerns for managing manure
Aberdeen American News, 7/12/13
Manure-management plan goes hand-in-hand with new manure storage system
Agri-News, 7/30/13
Farmers using rotational grazing see benefits
Agri-News, 7/24/13
Focus on water quality in Mississippi River basin having impact
NRCS news release
Perry Aasness named executive director of Agri-Growth Council
Minnesota Agri-Growth Council website
Radatz named executive director of Minnesota Farm Bureau
Minnesota Farm Bureau website
Report addresses dairy farmers' environmental concerns
The Farmer, 8/1/13
New ag water quality program featured at FarmFest
MDA news release, 8/2/13
Revised nitrogen fertilizer management plan open for public comment
MDA news release, 8/2/13
Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center announces Green Star Farms initiative
News release, 8/5/13

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Aug. 6-8: FarmFest, Gilfillan estate, Redwood County.
Aug. 12: Feedlot permitting information meeting, 10 a.m., Kandiyohi County government services building, Willmar.
Aug. 13: Organic Dairy Day, 10 a.m.-3p.m., West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.
Aug. 13-15: Discovery Farms Summer Tour, Farm Bureau, Eagan. Tour brochure.
Aug. 14: Feedlot permitting information meeting, 1 p.m., Lyon County courthouse, Marshall.
Aug. 15: Feedlot permitting information meeting, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Detroit Lakes.
Aug. 16-18: Agro-Ecology Summit, Willow Lake Farm, Windom.
Aug. 21: Feedlot permitting information meeting, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Brainerd.
Aug. 22: Feedlot permitting information meeting, 1 p.m., MPCA office, Rochester.

University of Minnesota SROC centennial celebration
Thursday, Sept. 19, 3-8 p.m., 35838 120th Street, Waseca. Join the University of Minnesota in celebrating 100 years at the Southern Research Center in Waseca There will be booths and activities for interests of all kinds. The centennial program begins at 5 p.m. The picnic supper will be from 4:30-7 p.m. For more information contact Southern Research and Outreach Center at (507) 835-3620 or nelso191@tc.umn.edu  

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Answer:  100

Share the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news submissifrom partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissito forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Please note that the MPCA has switched to a new service, called GovDelivery, to deliver the Feedlot Update. To ensure delivery of these messages, please add mpca@public.govdelivery.com to your address book or safe sender list. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.

Forrest Peterson
Public Information Officer
MPCA-Willmar office