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May 11, 2009
A Penton Media, Inc Publication


  • Six Tips for Applying Manure to Wet Soil
  • Hog Manure Management Continues to Evolve
  • How Much Energy In Manure?
  • No More Reminder Letters in Iowa
  • CRP Extension Announced
  • Comparing Organic, Conventional Dairy Manure
  • Funding Available For Organic Agriculture
  • Exploring Benefits of Swine Methane Digestion
  • Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo
  • Texas Conference to Cover Manure Issues




      Six Tips for Applying Manure to Wet Soil
    A wet spring in parts of the Midwest is causing some manure application challenges, according to Tamilee Nennich, Purdue Extension nutrient management specialist. "It's important for the manure to stay on the field," Nennich says. "We do not want nutrients to run off the fields or leach through the soil, especially when there are tile lines. We want to conserve those nutrients and keep them on the field. It's especially important to not apply manure to saturated soils or if you know a rainfall is coming."

    Nennich offers six tips to help manure applicators avoid application dilemmas. First, she urges applicators to pay attention to setbacks and buffer distances. Nennich recommends marking the actual distance with colored flags. "What looks like 50 ft. on the seat of a tractor may not actually be 50 ft.," she says.

    Next, applicators should apply manure to fields according to calculated rates. Do not over apply. "When calculating the application rate, take into account any applications done last fall, including manure or inorganic fertilizer. Nitrogen credits from legumes also should be taken into account."

    Do not apply manure to saturated or wet fields to help avoid runoff or manure entering tile lines. "Significant compaction can occur with heavy application equipment, which can result in reduced yield," Nennich states. "

    Be mindful of wind speed and direction and how they may impact neighbors during application. Keep neighbor relations in mind. "It's the time of year for graduation parties, family reunions and outdoor gatherings," she notes. "Try to work with your neighbor and avoid applying around the area where the event will be held. It also helps to explain why it's necessary to apply manure and that you have a short window of time to get the job done before planting. This may not always work, but it certainly helps."

    Application equipment should be repaired and upgraded on a regular basis to minimize the chance of a leak or breakdown. Nennich points out that special attention should be given to joints and connection points to make sure they are fitted and secure. Applicators should check and monitor equipment, including hoses, pipes, pumps and connectors, at least once daily during application to detect any leaks or malfunctioning equipment.

    Keep accurate records. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the date of application, acreage applied to and field location, application method used, and the source of manure applied all be recorded. Actual nitrogen and phosphorous rates should also be recorded for each field.

    The ultimate goal is to make sure manure is applied at the correct agronomic rate at the right location and at the right time to conserve nutrients and keep them on the field, which is better for both the environment and the pocketbook, Nennich says.

    Purdue University offers nutrient management record-keeping calendars. Contact Nennich at 765-494-4823 or for more information about ordering calendars, or for additional information.

    She says additional resources include the Purdue Animal Manure Solutions Web site at; a publication entitled, "Animal Manure as a Plant Nutrient Resource,"; Manure Management Planner software,; and "Land Application Records and Sampling,"

    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.

      Hog Manure Management Continues to Evolve
    A recently released USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) report uses data from two national pork producer surveys to take a close look at how manure management practices have evolved over time. The report examines changes taking place from 1998 through 2004. The ERS researchers note the effects of structural changes in the industry, recent policies on manure management technologies and practices and the use of nutrient management plans and attention to manure application rates.

    Increased farm size and regional shifts in production have influenced manure management practices. Additional influencing factors include changes to the Clean Water Act and state regulations, as well as more local conflicts over odor and air quality issues.

    The findings suggest that larger hog operations are altering their manure management decisions in response to binding nutrient application constraints, and that environmental policy is contributing to the adoption of conservation-compatible manure management practices.

    Read the report online at

      How Much Energy In Manure?
    John Lory, University of Missouri, answered a recent question posed on the Extension website regarding how much energy swine manure is capable of generating. He says most references based on bomb calorimeter studies of manure indicate swine manure can generate about 7,500 btu/lb. of manure dry matter. He notes this value is similar to the energy in raw feedstuffs. Lory goes on to explain that one finishing pig will consume about 600 lb. of feed. The energy content of the feed is about 5 million btu. The pig will excrete about 150 lb. of manure dry matter. Energy content of the manure is about 1 million btu.

    Lory notes the water in manure must be vaporized before the manure will burn. About 1,000 btu of energy are required to vaporize 1 lb. of water. The energy in 1 lb. of manure dry matter can vaporize about 7.5 lb. of water. This suggests a “break-even” moisture content of 88% on a wet basis. Most manures have an “as-excreted” moisture content in this range, he says. Lory’s answer was based on presentation by Charles Fulhage, a former faculty member at University of Missouri.

    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.

      No More Reminder Letters in Iowa
    Iowa State University reports that after June 30, 2009, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is going to discontinue sending reminder letters to livestock producers 45 days before their manure management plans (MMP) are due. Producers will receive a final reminder letter to producers prior to June 30. That letter will notify producers when their complete MMP based on the phosphorus (P) index will be due. Producers can check for the MMP due date on the IDNR web site at Learn more at the IDNR web site at


    Learn more at, email,
    or by phone 507-375-5577

      CRP Extension Announced
    USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will offer certain producers the opportunity to modify and extend their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts that are scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2009. This extension will ensure that FSA meets the statutory CRP acreage limitation of 32 million acres established in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. USDA can only extend approximately 1.5 million acres out of a total 3.9 million acres expiring this year.

    A general CRP signup is not scheduled during fiscal year 2009. However, producers may continue to enroll relatively small, highly-desirable acreages, including land that is not extended, into Continuous CRP. Continuous CRP includes such practices as filter strips and riparian buffers.

    FSA will notify participants by letter beginning May 6, 2009. The sign-up for this voluntary extension will begin on May 18 and run through June 30, 2009. Farmers and ranchers may apply for this extension at their FSA county office. CRP contracts with the highest environmental benefit or with the highest potential for soil erosion will be selected. CRP contracts cannot exceed 15 years in the aggregate and chosen CRP contract holders will generally be offered a three- to five-year extension.

    Producers electing to extend their contract period will receive their current contract rental rate. All or a portion of the acreage under contract may be included in an extension, but no new acreage may be added.

    For more information about CRP and other FSA programs, visit your county FSA office or learn more at .

      Comparing Organic, Conventional Dairy Manure
    A USDA Agricultural Research Service chemist recently explored the differences in specific nutrient contents between conventional and organic dairy manures from commercial dairy farms. Zhongqui He worked with colleagues at the ARS New England Plant, Soil and Water Laboratory in Orono, ME. He looked at differences in phosphorus, metal and mineral contents in manure from the different production systems. The two types of manure (organic vs. non-organic) had at least 17 different chemical forms of phosphorus that varied in concentration. The organic dairy manure in this particular study had higher levels of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Organic dairy manure also contained more types of phosphorus found in association with calcium and magnesium.

    Read more about the research at

      Funding Available For Organic Agriculture
    USDA recently announced that $50 million will be available for a new initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production. Funding for the initiative is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special program to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.

    Nutrient management is among the minimum core conservation practices that will be required. States are directed to consider using any appropriate practice that meets the resource concern on a particular operation.

    Applications received from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming will be accepted under this initiative between May 11 and May 29. Applications will be ranked at that time.

    The 2009 Organic Initiative will be administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Interested producers should visit the nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Additional information on the 2009 EQIP Organic Initiative is available at: .

      Exploring Benefits of Swine Methane Digestion
    A June 3 World Pork Expo seminar will explore the environmental and economic benefits that may result from capturing swine manure methane. The seminar will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

    Speakers will cover financial resources available for digesters through USDA and the Farm Bill, an overview of digesters and the pork industry, and a producer perspective on how a manure digester has been used on a Nebraska hog farm.

    The World Pork Expo seminar schedule is 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.

      Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo
    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.

      Texas Conference to Cover Manure Issues
    The Texas Animal Manure Management Issues Conference will be held Sept. 29-30 at the Austin Marriott North in Round Rock, TX. Conference topics include manure nutrients, water and air quality, animal feeding operation-siting, manure management systems, bioenergy and value-added products. Presentations will also highlight lessons learned from Hurricane Ike on the disposal of catastrophic animal mortalities.

    Learn more about the program at

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

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