Feedlot Update - May 3, 2013

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Feedlot Update

May 3, 2013

In this issue

Feedlot program Q&A
Question: Approximately how many horses are there in the U.S.? 3 million, 9 million, 15 million, 22 million.

Answer following Calendar

Training focuses on feedlots in karst regions

karst-feedlot tour

The MPCA recently organized a training event and field tour (April 16-18) that focused on Karst geology in southeastern Minnesota. The event looked at the basics of Karst geology and how it can play a part in the permitting, construction, and operation of feedlots.  Approximately 30 county feedlot officers, MPCA feedlot staff, and MPCA watershed unit staff attended. Dr. Calvin Alexander from the University of Minnesota and Jeff Green from the DNR provided much of the content of the training and field tour. The tour focused on identification of subtle Karst features including a pseudo-Karst field survey to determine what is or is not a sinkhole, and investigation of a newly formed “hole in the ground” to establish if it was a sinkhole.   The final day of the event provided examples of real-world implementation of the information received earlier in the training including a discussion about extensive bedrock removal in order to locate new Liquid Manure Storage Areas, potential application of geo-resistivity surveys for LMSA siting, and a county perspective on the challenges of working with feedlots in this unique setting. An MPCA factsheet has more details about manure storage in karst regions.

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Public notice expected in June for 7020 rule amendments

Following review by the Governor’s office and subsequent publishing of the public notice in the State Register, which is anticipated to occur in June 2013, the proposed updates to the 7020 feedlot rule and associated documents will be available for a 30-day public comment period. If a public hearing is not requested, completion of the rule amendments could occur by late September or early October (longer, if a hearing is required). The development of a General State Disposal System permit hinges on the completion of the rule update. An SDS permit is required by the 7020 feedlot rule for livestock operations of 1,000 animal units or more, which choose not to have a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Updates on the rule process will be issued as needed. 

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Feedlot staff review progress, work plan priorities

The MPCA feedlot program staff held its annual meeting in Hutchinson April 30-May 1 to review progress and work plan priorities for the coming fiscal year. Permitting and inspections remain top priorities, followed closely by outreach/assistance and program development. In the on-going effort to streamline operations and reduce paperwork, the agency is launching a project to transform its data management system to enable online permitting and other documents. Eventually, paper mail will be scanned into electronic form, and electronic signatures will be used. Educational topics at the meetings included climate change, the Watershed Restoration and Protection project, and legislative update.

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Animal traceability addressed in new BAH rules

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced new rules for animal traceability. The Board has been working with livestock groups to adopt rules that allow the Board to control diseases and are sensible for Minnesota farmers. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had been working to adopt a federal traceability rule for several years. The Board took a proactive approach to federal requirements and included language that enhances Minnesota’s ability to effectively trace livestock during disease events. An overhaul of the rules was also needed to eliminate outdated language, clarify the Board’s authorities, address current topics and consolidate rules into a new, easy-to-understand chapter. More information is available on the BAH website.

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Expo outreach shows that horses are livestock, too

canterbury park

Balmy spring weather greeted visitors to the 31st annual Minnesota Horse Expo at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul. Understanding that horses are also livestock, the MPCA feedlot program participated with a display booth among vendors located in the poultry barn. The size of the Horse Expo makes it a great opportunity for any organization to be visible to thousands of people. The feedlot program display included information about feedlot registration and manure management. Some farm owners with 10 horses near surface waters may not realize that their sites may meet the requirements for registration. Even with few horses in a populated area, manure management can pose challenges. Bacteria in runoff can be a water quality issue. Pasture management is also important. The University of Minnesota Extension Service horse program web page holds several publications addressing these issues: "Fertilizing Horse Pastures and Hay Fields," and "Regulations for Manure Management on Minnesota Horse Farms." According to a past inventory, there are about 150,000 horses in Minnesota. The top five counties in the MPCA database lead the field by a wide margin: Scott County (home of Canterbury Park)-3,069, Stearns-3,053, Rice-2,652, Todd-2,588, and Dakota-2,176. According to a 2005 national study, there are more than 9 million horses in the U.S.

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Using grid soil sampling to guide manure application

Les Everett - Water Resources Center Education Coordinator, University of Minnesota, Randy Pepin and Jose A. Hernandez - Extension Educators, University of Minnesota - Extension

Using grid soil sampling to guide manure application can be a profitable investment, is the conclusion from case studies based on eight Minnesota farms. In fields where there is a history of non-uniform manure application, targeting new manure applications to areas with lower phosphorus and potassium soil test values can result in considerable economic returns above the cost of grid soil sampling. Variable rate manure applicators are not required when fields can be divided into application and no-application zones, with supplemental nitrogen fertilizer in the no-manure zones. The brief case studies are available on the University of Minnesota Extension web page for Manure Management and Air Quality http://www.manure.umn.edu, under Grid Soil Sampling for Manure Application. An introduction, the eight case studies, and a set of short video presentations based on the case studies are available at http://z.umn.edu/gridsoilsampling.
Source: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/manure/2013/05/using-grid-soil-sampling-to-guide-manure-application.php
Funding for the development of these case studies was provided by the McKnight Foundation. 

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In the news

Conservation Stewardship Program applications due May 31

The Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year. Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year's funding. For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP websiteor visit your local USDA NRCS office.

Water quality index for ag runoff streamlined

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new Web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields. It's called the Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff, or WQIag for short, and this is how it works: Producers input variables about their field, such as slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices and conservation practices. The WQIag then takes the complex scientific information of these variables and synthesizes them into a single number. Read more.

Haven (Sherburne County) response positive on feedlot proposal
Sherburne County Citizen, 4/19/13
About 600 registered feedlots in Houston County
Caledonia Argus, 4/30/13
Watonwan County approves feedlot conditional use permit
St. James News, 4/22/13

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July 9: Summer Beef Tour, Northwest Stockmen's Association, Roseau.
Aug. 6-8: Farmfest, Gilfillan Farm, Redwood County.

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Answer: 9 million

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