Thirty-three Conservation Innovation Grants have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to entities across the nation to develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate private lands conservation.
Grant recipients will demonstrate innovative approaches to improve soil health, conserve energy, manage nutrients and enhance wildlife habitat in balance with productive agricultural systems. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this competitive grants program....More
With manure deep pits filling in August and September in the Upper Midwest comes heightened safety concerns for area swine farmers, warn University of Minnesota agricultural engineers Chuck Clanton and Larry Jacobson. ...More
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will sponsor a Low-Cost Feedlot Effluent Pumping and Flood Irrigation Field Day on Aug. 27 starting at 1 p.m., at the Greg Galles feedlot, located south of Marcus, IA. This system is designed to incorporate a pumping system below a settling basin that will move the nutrient-rich effluent away from the road ditch to a nearby crop field....More
A new law has gone into effect in North Carolina that changes the soil testing requirement for animal operations from every year to every three years, according to the North Carolina Pork Council....More
As livestock farms face increased scrutiny, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in states like Iowa conducts aerial flyovers, internet investigations and onsite inspections. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also investigates complaints and responds to emergency manure spills in many states, too. Because inspections can often occur with no prior notice to the farmer, the Iowa Farm Bureau and Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers have put together a checklist for producers to help prepare for an inspection at any time. The goal is to help producers think about how to prepare ahead of time to respond on the day the EPA inspector drives into the yard....More
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept 1.7 million acres offered under the 45th Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. The department received nearly 28,000 offers on more than 1.9 million acres of land, demonstrating CRP's continuing appeal as one of the nation's most successful voluntary programs for soil, water and wildlife conservation. USDA has enrolled nearly 12 million acres in new CRP contracts since 2009. Currently, there are more than 26.9 million acres enrolled on 700,000 contracts....More
The risk of spreading porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus through manure application should be a concern for all farms with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of the disease, according to a recent report by Gerald May and Beth Ferry, Michigan State University Extension. PED is spread through oral-fecal contact, manure-contaminated boots, clothing, transport trailers and other equipment....More
The Ohio Manure Science Review will be held on Aug. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Hord Livestock Farms, Bucyrus, OH. The day’s agenda includes an overview of the Hord’s approach to managing odors and manure nutrients, a presentation about nutrient variations in stored manure, and the benefits of using the “4Rs” approach – the right nutrient sources at the right rate, time and place – among others....More
West Virginia farmer Lois Alt has been joined by the American Farm Bureau Federation and West Virginia Farm Bureau in a joint filing asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to determine that livestock farmers do not need Clean Water Act discharge permits for storm water runoff from their farms....More
Changing swine diet formulation has the potential to dramatically change manure values. Iowa State University Extension Swine Field Specialists Dave Stender and Matt Swantek are putting the finishing touches on a spreadsheet to compare the feed savings from diet formulation to the value of nutrients in the manure. Swantek also developed a feeding model to predict the feed cost and manure nutrient changes on a per-pig basis....More
The 2013 North American Manure Expo will be held at the University of Guelph Arkell Research Station on Aug. 21. The theme for the Expo is “Getting it Right – Precision Manure Management.” The show includes educational seminars, exhibit booths and field demonstrations....More
Researchers at the University of Arkansas are attempting to help the U.S. dairy industry decrease its carbon footprint, according to a report in Feedstuffs.
In 2007, Americans consumed approximately 17.4 million metric tons (19 million tons) of fluid milk — not including milk used in dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream. The dairy industry has set a goal of 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020....More
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton recently launched a new agricultural water quality pilot program designed to enhance the state’s water quality. The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program is the first of its kind in the nation and is the product of a state-federal Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governor Dayton, Secretary Vilsack and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in January 2012.
Under the certification program, farmers who implement and maintain approved conservation plans will be certified and, in turn, assured that their operations meet water quality goals and standards for the term of the certification agreement which lasts up to 10 years....More
Meatingplace.com reports that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached a new agreement to reduce pollution from animal operations in the Delmarva region of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia....More
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the release of COMET-Farm™, a free, online tool created by Colorado State University (CSU) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) to help producers calculate how much carbon their land's soil and vegetation can remove from the atmosphere.
The tool also will also help producers calculate and understand how land management decisions impact energy use and greenhouse gas emissions....More
An extended period of wet weather this spring has led to manure management concerns for many midwestern livestock producers. Iowa State University (ISU) officials say manure storage has been a challenge this spring, and advise that the primary management goal should be to keep concentrated manure contained....More
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University today announced the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy has been completed and is available at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu, according to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)....More
A statement by former Michigan State University Extension educator Natalie Rector noting that “with rising nitrogen prices, manure nutrients are more valuable than ever,” is as true today as it was when she said it five years ago, according to a report from Christina Curell of Michigan State University Extension....More
The April 15, 2013 issue of National Hog Farmer delves into strategies for capturing manure’s value at a time when pork producers are tightening their belts to weather less-than-favorable hog prices, persistent high feed costs and escalating energy charges....More
The Midwest Nutrient Applicators Association will be holding its annual meeting on June 11 at the Hancock County Extension office in Findlay, OH. The program will feature speakers addressing legal issues for manure haulers, equipment on roadways, online tools for nutrient management and the “Four Rs” of nutrient stewardship....More
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement on April 25 that takes aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions through construction of anaerobic digesters and other innovative methods to reduce products previously considered waste streams from dairy production, processing and handling....More
Redoubling efforts to retrieve data on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) illegally sent to environmental activist groups in February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a second letter this past week.
The first letter sought to retrieve the previously issued data and resend in a redacted form. The latest letter seeks to retrieve the redacted information and replace it with new, further redacted information as EPA recognized that their release still contained significant amounts of private data....More
A federal court’s refusal to agree to a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dismiss a case brought by West Virginia poultry farmer Lois Alt is being declared a victory for poultry and livestock farmers. Alt sued EPA challenging an agency order demanding that she obtain a Clean Water Act discharge permit for ordinary stormwater runoff from her farmyard, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which supported the farmer in the case....More