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July 13, 2009
A Penton Media, Inc Publication


  • Comparing Manure Handling Costs
  • Wireless Hydrogen Sulfide Detector Being Tested
  • Manure Study Released
  • Check Out New Iowa Manure Regulations
  • UC Davis Receives Funding to Study Nitrogen’s Impact
  • Manure Science Review Scheduled July 21 & 23
  • Take Daily Tours at Farm Technology Days
  • Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo Coming To Iowa
  • Surface Lagoon Aeration Workshop Offered




      Comparing Manure Handling Costs
    The extension website offers links to several different University websites where crop and livestock producers can compare the costs of different manure handling options.

    The costs of pumping and land applying manure is affected by many factors, including type of handling systems, distance manure is to be moved, rate of application, and quantity of manure to be moved, among other factors. Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska, and Ray Massey, University of Missouri suggest three resources that may help make manure handling decisions:
    1. Jon Rausch, Ohio State University, has presented a comparison of transportation costs for three manure-handling systems. It can be found at Actual costs will differ from those presented in this publication, but it offers insight into the different types of equipment needed and provides cost comparisons.

    2. The University of Missouri Manure Distribution Cost Analyzer allows individuals to estimate the costs of different systems. Users may enter information about specific application systems, and the program computes operating and ownership costs and the amount of time needed to distribute manure. It can be downloaded at

    3. A team from the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska has developed a software tool called the "Feed Nutrient Management Planning Economics (FNMP$)." It is a comprehensive program connecting feed ration characteristics, manure storage type, and cropping system impacts on the value of manure as a fertilizer. FNMP$ estimates manure nutrients, land requirements, labor and equipment application time, and costs and value for land application. It is a spreadsheet-based program. This tool can be found at and Web-Based Resources for Nutrient Management.

    Now’s the Time to incorporate a Slurrystore System into your nutrient management program. Slurrystore is compatible for any system whether your goal is long term storage, nutrient retention, green containment, digesters or manure processing. Plus Slurrystore Systems include the added feature of agitation to help ensure nutrient consistency. Click here or contact your local Authorized Slurrystore Dealer for more information.

      Wireless Hydrogen Sulfide Detector Being Tested
    Iowa State University (ISU) researchers recently developed a portable wireless hydrogen sulfide detection system for use in swine barns when manure pits are being agitated and pumped. A research team from the ISU’s Agricultural Waste Management Laboratory in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department has been testing a two-piece prototype unit consisting of a battery-operated sensor/transmitter and receiver.

    The sensor/transmitter is placed in the barn before agitation and pumping begin, allowing the operator to safely monitor hydrogen sulfide concentrations from outside of the building via receiver. The signal can be received up to 400 ft. from the building. The receiving range increases to approximately two miles with long-range antennas. An operator-programmed visual and audio alarm can be set to activate at a desired concentration to alert the operator of dangerous hydrogen sulfide levels. Once alerted, the operator can take action to dissipate the deadly gas. Research has shown that hydrogen sulfide gas can be dispersed by stopping agitation and increasing ventilation.

    The prototype has been field-tested in swine confinement operations with good results. Designers targeted custom manure applicators and producers who pump, transport and apply manure from their swine barns. The battery-powered system requires minimal set-up and the battery is expected to last about 14 hours. The receiver unit can also be configured to connect to a vehicle accessory DC power outlet.

    The ISU research team will be providing information about the new detection unit at the June 22 Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo in Boone, IA. For additional information, contact Randy Swestka at ISU at 515-294-3153 or email

      Manure Study Released
    A USDA Economic Research Service study suggests that about 5% of all U.S. cropland is currently fertilized with livestock manure-with corn acres accounting for more than half of the land to which manure is applied. According to the research report, expanded environmental regulations will likely lead to wider use of manure as an organic fertilizer. While this will raise production costs for livestock operations, especially those that must haul the manure any distance, the overall impact on production costs, commodity demand or farm structure is expected to be limited.

    While the report notes there is widespread interest in using manure as an energy source, current use is very limited. It is expected that may change with expanded government support, but the amount of manure used to produce methane or electricity won’t be sufficient to compete with manure supplies used as fertilizer because manure nutrients can be left behind as residue in a more marketable form. Manure-to-energy projects will be most profitable in regions where manure is in excess supply, researchers explain.

    Read the report online at

    Are you getting optimum value from your ag nutrients? Ensure an even nutrient blend and consistency with every load using a Slurrystore® and its center agitation system. There’s no better choice for long term ag nutrient storage. Now’s the Time for Slurrystore. Click here or contact your local Authorized Slurrystore Dealer for more information.

      Check Out New Iowa Manure Regulations
    Iowa State University (ISU) is urging livestock producers to be aware of new laws impacting manure storage and application. Two bills passed by the Iowa Legislature impact confinement livestock operations.

    House File 735 went into effect on April 2 and sets requirements for stockpiling dry manure. The law establishes setback distances from residences and environmentally sensitive areas. It also sets minimum requirements for covering or protecting stockpiles, depending on when the confinement feeding operation was built or expanded and the age of the stockpile.

    Senate File 432 has two main provisions. The first, which became effective on July 1, restricts surface manure application from confinement feeding operations on frozen or snow-covered ground, except in emergencies. It applies only to producers who are required to submit a manure management plan to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This generally includes confinement swine operations housing 1,250 or more finishing pigs and dairy operations with 350 or more mature dairy cows, although the law is not limited to swine and dairy operations.

    The second provision of Senate File 432 sets requirements for the location of dry bedded confinement operations and for manure originating from them. A new or expanding dry bedded confinement operation must be separated from residences and other buildings, and from water sources. There are additional requirements for building and dry bedded manure stockpiles located above vulnerable groundwater areas in the state. This provision became effective May 26.

    Learn more at

      UC Davis Receives Funding to Study Nitrogen’s Impact
    University of California researchers will receive $2.8 million in new grants to study the use and impacts of nitrogen in agricultural production. The funding, coming from several sources, is expected to help fill in the blanks when it comes to managing nitrogen, carbon and water. "This is one of the most important and least publicized environmental issues we face: Escaped nitrogen from agricultural production affects the quality of our air, water, and soil and has huge potential to contribute to climate change," explains Tom Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of California Davis (UC Davis). "Many members of the public and politicians are unaware of the scope of this challenge."

    Data on agricultural nitrogen pollution are limited, and some nitrogen pollution forms are difficult to measure and monitor. The new studies are expected to improve data-collection methods, according to UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute researcher Johan Six, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. He says finding out how much nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases are released during irrigation and fertilization of California farm lands is an urgent research need. "The good news is we know that it is economically feasible to reduce these emissions. The first step is quantifying the necessary reductions,” Six says.

    The new Agricultural Sustainability Institute grants and objectives
    • $1.5 million from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for a statewide assessment of existing scientific evidence on nitrogen use in conventional and alternative farming systems, and relevant practices and policy options. In addition to assessment, a program will be developed to improve communication about nitrogen concerns among California farmers, ranchers, extension advisors, environmental and community groups, agribusiness and government agencies, such as the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    • $500,000 from the California Energy Commission and $350,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for new research on nitrous oxide emissions in various farming systems.

    • $300,000 from the California Air Resources Board for research on practical ways to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in California agriculture.

    • $150,000 from the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Fertilizer Research and Education Program to measure nitrous oxide emissions from cotton, corn and vegetable cropping systems.
    Learn more about the UC Davis research and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute online at

      Manure Science Review Scheduled July 21 & 23
    The 2009 Manure Science Review will be offered at two Ohio locations on July 21 and 23, 2009. The program includes a hands-on session using a workbook to determine crop nutrient needs, manure application rates and crop nutrient balance. Following lunch (noon to 1:00 p.m.), the second session both days includes an in-depth look at nutrient management issues, including an on-site assessment of application best management practices. An inventory and evaluation workshop will be an on-site farm assessment focused on specific areas of concern and identification of mitigation options for manure handling.

    The programs begin at 9:00 a.m. each day. The July 21 program will begin at the Manor Restaurant, Strasburg, OH, followed by the inventory session at Rowe Dairy near Strasburg. The July 23 program begins at St. Mary’s Hall, St. Mary’s, OH, with the afternoon program taking place at Brown Dairy, New Bremen, OH.

    Directions and registration details are available online at

    eHay Weekly is a weekly compilation of prices and marketing information for commercial hay growers. Updates include local market conditions, state and regional hay association news, hay prices from around the nation, and links to USDA weekly hay reports. eHay Weekly is brought to you from the editors of Hay & Forage Grower.

      Take Daily Tours at Farm Technology Days
    State-of-the-art manure handling practices will be a primary focus during the 2009 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days hosted by Crave Brothers Farm, Waterloo, WI, on July 21-23. The 1,100-cow dairy utilizes a manure digester and composts manure while working to efficiently manage water and nutrients. Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a place to learn about the latest technology available for production agriculture, according to organizers.

    A manure management tour will be offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. each day of the three-day show. The tour will include manure composting and application equipment demonstrations, plus a visit to the farm’s digester. The Wisconsin Professional Nutrient Applicators will be highlighting varying aspects of the manure application industry, including auto-steer technology, techniques for incorporating manure while maintaining surface crop residue, and strategies for minimizing odor during application. The group will also show attendees how to apply manure based on the farm’s nutrient management plan.

    More than 600 commercial exhibitors will be on-hand during Farm Technology Days to showcase product and service offerings. In addition to the manure management learning opportunities, field demonstrations will show mowing raking, merging, harvesting and baling equipment in action. Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is the state’s largest outdoor agricultural show.

    Learn more about Wisconsin Farm Technology Days online at

      Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo Coming To Iowa
    The 2009 Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo will be held at the Central Iowa Expo Center in Boone, IA on July 22, 2009. The theme for the meeting is “SET for Fall: Safety, Efficiency, and Technology.” Visitors and vendors will have a chance to interact and discuss manure handling equipment, products and services. The Expo will also offer educational opportunities.

    Learn more about the Midwest Manure Handling Expo online at For additional information email

    NHF Weekly Preview provides pork producers in the United States and Canada with weekly analysis of items that will impact their business. NHF Weekly Preview is brought to you from the editors of National Hog Farmer.

      Surface Lagoon Aeration Workshop Offered
    The University of Minnesota (UM) Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, MN, will host a one-day Lagoon Surface Aeration workshop on July 31. The workshop will present research-based information about a newly developed surface aeration unit featuring venturi air injectors to control odor emission from animal manure lagoons. Attendees will learn more about the technology, its applicability and its limitations. The cost of the workshop is $35. Obtain more information and download a registration form at

    Send Comments & Questions To
    Dale Miller, Editor, National Hog Farmer

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