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June 8, 2009
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Contents
  • Database Features Anaerobic Manure Digester Details
  • Manitoba Group Supports Manure Initiatives
  • Dairy Manure Consistency Impacts Phosphorus Leaching
  • Find Regulatory Resources Online
  • Webcast Tracks Carbon Footprint of Animal Operations
  • Midwest Nutrient Applicators to Meet June 23
  • Manure Science Review July 21 & 23
  • Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo

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      Database Features Anaerobic Manure Digester Details
    There were approximately 125 operating anaerobic manure digesters in the United States in 2008, says Chris Voell, program manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) AgSTAR Program. He told World Pork Expo attendees last week that an estimated 4,000 U.S. swine farms would make viable candidates for using the digester technology. Interested producers would still face some challenges, however, as the energy policies at local, state and national levels can sometimes make the process of connecting to the power grid and selling energy somewhat difficult.

    EPA offers an online database touching on some of the basics involved with anaerobic manure digestion. The website features descriptions of a number of on-farm digester projects in the United States. Voell says captured biogas is used to generate electrical power for the farms in 113 of the 125 operational U.S. digester systems. These systems generate about 244,000 MWh of electricity per year. The remaining 12 systems use the gas in boilers, upgrade the gas for injection into the natural gas pipeline, or simply flare the captured gas for odor control.

    Half of all manure-based digesters are located in California, Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania. There are 18 operating swine manure digesters in the U.S. The majority of the country’s manure digesters are being used in dairy operations, with a small number of poultry operations and one beef producer also utilizing the technology.

    Learn more about anaerobic manure digesters and see the database at the EPA AgSTAR website at www.epa.gov/agstar/operational.html#addatabase.

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      Manitoba Group Supports Manure Initiatives
    The Manitoba Manure Management Initiative is seeking proposals for innovative manure management research and demonstration projects in three specific project areas:

    1. Decreasing phosphorus loading in soils to comply with current regulations.
    2. The impact of nutrients and/or heavy metals released from various manure sources when applied to annual versus perennial cropping systems.
    3. Development of standards for acceptable odor levels surrounding livestock operations, reducing indoor and outdoor odor and gases, and evaluating livestock siting models.

    Proposals submitted in other subject areas will be considered as well, but funding priority will be given to the above topic areas. Proposals will be selected based on relevance for implementation in Manitoba. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2009. Contact Brandy Street, executive director of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative, Inc. at 204-954-2122, or email brandy.street@gov.mb.ca. Application forms are available at the group’s website at www.manure.mb.ca/projects.

    The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative is designed to work with the province’s agricultural industry to address challenges that come with adapting to environmental regulations and manure and odor management in animal agriculture.


      Dairy Manure Consistency Impacts Phosphorus Leaching
    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have found that solid dairy manure is better than commercial fertilizer in mitigating the amount of phosphorus that can accumulate in water percolating through the soil. However, using liquid dairy manure can make the leaching problem worse.

    ARS soil scientists David Tarkalson and April Leytem, based at the ARS Northwest irrigation and Soils Research laboratory in Kimberly, ID, used manure from two Idaho dairy farms to study phosphorus leaching in the fine sandy loam soils typically found in the region. In laboratory tests they amended 24 soil columns with either liquid dairy manure, solid dairy manure or monoammonium phosphate (MAP), a commercial fertilizer. Then the researchers "irrigated" the soil columns 13 times over nine weeks and collected the leachate, or liquid that drained out of the soil. The leachate carried substances picked up along the way during each irrigation event. The leachate was analyzed for total organic carbon and total phosphorus. After the irrigation testing, researchers also analyzed the soil in each column for phosphorus, carbon, calcium, iron and manganese.

    Tarkalson and Leytem found that the largest quantities of phosphorus moved through soils that had been amended with liquid manure. They discovered that the phosphorus in MAP was more mobile in the soil than phosphorus in the solid manures. The scientists observed that liquid manure and solid manure differed significantly in their carbon compound makeup, which may contribute to the resulting variations in the manure leachates. Other factors may also play a part in the dynamics of phosphorus leaching, including microbial activity, soil metal content and the ability of clay particles in the soil to attract and hold onto phosphorus.

    Read more about the research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service website at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2009/090528.htm?pf=1.

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      Find Regulatory Resources Online
    A recent post on the eXtension website explains how producers can find information about state regulatory authorities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a page listing the contact information for all state regulatory authorities responsible for environmental regulation of livestock and poultry operations. State resources are found online at cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/contacts.cfm?program_id=7&type=STATE. These are the government agencies that regulate livestock waste in each specific state. Producers who have questions about how the regulations apply to their farm should contact these state resources first.

    EPA is divided into 10 regions, each generally made up of four to six states. The EPA regional contacts essentially oversee the state environmental programs. The list of regional contacts is online at cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/contacts.cfm?program_id=7&type=REGION.

    EPA also maintains a Compliance Assistance Center to provide producers and their advisers with information about environmental regulations and how they apply to agricultural operations. This resource can be found at www.epa.gov/agriculture/.

    Learn more about a variety of manure management topics at the eXtension website at www.extension.org/animal%20manure%20management.

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      Webcast Tracks Carbon Footprint of Animal Operations
    The eXtension website will feature a July 31, 2009 webcast presentation focusing on calculating the carbon footprint of animal feeding operations. The presentation will be led by Jude Capper, Washington State University. Capper has authored several papers and delivered presentations about the impact of dairy production efficiency on the industry's carbon footprint. The July 31 webcast is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (EST)/1:30 p.m. (CST).

    Participants can access the webcast on July 31 by following directions outlined at www.extension.org/pages/Live_Webcast_Information. First-time viewers should follow the steps at www.extension.org/pages/How_Do_I_Participate_in_a_Webcast? a few days before the webcast to ensure they will be able to access the virtual meeting room.


      Midwest Nutrient Applicators to Meet June 23
    The Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Annual Meeting and Educational Program will be held June 23, 2009 at the Ohio State University-Lima campus in Reed Hall, room 160. Current members as well as producers or nutrient applicators who may be interested in joining the group are all invited to attend the meeting.

    Presentations will cover bio-security issues, business analysis of a custom farming operation, stockpiling manure and conservation systems with Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and slurry seeding, among other topics. The $10 registration fee includes lunch. A full agenda and registration information can be found online at http://oema.osu.edu/documents/flyer_000.pdf.


      Manure Science Review 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 from noon to 1:00 p.m., the second session of each day includes an in-depth look at nutrient management issues including an on-site assessment of application best management practices. Participants can then take part in an on-farm inventory and evaluation workshop hosted by a local dairy. The on-farm assessment will look at specific areas of concern and teach participants about 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, with the afternoon session hosted by Rowe Dairy near Strasburg. The July 23 program begins at St. Mary’s Hall, St. Mary’s, OH. The afternoon program on July 23 will take place at Brown Dairy, New Bremen, OH.

    Directions and registration details are available online at www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ocamm/MSR09_brochure.pdf.


      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 www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/2009ummhe/home.html. For additional information email agwaste@iastate.edu.

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    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.

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