Feedlot Update - April 1, 2015

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Feedlot Update

April 1, 2015

New State Disposal System permit for feedlots soon available

The new State Disposal System permit for livestock feedlots with 1,000 animal units or more is in the final stages of revision and review, and is expected to be available soon. Minor changes are being made in response to comments from the Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

Meanwhile, work is under way on the 2016-2021 NPDES/SDS general permit for livestock feedlots, which will include both federal and state requirements. The final draft must be reviewed and approved by the state attorney general and the EPA, followed by a public notice sometime in May. The NPDES/SDS permit is expected to be available prior to Aug. 1, which is the due date for 2016-2021 permit applications. Early requests to apply for the 2016-2021 NPDES/SDS permit have not been accepted due to the 60-day turn-around required in state law (15.99).

The need for a separate state permit occurred when the 2011 legislature voted to remove the NPDES permit requirement for feedlots that do not discharge water quality contaminants. However, the SDS permit remains in state law, requiring the development of a separate state permit. Livestock producers may choose to have either permit. 

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Workshops April 2 and 9 on new LMSA publication

LMSA booklet cover

Workshops have been scheduled April 2 and 9 to learn about the MPCA's guidelines for design, construction, and operation of liquid manure storage areas (LMSA). This covers all types of LMSAs and liners (concrete, earthen, synthetic, pre-cast, etc.). The workshops will be from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (lunch on your own) April 2 at the Stearns County SWCD conference room, Marketplace Mall, 110 2nd St. S., Waite Park; and April 9 at the MPCA office, 12 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato. To register, please specify which location and contact George Schwint, george.schwint@state.mn.us, 320-894-5866. The new guide booklet is available on the feedlot publications web page in the construction and operation guidance section.

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Avian flu outbreaks in Lac qui Parle, Stearns counties

State officials are responding to the third confirmed case of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial poultry flock in Minnesota. The United States Department of Agriculture Saturday confirmed the detection of the disease in a flock of 39,000 turkeys in Stearns County. Last week the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence H5N2 in a commercial turkey flock in Lac Qui Parle County. The first outbreak occurred in Pope County. The Lac qui Parle County flock of 66,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza was previously identified. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. More information on HPAI in the U.S. can be found on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website. Visit www.mnairesponse.info for the most up-to-date information on Minnesota’s response to HPAI. 

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Composting being used at avian flu site in Pope County

Composting within the barns is being used as the carcass disposal method for the site in Pope County. Turkey litter is an excellent source of carbon and nitrogen. There will be a minimum of two turns, with BAH and USDA monitoring the composting process. Backyard birds on a total of 30 premises (not counting the affected farm) in the control area were tested for avian influenza. All tests were negative, but the sites will remain under quarantine to allow time for additional observation. 

There were contacts with individuals on over 60 premises in the surveillance zone. The purpose was to provide them with information on the H5N2 situation and advise them on biosecurity and close monitoring of their flocks.

Visit the Board of Animal Health’s website for regular updates on Minnesota’s response to avian influenza. Protocol is based on US EPA procedures and Board of Animal Health recommendations.

Test forms and supplies at Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory in Willmar 

The Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar is the official laboratory for the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) in Minnesota. The MPTL performs all of the required disease testing for the state’s poultry industry, in addition to a full range of poultry diagnostic serology testing which includes testing for Salmonella, influenza, Mycoplasma and other poultry diseases.

As a cooperative venture between the Board of Animal Health and the University of Minnesota, the primary focus of the MPTL is to serve and support Minnesota’s poultry industry: turkey, meat-type chicken (broiler), egg-type chicken (layer), upland game bird and backyard/waterfowl/exhibition poultry. Though large commercial flocks make up the majority of poultry in the state and the bulk of testing at the MPTL, thousands of tests are conducted each year on smaller and backyard poultry flocks.

The MPTL cooperates with the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) in St. Paul where necropsies are conducted and other types of molecular diagnostic testing are performed. For more information, contact the VDL at 612-625-8787 or visit the websiteTest submission forms and testing supplies can be ordered via email or by calling the MPTL at (320) 231-5170.

U of M Raptor Center testing wild, migratory waterfowl

Staff from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine Raptor Center is testing waterfowl, like ducks and geese, which carry the avian flu but aren’t affected by it, to see if they brought the virus from the west coast. State animal health officials finished preliminary testing last week and found no recent deaths related to the disease. Raptor Center executive director Julia Ponder said waterfowl could have carried the strain of influenza if they migrated to the Midwest — which is difficult to determine, as it isn’t migration season yet. A warm January, coupled with a cold February, may have caused the birds to move into the Midwest earlier than usual, said Carol Cardona, a professor of veterinary sciences. - University of Minnesota Daily, 3/23/15.

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Preventing contact with wildlife primary biosecurity measure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial turkey farms in Minnesota, Missouri, and Arkansas, which are located in the Mississippi flyway, and a backyard flock in Kansas in the central flyway. Prior to these findings, HPAI was confirmed in several states on the West coast.
Practicing biosecurity on your farm has always been important, but it is now as crucial as ever. The best way to guard your flock against influenza is to eliminate interaction with wildlife. Visit the University of Minnesota Extension’s Poultry Production and Health website for detailed information on biosecurity and best management practices for backyard flocks. Visit the Board of Animal Health website for updates on the HPAI situation in Minnesota and the U.S. - Animal Bytes newsletter, 3/17/15

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Oie takes over delegated county feedlot program duties

Michelle Oie

Michelle Oie of the MPCA Brainerd office has been named the new feedlot delegated county program administrator, the position vacated when Don Hauge retired. She will be preparing the legislative report for the county program due at the legislature in early 2016. Her other tasks will include county program oversight, conducting county audits and assessments, and other feedlot program development tasks.

With the MPCA since 1997, Michelle has worked in air, wastewater, feedlots, petroleum remediation, and most recently, the natural resource damage assessment  remediation program. She spent six years working in the feedlot program during the 2000 rule development, presenting the "new" rules to counties and farmer producer groups, conducting inspections, permitting feedlots and assisting counties with county feedlot program implementation. 

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Summer beef tour July 21 in Hutchinson area

The Summer Beef Tour of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association is scheduled for July 20-21 in Hutchinson. From 700 to 900 cattlemen and women, cattle industry professionals and community members from across the state are expected to attend the tour and trade show at the McLeod County fairgrounds. More than 100 agriculture related business will feature products, services, and information available to cattlemen locally and throughout the state. The event will start on July 20 with a MSCA quarterly business meeting, followed by a special networking event in the afternoon and supper. The beef tour and trade show will be July 21. The tour will feature farm stops that demonstrate raising quality cattle, best management practices and cutting-edge production technologies. For more information, contact Ashley Kohls, executive director, 612-618-6619, mnsca@mnsca.org. 

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Livestock & Poultry Environmental News March 2015

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Webcast Series


Looking Ahead to April: Manure Application Over Tile Drainage

What is the management and fate of manure and nutrients in tile drained agricultural landscapes? Join us on April 17, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. to find out! Speakers are: Jeff Strock, University of Minnesota; Larry Brown, Ohio State; Peter Kleinman, USDA ARS; James Hoorman, Ohio State; and Tim Harrigan, Michigan State. More...

Nutrient Management

  • Penn  State Extension offers some pointers for those making early spring manure applications. More...
  • "Scientists tackling Gulf of Mexico hypoxia" is a really nice look at the work that goes into monitoring water quality. This article specifically looks at a watershed in Arkansas and its connection to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. More...
  • The February, 2015 issue of "Poultry Practices" (Oklahoma State University) has a focus on phosphorus, including drainage filters, nutrient availability, GPS applications, and more...

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In the news

Standoff over a huge dairy opens a new chapter in Minnesota's battle over big feedlots
Star Tribune, 3/8/15
Compliance sweep targets farm wells in southern Minnesota
Star Tribune, 3/14/15
Southern Minnesota farmer asks: Who's minding the feedlots?
Star Tribune, 3/21/15
DNR sweep adds fuel to feedlot fire in Dodge County
Rochester Post-Bulletin, 3/20/15
Officials, U monitoring bird flu cases
Minnesota Daily, 3/23/15

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April 21: 6th annual Ag Awareness Day, 9-3, Northrop mall, U of M-Minneapolis.
July 20-21: Summer Beef Tour, McLeod County fairgrounds, Hutchinson.

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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.