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Nutrient
Management

  Chesapeake Bay TMDL Guidelines Challenge Producers
  Farm Bureau Files Chesapeake Bay Lawsuit
  Know the Laws and Use Caution for Winter Manure Application
  New Standards Focus on Safe Storage
  Resources, Fertilizer Tips Reinforce Strong Manure Value in 2011
  Purdue Rolls Out New Calendar for Size-Neutral RecordKeeping
  Manure-On-Wheat Research Reported
  Confinement Manure Workshops Blanket Iowa this Winter
  Environmental Theme Drives Upcoming Michigan Conference
  Midwest Manure Summit Coming to Green Bay Feb. 15-16
  Workshops are Ongoing in Illinois
  Manure Handling Expo July 20

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Chesapeake Bay TMDL Guidelines Challenge Producers

Livestock producers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are experiencing increased scrutiny in the wake of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently established Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) guidelines. In an attempt to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and related waterways, the EPA is pushing the TMDL, referred to by some as a “pollution diet,” as part of a plan to put pollution plans in place by 2025. Environmental experts are speculating the approach used in the Chesapeake Bay could eventually be applied to other U.S. watersheds.

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL identifies the necessary reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in a 64,000-square-mile area including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Different EPA jurisdiction areas in those states are following detailed plans regarding how pollution will be reduced within each area.

FULL ARTICLE

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Farm Bureau Files Chesapeake Bay Lawsuit

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) filed a lawsuit in federal court earlier this week seeking to halt the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) pollution control regulatory plan for Chesapeake Bay. "We all want a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay," says AFBF President Bob Stallman. "This lawsuit is about how we get there. Farm Bureau believes EPA's 'diet' for the Chesapeake is dangerous and unlawful."

AFBF says the agency is overreaching by establishing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Farm Bureau has three basic objections to the TMDL rule. First, AFBF believes that the rule unlawfully "micromanages" state actions and the activities of farmers, homeowners and businesses within the six-state Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Second, to establish the TMDL, AFBF contends that EPA relied on inaccurate assumptions and a flawed scientific model. AFBF claims that the TMDL violates the Administrative Procedures Act's prohibition of "arbitrary and capricious" agency action. Third, AFBF asserts that EPA violated a requirement that agencies allow meaningful public participation on new rules. The suit alleges that EPA failed to provide the public with critical information about the basis for the TMDL and allowed insufficient time, with a 45-day comment period, for the public to weigh in on technical information that EPA provided.

According to AFBF, EPA finalized the TMDL on Dec. 29, despite documented discrepancies in the data it used to establish the TMDL. The six states in the Chesapeake watershed (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) must now follow very detailed watershed plans, or else EPA could block necessary permits and cut federal funding to the states. "Farmers and ranchers already are taking real, on-the-ground actions every day to improve water quality, actions that have been shown by USDA reports to reduce soil erosion and provide other environmental benefits," Stallman says. "Those actions will continue, regardless of what happens with this lawsuit. We will take our complaint to the courts while farmers continue the work of caring for our natural resources and feeding the world."

Know the Laws and Use Caution for Winter Manure Application

Like it or not, sometimes winter manure application becomes a necessity. Producers are urged to be aware of their state’s laws and rules governing winter application before heading for the field. When winter spreading is the only option, several key considerations should be taken into account.

The best nutrient utilization will come from applying manure as close to the time of crop uptake as possible, and that is not during winter, says Douglas Beegle, Penn State Extension soil fertility specialist. “In winter, when temperatures on the surface of the soil fall below 50oF, the potential volatilization losses are less. However, there is significant potential for losses of surface-applied nutrients in runoff from snow melt or winter rains under these conditions,” he says. Beegle suggests applicators time application and select fields based on how to minimize the potential for loss.

FULL ARTICLE

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New Standards Focus on Safe Storage

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) announced recent completion of a new safety standard focused on enhancing the safety of those working in and around confined-space manure storages. The new standard, ANSI/ASABE S607, offers engineering guidelines to safety specialists, engineers, designers and distributors of confined-space manure storages. The guidelines will also aid storage owners in ventilating manure storage areas prior to entry for retrieval, repair or maintenance of equipment. Numerous farm fatalities occur each year from related asphyxiation and poisoning. The risks of these tragic outcomes can be reduced with forced ventilation, which has been shown to be effective for replenishing oxygen and reducing noxious gases.

ASABE develops standards for food, agricultural and biological systems. Conformance to ASABE standards is voluntary, except where it is required by governmental entities. The documents are developed by consensus, in accordance with procedures approved by the American National Standards Institute.

Learn more and see a current listing of all ASABE standards projects at the ASABE Web site at www.asabe.org/standards/proposed.html.

Resources, Fertilizer Tips Reinforce Strong Manure Value in 2011

The Nebraska CropWatch newsletter advises producers to value and use manure resources wisely to gain benefits from nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients as part of a strategy to help deal with higher fertilizer prices in 2011. The advice appears as part of a story offering 10 tips to help producers get the most from their fertilizer investment. Read the other nine tips at cropwatch.unl.edu/.

The Dec. 9, 2010 issue of Nebraska CropWatch also features an article co-written by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) nutrient management specialist Charles Wortmann and Charles Shapiro, UNL soil scientist, outlining why manure use on cropland is a good investment. The bottom line is that manure provides soil amendment effects that often increase productivity for several years after application. UNL Extension has developed a downloadable spreadsheet and guide entitled, “Calculating the Value of Manure for Crop Production (EC 192).” This is one of several UNL resources pertaining to manure management. Download the spreadsheet and other resources online at water.unl.edu/web/.
Read the Nebraska CropWatch article at cropwatch.unl.edu/.

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Purdue Rolls Out New Calendar for Size-Neutral RecordKeeping

Livestock producers should be managing nutrients properly and taking the time to appropriately document nutrient management practices, regardless of the size of the operation, according to Purdue University animal scientists. “Every producer needs to have detailed records, especially regarding manure issues, because those records are the only proof of what’s been done,” says Tamilee Nennich, Purdue Extension animal scientist.

In an effort to provide an easy-to-use recordkeeping tool, Purdue Extension, the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have teamed up to provide free nutrient management recordkeeping calendars. The calendars are designed to provide inspection reminders and space for producers to write daily, weekly, monthly and annual records. Calendar sections allow recording of rainfall and waterline inspections, plus reminders to check lagoon marker readings, inspect manure storage facilities for damage and make sure manure equipment is in good shape.

Contact Nennich to obtain copies of the calendar by phone (765) 494-4823, or email tnennich@purdue.edu.

Manure-On-Wheat Research Reported

The eXtension Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center will hold a Web cast on Jan. 21, 2011, comparing research results for manure application and conventional fertilizer for soft red winter wheat and corn. Ohio researchers have conducted five years of on-farm research looking at liquid swine and dairy manure vs. urea applied to the two crops. Details pertaining to those research results will be presented live at 2:30 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 21. This Web cast will be available for viewing along with other presentations in the archives on Jan. 24. Learn more about the Web cast at www.extension.org/.

Confinement Manure Workshops Blanket Iowa this Winter

A total of 72 confinement site manure applicator workshops will be held in 63 Iowa counties during January and February. Iowa State University (ISU) is offering the two-hour workshops in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Iowa law requires confinement site manure applicators to attend two hours of continuing education each year of their three-year certification period, or to take and pass an exam once every three years. If a confinement operator has more than 500 animal units, the operator must be certified to apply manure unless the manure is applied by a commercial manure applicator.

In addition to the confinement site workshops, a series of seven dry/solid manure certification meetings will be held in February. Workshops serve as initial certification for those applicators who are not currently certified, recertification for those renewing licenses, and continuing education for those applicators in the second or third year of their license.

Learn more about rules, registration and fees by contacting an Iowa Extension office, or visit the Iowa Manure Management Action Group Web site at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/. View the list of workshop locations online at www.agronext.iastate.edu/.

Environmental Theme Drives Upcoming Michigan Conference

Producers attending the 2011 Agriculture’s Conference on the Environment (ACE) on Jan. 27, 2011 in Lansing, MI, will be able to learn how to use existing tools and online resources to lower farm odor emissions during one of several environmentally focused workshops. Participants will learn more about the new National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) in a session entitled, “Reducing Your Livestock Farm Odor Through Management.” The new NAQSAT is available to livestock farmers to determine ways to reduce on-farm air emissions.

In another workshop session, Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas, will present information about using management practices to maintain yields while cutting energy use in a session called, “Evaluating Your Carbon Footprint Can Save Money.” He says measuring an operation’s carbon footprint gives farmers the ability to discover areas where they could improve efficiency related to waste disposal, heating and cooling and energy use.

ACE 2011 will be held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. In addition to environmental topics, the conference will focus on key topics important to Michigan’s farmers. Find additional information and registration details online at www.maeap.org/ace.

Midwest Manure Summit Coming to Green Bay Feb. 15-16

The Midwest Manure Summit, a two-day conference focusing on manure processing and handling, will be held Feb. 15-16, 2011 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. A host of speakers will provide the latest perspectives on air quality, biofilters, manure system hazards, digesters and many other topics. Learn more at www.midwestmanure.com.

Workshops are Ongoing in Illinois

Winter manure storage and spreading strategies will be part of the program during an ongoing series of Illinois Certified Livestock Manager Training (CLMT) workshops being held throughout Illinois in coming weeks. Four workshops were scheduled during January, with two in February and one in March.

Phosphorus management approaches such as subsurface injection and feeding livestock lower-phosphorus rations will be presented as options to lessen runoff. Representatives from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Livestock Facilities Program will provide information at each workshop about the rules related to the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act. The act requires producers with more than 300 animal units to obtain certification in livestock manure management. The certification must be renewed every three years. The IDOA certification exam is offered after each CLMT workshop.

Other topics being addressed during the workshops include manure application in no-till fields, solutions to feed storage runoff challenges and an update on manure pit foaming issues.

Register for a workshop or purchase a manual or CD by calling (800) 345-6087. An online workshop brochure and schedule of meeting locations is available at www.livestocktraining.com. Contact Randy Fonner, University of Illinois Extension specialist and CLMT workshop coordinator, at (217) 333-2611.

Manure Handling Expo July 20

It’s not too early to make plans to head to Norfolk, NE, for the 2011 North American Manure Handling Expo on July 20. The Expo theme of Professionalism in Manure Management will be emphasized through commercial field demonstrations, hands-on product and safety programs, educational sessions and commercial vendor displays.

The 2011 North American Manure Handling Expo is sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and is supported by a consortium of land grant universities and conservation agencies, in partnership with Nebraska Custom Applicators and the Iowa Commercial Nutrient Applicators Association.

Visit the program Web site for more information at www.manureexpo.org/.

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