Feedlot Update - March 4, 2015

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Feedlot Update

March 4, 2015

Webcast March 6 on 'novel' animal housing ideas

hog hoop barn

Many livestock operations are looking at different types of animal housing, for a variety of reasons, including animal welfare concerns. This webinar features examples and perspectives from the swine, dairy and layer industries on how and why producers have implemented changes to their housing practices, and some of the lessons learned along the way.  More… March 6 at 1:30 p.m.

Speakers are: Curt Gooch, Cornell University; Hongwei Xin, Iowa State University; and Yuzhi Li, University of Minnesota. The webcast will be moderated by Erin Cortus, South Dakota State University

Important! New Virtual Meeting Room: For this webcast only, we are using http://connect.unl.edu/lpelc  as the virtual meeting room. Since we are aware of some firewall issues (especially with our agency partners—check out the test link in the 3rd bullet below) we are also simulcasting at: http://www.extension.org/72652. If you join the simulcast, please be aware that the visuals are going to be smaller (the full screen setting is not a true full-screen) and that it is VERY sensitive to the your Internet connection. You are likely to experience lag time, and possibly degraded audio and/or video quality if your internet service provider experiences heavy traffic the same time as the webinar. The webcast will be recorded and archived at: http://www.extension.org/54317 within a few days after the presentation is complete.

How Do I Participate?

A schedule of future webcast presentations is available at: http://www.extension.org/15370

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Feedlot SDS general permit comment period ends March 11

The public review and comment period ends March 11 for a draft permit for operating livestock feedlots with 1,000 or more animal units. The State Disposal System (SDS) permit applies to about 1,000 feedlots, which account for a large portion of the state’s total livestock population. Written comments on the general permit must include a statement of your interest in the draft SDS feedlot permit; an explanation of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft permit that you believe should be changed; and specific reasons supporting your position.

Comments may be sent to Kim Brynildson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or e-mailed to kim.brynildson@state.mn.us. The proposed SDS general permit (MNG450000) and fact sheet are available for review at all MPCA offices during business hours. A copy of the proposed SDS general permit and factsheet may also be downloaded from the MPCA feedlot website at: www.pca.state.mn.us/feedlotsLivestock farms with existing NPDES/SDS permits can continue to operate with this permit until it expires in 2016. Beyond that time they have the option of continuing with the federal NPDES permit, which will fulfill the state law requirement. 

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Many NPDES permit annual reports make March 1 due date

Thank you to livestock producers with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System permits for sending annual report forms prior to the March 1 due date. Permit holders who have not yet submitted reports should do so promptly. The form is available on the MPCA feedlot program website, or by contacting a regional office. Links to the form are located on the feedlot program main page, and permits and forms webpage, or download the document. Paper copies of the report may be requested by contacting the MPCA regional offices. For farms that do not transfer manure, land application records can also be generated using the MPCA excel based Manure Management Planner under Create Crop Year Records. These record forms may be used and submitted instead of the Records for 300 or More Animal Units form. A link to the planner is located on the feedlot program Nutrient and Manure Management webpage.

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News briefs

mae petrehn

Mae Petrehn new CFO in Douglas County

Douglas County recently hired Mae Petrehn for the county feedlot officer job vacated when Deja Anton took that post in Todd County. Mae has an MS degree from Iowa State, with her research focusing on grazing management. Her undergraduate degree is from Northland College in Ashland, Wisc., majoring in rural sociology. After graduate school she managed several large ranches in Nebraska and South Dakota. She was a consultant is on grazing management and general grassland conservation issues for Land Stewardship Project, and is very interested in education and outreach. Mae lives on a farm site and rents pasture north of Sunburg.

jake grages

Jake Grages takes position in Winona County

Jake Grages, a Lakefield native who had served as Jackson County’s feedlot officer since 2012, has taken a position in the Winona County planning and environmental department. He will be assisting with feedlot program duties until the vacancy created by the departure of Mark Gernes is filled. Mark recently joined the MPCA feedlot program staff in the Rochester office.

chad knudson

Chad Knudson returns as Dodge County CFO

Chad Knudson has returned to Dodge County taking the county feedlot officer position vacated by Ryan Thesing. Previously, Chad had been with the Dodge County Environmental Services Department from 2010 through 2012, serving the last year as CFO. In the meantime, he has worked in Grand Forks, ND, serving environmental programs such as SSTS in the northeast region of North Dakota.

Biosecurity, facility design topics at Kandiyohi County program March 24

Kandiyohi County and U of M-Extension invite livestock producers to a short seminar Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m. to noon on biosecurity and facility design impact on manure nutrients. Extension Educator Sarah Schieck will discuss measures to help control disease. Extension Educator Nicole Kenney Rambo will discuss the impact of facility design on manure nutrients and fertilizer value, and changes in the design of feedlot facilities that can affect the nutrients in manure. The seminar will be held in the lower level conference room of the Kandiyohi County office building in downtown Willmar. There is no admission fee, and coffee and cookies will be provided.  Please RSVP by March 17 to Kandiyohi County Feedlot Officer Russ Hilbert at 320-231-6229 ext. 5251 or via email at russ_h@co.kandiyohi.mn.us.

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Printed copies of updated 7020 rule available

Printed copies of the Mn Rules Chapter 7020 governing feedlots will be available from the Minnesota's Bookstore.  Revisions and updates to the rule took effect May 27. Changes include permit requirements for large feedlots, definitions of ownership and permit modifications, and “housekeeping” updates. The revised rule is available online from the Office of Revisor of Statutes. For more background information about the rule process, go to the Feedlot Rulemaking page on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. 

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Feedlot staff, livestock producers invited to Extension workshops on phosphorus

University of Minnesota Extension is hosting workshops across the state presenting strategies that land-limited livestock producers can use to bring their operations into phosphorus import-export balance. When farm-gate imports of phosphorus exceed exports, soil test phosphorus can climb into the range where phosphorus in runoff impairs receiving water bodies. Randy Pepin, UM Extension educator, has conducted in-depth analyses of 20 dairies and beef feedlots in livestock dense areas of Minnesota. Case studies illustrate strategies to redress phosphorus imbalances. State and county feedlot program staff and livestock producers are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Randy Pepin at pepin019@umn.edu or 320-333-1369.

Remaining workshops:

Mar. 4, Murray County Courts Building Meeting Room, 2848 Broadway Ave, Slayton, MN. Registration 10, program 10:30-2, contact Melissa Runck (507) 836-6927.

Mar. 5, McLeod County Fairgrounds, 840 Century Ave SW, Hutchinson, MN. Registration 10:30, program 11-2, contact Nathan Winter (320) 484-4334.

Mar. 19, MN West Campus Room #127, 1314 N Hiawatha Ave, Pipestone, MN.  Registration 10, program 10:30-2, contact Melissa Runck (507) 825-6715.

Mar. 26, Houston County Justice Center, 303 S Marshall St.  Caledonia, MN.  Registration 10, program 10:30-2, contact Steve Richette (507) 725-5807.

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Dairy summit sees challenges, opportunities for growth

Under the banner, 'Stronger Together', a who's who of the Minnesota dairy industry and agriculture academia gathered Feb. 9 at the U of M-St. Paul campus to network and study recommendations for growing the dairy industry in Minnesota. After hearing from leaders in the dairy industry, university and government, the summit concluded with small group discussions about how to increase demand for dairy products.

MPCA commissioner John Linc Stine participated in a panel discussion including MDA assistant commissioner Charlie Poster, and Harlan Madsen, a Kandiyohi County commissioner and dairy farmer. Madsen noted concern about negative perceptions about agriculture, and the need to focus on better relationships and communication. Stine outlined how environmental management supports the dairy industry. All of the questions in a Q and A following panelist comments were directed to Stine, focusing on environmental review of a proposed large dairy project, and the role of the MPCA citizens' board. He recommended that the industry do a better job of communicating with local residents affected by large projects, and that the citizens' board adds value to public discourse.

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In the news

Minnesota EQB launches climate change website

The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board had launched a new website, climatechangmn.org. It details the impact of climate change on Minnesota, and how we're proactively responding. "The impact of the changes we’re making—incremental and invisible as they may seem now—will dramatically shape the quality of life for our children and their children," says Gov. Mark Dayton. Get the facts at http://climatechangemn.org/.

Minnesota Dairy Summit first step to industry revitalization
Dairy Today, 2/9/15
Dodge County approves feedlot zoning amendment change
Rochester Post-Bulletin, 2/12/15
State's dairy discuss legislative priorities
Agri-News, 2/13/15
Water, air quality concerns heighten conflict between pig farms and environmental advocates
Associated Press, 2/16/15
States develop new strategies to reduce nutrient levels in Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico
EPA news release, 2/12/15
Stearns County hopes to add to its 54,000+ CSP acres
The Farmer, 2/12/15
Wisconsin Discovery Farms special edition: From the farmer's voice
Winter newsletter
Dayton's buffer strip plan topic of Farmer Forum
Mankato Free Press, 3/1/15

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March 10-11: West Central Ag Show, Willmar Civic Center.
March 17-19: Midwest Poultry Federation convention, St. Paul RiverCentre.
March 24: Biosecurity, facility design, 10-noon, Kandiyohi County office building, Willmar
March 24-26: Central Plains Dairy Expo, Sioux Falls Convention Center.
March 28: Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers' spring workshop, Rafter P Ranch, Kensington.

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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.