September 2015 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management October 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to September: Thermal Manure-to-Energy Systems for Farms

combustion of poultry litterAre pyrolysis, gasification, or combustion systems feasible for farms? This webinar will present the results of performance evaluations, including technical and environmental feasibility.  The project results from field trials where ash and biochars were compared side-by-side in row crop and vegetable production with commercial fertilizer and untreated poultry litter will also be highlighted. More..

September 18 at 1:30 p.m. (central); 2:30 (eastern); 12:30 (mountain);11:30 am (pacific).

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Featured Videos:
Livestock grazing in a changing climate - implications for adaptive management (from Waste to Worth 2015)

More on Webcasts...

  • Upcoming webcasts: avian influenza response, pathways for implementing nutrient management, communicating controversy
  • Have an idea? Fill out the webcast suggestion form
  • All webcasts are recorded and at our archive. The most recent additions are a two-part series on biochar.

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Climate Resources.  The climate section of the LPELC website has been updated and includes materials for educators to use in their classrooms or extension programming. If you are wondering about sources of greenhouse gases from animal ag, impacts, or how to talk about climate, you should really take a look! More...

Around the "Horns"

Avian Influenza

  • Mary Schwarz of the Cornell Waste Management Institute discussed some of her experiences in composing catastrophic poultry mortalities in the recent avian influenza outbreak. More...
  • An Iowa farmer recalls his experience in depopulating his turkey farm and their recent renewal in operations. More... A quote (below):

“Look at biosecurity issues,” he said, “but also have a plan, whether it’s written in your office or on the side of a barn wall, have a plan of what you’re going to do in case this hits you. Because it can. It’s just that simple.”

cattle feedlotBeef Feeding Systems. Iowa State University has revised its "Beef Feedlot Systems Manual". More... Drovers Cattle Network published an article on some of the systems featured in the manual and positives and negatives for each. More...

Regulations & Court Cases.  A federal judge in North Dakota has issued an injunction blocking the implementation of the recently-finalized "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule. As a result, EPA has indicated it will not apply the rule to the 13 states that were part of the lawsuit. More... Not surprisingly, there is disagreement as some believe the judge's ruling should apply to all 50 states. There are other challenges occurring, including one in West Virginia where the judge declined to block the rule. More...Related: Manure Regulations

Beneficial Manure. A new fact sheet, "Beneficial Uses of Manure" has been released and is a collaborative effort of agencies and several animal ag trade groups. More...

Nutrient Management

  • Several extension specialists contributed to this article that highlights a renewed interest in manure as crop profit margins are dropping. It does a nice job of summarizing some of the benefits of using manure as well as the challenges. More...
  • a small waterway running through a pasture(Jill's note: This is only tangentially related to animal ag & stewardship, but I thought the connection between nitrate and uranium was interesting). A University of Nebraska project found that some major aquifers are being contaminated by naturally occurring uranium that is mobilized as a result of human-contributed nitrate. They looked at the High Plains Aquifer and the Central Valley Aquifer. More...
  • A 20-year partnership in Florida has yielded big dividends in reducing the phosphorus entering the Everglades. More...
  • Related: Manure Nutrient Management

Greenhouse Gases

  • University of Minnesota researchers looked at nitrous oxide emissions from streams that receive runoff from croplands. Nitrous oxide is the result of fertilizer application (both commercial and organic fertilizers such as manure or compost). They concluded that the emission factors used worldwide are underestimating these stream emissions significantly for Minnesota and plan to expand their study worldwide. More... | Abstract...
  • The EPA AgSTAR program (promoting anaerobic digesters) has updated their page on "Guidelines and Permitting for Livestock Anaerobic Digesters". It includes manuals, design standards, safety information and more...

Composting. Manure Manager magazine profiled a Canadian poultry farm that currently landfills their manure but are looking to compost it along with waste paper and wood. The commercial facility is becoming more feasible as agriculture in the area is growing and can utilize the compost. More... | Related: Waste to Worth 2015 proceedings papers on composting

bottles of veterinary pharmaceuticalsAntibiotic Resistant Bacteria. A study recently published by the American Society of Microbiology looked at a commercial pig farm. After decontamination of the farm, on which two strains of antibiotic-resistant (AR) bacteria were found, the farm reduced antibiotic use and piglet mortality. However, the procedure was expensive and a new, different strain of AR was identified within days of repopulation. The new strain also was found in workers' noses. More...

Manure Storage Safety. Foaming manure pits beneath hog barns has been a reported issue for several years in the upper Midwest. The problem has been reduced, but the nature of the foam means that the potential for explosions or flash fires exists if it happens. Chuck Clanton, University of Minnesota offers these reminders.... Another article, featuring the University of Illinois' Richard Gates reinforces the idea of safety and offers contact information for producers to get free decals or doorknob hang tags. More... | Related: Manure Storage Safety

Manure tweet of the week:

 

Events & Announcements

Manure Application Webinar. USDA NRCS will be hosting a webinar "Land Application Methods of Animal Manures and Potential Environmental Impacts" on September 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. Eastern. More...

Mortality Symposium. The 5th International Symposium on Animal Mortality Management will be held September 28-October 1, 2015 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Poster abstracts are still being accepted. More...

Animal Mortality Webinar. USDA NRCS will be hosting a webinar on "New Emergency Animal Mortality Management (368) Conservation Practice Standard and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza". October 7, 2015 at 2 pm eastern. More...

Grazing Lands. The 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands will be held December 13-16 in Grapevine, Texas. The call for papers is currently open. More...

News Droppings

A look at animal agriculture, science, stewardship and manure in the news: serious, funny or controversial. We don't endorse this stuff, we just think you should know about it.

A pig farmer has received approval for a label for pork raised without ractopamine, "A Muscle Drug for Pigs Comes Out of the Shadows" More...

A tractor in Italy is being powered by methane generated on the farm, "New Holland Tractor Uses Farm's Biomethane". More...

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece that highlights the increasing noise in which opinions and beliefs on controversial topics seems to be crowding out objective, scientific discourse. "The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths". More... NPR published a follow up  that expanded on some of the points in the NYT piece "Are Science and Truth at Odds" More...

"McDonalds Plans a Shift to Eggs Only from Cage-Free Hens". More...

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If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact Jill Heemstra jheemstra@unl.edu

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.