Feedlot Update - May 2015

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Feedlot Update

May 2015

SDS general permit for livestock available soon

The State Disposal System livestock general permit is being finalized, and soon will be available. It will be required for livestock farms with 1,000 animal units or more, and do not have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. It will be available on the MPCA feedlot program permit webpage, and applications may be submitted any time after it becomes available. Any feedlot with 1,000 or more animal units must have coverage under either the NPDES or SDS permit as required by the rule. Livestock farms currently operating with an NPDES/SDS permit, may continue with the federal NPDES permit, which will fulfill the state SDS permit requirement. 

Along with the SDS permit there will be a new application form to be used for NPDES and SDS permits. It has been streamlined to make the application process easier. A complete application will consist of submitting the application form and attaching a site sketch, manure management plan, emergency response plan, and engineering plans and specifications (if required). The application form has been shortened from 13 pages to eight pages and now incorporates the air emissions plan, operation and maintenance plan, and animal mortality plan into the eight-page application form itself. Applications for existing NPDES general permit renewals (for 2016-2021) are due Aug. 1.

MPCA form will streamline review of NPDES and SDS permit manure management plans

The MPCA feedlot program will be requiring the use of its manure management plan spreadsheet for NPDES and SDS permits. This will streamline the review process and reduce the review time by having information in a consistent format. It should lead to shorter turnaround times for permit issuance. While the MPCA spreadsheet is the preferred option, a paper form will be developed for use where a computer is not available. If producers and consultants use other methods or programs to develop manure management plans, it will be necessary to transcribe the data to the MPCA standardized form.  

Permit termination form posted

The permit termination form has been updated and has also been updated on the web (see link below). Page 2 of the form discusses two common instances when permit termination is requested and what other info must be included in those instances. A link to the form is in the "Other NPDES/SDS forms" section of the feedlot permit forms webpage.

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Composting primary means of avian flu carcass disposal

turkey compost

Composting is under way on nearly all of the poultry farms in Minnesota affected by the avian influenza outbreak. Guidelines for disposal of livestock mortalities resulting from disaster are listed in a 2012 memorandum of understanding among the Board of Animal Health, Department of Agriculture, and Pollution Control Agency. Composting is very effective for carcass disposal. It kills viruses and breaks down carcasses into nutrient-rich compost that can be applied to crop land, or burial if necessary. Guidelines have been established to prevent outdoor composting from affecting surface and ground water. A step-by-step guide for composting is located on the BAH website. BAH and USDA technicians are testing compost piles after the first heat cycle to ensure the virus has been destroyed. Photo: Composting example from Hanson Silo Company website.

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BAH seeks workers for avian flu campaign

The Board of Animal Health is looking for qualified and dedicated individuals to aid in Minnesota’s fight again avian influenza. Information on the following insurance-eligible positions can be found on the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations website and select Animal Health Board in the Department section.

• Agricultural specialist
• State Program Admin Intermediate
• Veterinarian

Updates on the avian influenza situation are posted daily on the BAH website.

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Turkey for lunch at the state Capitol

turkey lunch
Governor Dayton attended a turkey burger lunch May 5 at the state Capitol, hosted by Rep. Dave Baker, Rep. Chris Swedzinski, and the Republican Rural Caucus. (L to R: Sen David Tomassoni of Chisholm, Rep. Jeff Backer of Browns Valley, Governor Mark Dayton, Speaker Kurt Daudt of Crown and Rep. Tim Miller of Prinsburg.)

County feedlot staff trained on aspects of feedlot rule

CFO training

A group of about 20 newer feedlot staff from delegated counties gathered in Willmar April 28-30 for training on the various aspects of the state's feedlot rules (7020). Under a delegation agreement with the state, 53 counties administer the rule for feedlots below the threshold for the federal and state operating permits for large feedlots. Delegated counties conduct feedlot registration, inspections, issue construction and interim permits, producer assistance, and maintain records.

Training topics included program requirements, permitting, inspections, manure management plans, land application of manure, and emergency response. More information is available on the MPCA county feedlot program webpage. County feedlot officers also have organized the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers, an official affiliate organization with the Association of Minnesota Counties. Photo: Doug Bos, right, of Rock County, presented the session on manure management plan review.

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Above and beyond — Baers making the most of manure

baer poultry farm

Baers Poultry Company is in the process of proactively upgrading much of the barns and manure management systems at its farms near Lake Park, Minnesota. They started in 2013 by renovating an existing chicken barn, replacing outdated equipment, and converting from liquid manure to a newer, state-of-the-art dry system.

The new technology consists of a covered conveyor that transports dry manure to a separate covered barn, where it is stored in rows and ultimately sold to other area farms to be used as crop fertilizer. "It's a better way to manage, store and transport manure," said Amos Baer. "We're hauling less moisture on area roads, and our customers are much happier with the dry product."

A similar project is scheduled this year at another barn site. While working through the permitting process for this new project, the Baers decided to conduct a voluntary environmental assessment at the same time. According to Amos, "we wanted to cover our bases up front with everyone involved so we could address any issues along the way, and keep the project moving forward." The environmental assessment is complete, permits are in place, and construction is set to begin this spring.

Installation of the dry conveyor systems allows the Baers to discontinue use of outdoor manure composting and use of liquid manure. For its proactive and responsible vision, the MPCA thanks Baers Poultry Company for going above and beyond and for making the most of manure. Photo: The new covered conveyer system: 1) transports manure from the chicken barn, into the storage barn, 2) on a conveyer belt that brings it to the barn’s rafters, where it 3) goes down another conveyer that spans the length of the building where a small plow-type mechanism, 4) distributes dry manure in rows along the concrete floor.

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Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center News

LPE News logo

Register for upcoming webcasts, and view archived webcasts on the Livestock and Poultry Learning Center webcast page.

May 15 webcast: 1:30 p.m. Highlights from the waste to worth conference.

April: Manure application over tile drainage. Management and fate of manure and nutrients in tile drained agricultural landscapes, with speakers: Jeff Strock, University of Minnesota; Larry Brown, Ohio State; Peter Kleinman, USDA ARS; James Hoorman, Ohio State; and Tim Harrigan, Michigan State. More...

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In the news

Watonwan County Board approves Janzen feedlot permit
St. James Plaindealer, 4/14/15
Above and beyond — Making the most of manure
MPCA web page
As avian flu spreads, officials mull options -- and Willmar waits
MPR, 4/27/15
Rembrandt Foods egg farm could be single largest operation hit by bird flu
Star Tribune, 4/30/15
For Minnesota turkey farmers, bird flu is crisis of a lifetime
MPR, 5/4/15
Water resources protected via manure management
The Land, 4/24/15
What makes a farm sustainable? Hint: Size doesn't matter
Dairy Good, 4/22/15

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June 2: Agri-Growth Council legislative wrap-up, 11:30 a.m., 317 on Rice Park, St. Paul.
June 4-5: Beef industry partners conference, Rutger's Bay Lake Lodge, Deerwood. Eric Mousel, 605-690-4974.
June 17-19: Midwest Farm Energy Conference, U of M-Morris.
July 20-21: Summer Beef Tour, McLeod County fairgrounds, Hutchinson.
Sept. 24: 5th annual Animal Science Conference, MinnWest Technology Campus, Willmar.

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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.