The 2010-2011 Illinois Certified Livestock Manager Training (CLMT) workshops begin this year in Bloomington, IL, on Dec. 14. Seven subsequent workshops will be held around Illinois in the New Year, with four workshops in January, two in February and one in March.

Winter spreading of manure will be a key topic, explains Randy Fonner, University of Illinois (UI) Extension specialist and coordinator of the CLMT workshops. “We’ve had two wet springs in a row, so we’ll talk about strategies to empty your storages in the winter when they’re full. Then, if it does turn rainy and you can’t get in the fields, maybe you won’t be in as bad a shape as if you didn’t empty them.”

Phosphorus management strategies, such as subsurface injection and low-phosphorus livestock feeding strategies, will be discussed as options to lessen runoff. Fonner urges livestock producers to consider working with neighbors to apply manure on fields that have had little if any manure applied in the past.

A good soil test will show producers what nutrients their cropland needs. “Variable rate application puts the nutrients where you need them, and reduces the risk of unused nutrients going into surface or groundwater,” he says.

Brad Beaver, manager of the Illinois Department of Agriculture's (IDOA) Livestock Facilities Program, will be on hand at each workshop to discuss the rules of the Livestock Management Facilities Act, passed in Illinois in May 1996. The act requires certification in livestock manure management for producers with more than 300 animal units and must be renewed every three years. The IDOA exam for certification is offered after each CLMT workshop.

Other topics that will be addressed include manure application in no-till, solutions to feed storage runoff problems, and an update on the foaming that’s become a more prevalent problem in manure pits the last two years.

To register for a workshop or purchase a manual or CD, call 800-345-6087.

A workshop brochure and schedule of meeting locations is available online at www.livestocktraining.com. If you have questions, contact Fonner at 217-333-2611 or email clmt@illinois.edu.