February/March 2016 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management March 03, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to March: Veterinary Feed Directive, Antibiotic Resistance, and Animal Agriculture

This webcast will examine the veterinary feed directive and how it impacts animal agriculture as well as discuss the state of the science as it relates to antibiotic resistance. Finally, we’ll bust some myths and review “facts” to keep in mind when chatting with livestock producers and the general public. More... March 25 at 1:30 p.m. (central); 2:30 (eastern); 12:30 (mountain);11:30 am (pacific).

Presenters: Dee Griffin, Great Plains Veterinary Education Center, Jean Mclain and Lisa Durso, USDA ARS. The broadcast will be moderated by John Brooks, USDA ARS.

Add to Calendar: iCal (Outlook) | Google calendar

Featured Video:

Clean Water Act Regulatory Requirements for CAFOs

More on Webcasts...

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Nutrient Management Videos. The US Egg and Poultry Association, EPA, and several people involved in the LPELC network developed a series of videos on nutrient management and water regulations. The videos are applicable to all species of livestock as well as poultry. The series also includes a nice interview with farmers on their perspectives of nutrient management. View on Youtube | Order a DVD

Around the "Horns"

Avian Influenza.

  • A University of Minnesota study looked at some of the causes of the avian influenza outbreak last year. The data indicated that wild birds were likely the initiator of the outbreak and that biosecurity breaches and equipment (like rendering trucks) traveling between farms was likely how it spread from farm to farm. More (article)... | Direct link to study

bottles of veterinary pharmaceuticalsAntibiotics - Pathogens - Hormones

  • What do consumers think about antibiotic use in animal agriculture? While most do not bring up the topic first, it is clear that there is a growing amount of interest. This article also goes on to explain the three documents released by FDA that will change how antibiotics are used in animal ag. More... Related: March 25 webinar on "VFD, antibiotics & animal ag"
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a progress report on antimicrobial use in livestock. The report includes the release of the veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule and plan for obtaining data on the sales of anti-microbials for use in food-producing animals. More...
  • Research in Nebraska found that current recommendations to keep leafy greens 120 meters from feedlots may not be adequate to prevent airborne particulates from carrying E. coli to these fields. In this study, E. coli was found on leafy greens growing as far as 180 meters away from the feedlot. More...
  • Iowa research looked at tillage and poultry litter application rates on the presence of Salmonella and fecal indicator bacteria in tile drainage. They found that higher rates of litter application were associated with higher levels of these bacteria and that they persisted for more than three months during periods with high rainfall. More... | Related: Archived webcast "Manure and nutrient management on tile drained land"
  • A University of Buffalo study looked at manure undergoing anaerobic digestion at a New York dairy farm to examine the fate of antibiotics and estrogen.  They found that these compounds largely persisted and that much of the estrogen may even be converted to an even more biologically active compound. More...

cow grazingGrazing Management.

  • USDA NRCS is hosting a webinar on "Integrating Grazing Into Cropping Systems" The program will include a look at grazing cover crops and how grazing changes soil microbial communities. March 8, 2016 at 2 p.m. (eastern). More...
  • The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), a trinational organization focused on North American environmental issues, recently released a series of infographics describing the North American ranching industries. One of the topics in the publication is the status and trends in grasslands. More...
  • The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) sustainable ag program has released a new managed grazing online tutorial. It covers fencing, water, fertility, intensification, monitoring and more. More...

Farming Systems

  • More and more research is looking at the ecological aspect of farming systems with soil health, animal well-being, and biodiversity being among the parameters weighed along with productivity and profitability. This article summarizes a Vermont study that found that managing for biodiversity can benefit farmers. More...
  • Arizona State University researchers looked at human interactions with the landscape in the Mediterranean with a focus on small farmers and herders. Some of the interesting conclusions included the idea that small-scale farming also can have a large impact on the landscape and that those who tried to put equal time into both herding and farming eventually failed. More...

Related: Archived webinar: Manure Impacts on Soil

composted dairy manureManure as a Resource

  • A long-term manure study in Idaho is partially complete and some of the first recommendations are coming from that work. If accumulated salts are an issue (as with potatoes and dried beans) and the nutrient plan allows, applying a larger volume of manure in one year and skipping application the next allows salts to leach below the root zone. More...
  • Two Irish teenage entrepreneurs are receiving international recognition after coming up with an idea to create a business based on cow manure briquettes. The fuel would be used to replace peat for burning. More...
  • Ray Massey, University of Missouri explains how manure storage systems can drastically impact the fertilizer value of manure. More... (click on the upper left "full interview 8:11" link to hear the entire interview)

Bioenergy Courses. Scholarship applications are being accepted for those interested in taking online graduate-level courses on Bioenergy Systems or Bioenergy Harvest and Logistics. The deadline to apply is March 15. More... 

Air Quality. The USDA has renewed its air quality task force and appointed members for a 2016-18 term. The group is made up of academia, industry, agriculture, non governmental organizations and more. The group is responsible for advising USDA so that sound science is funded and utilized in policy and program decisions. To see the list of members view the USDA press release. Related: Air quality and animal agriculture

a small waterway running through a pastureNutrient Management

  • The Chesapeake Bay Commission recently issued a new report comparing Maryland's phosphorus management tool (PMT) to the phosphorus index approaches used by Virginia and Maryland. News release... | View report
  • For the first time, the global nitrogen footprint has been mapped. According to this effort, the United States, China, India and Brazil are responsible for 46% of the world's nitrogen emissions, mostly through their consumption of nitrogen-intensive goods (including animal products). Australia was one of the few wealthy nations that was a net exporter of nitrogen. More... This study was cited in a National Public Radio story on "Why Your Hamburger Might Be Leading to Nitrogen Pollution".
  • We often discuss nutrient pollution and the need to reduce both nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) but at least one study indicates that it matters how much reduction occurs relative to each other. Netherlands study found that decades of environmental policy in that area was far more effective as reducing P than N. This has caused a significant imbalance in these nutrients in the North Sea. The recommendation is to restore the balance by putting the brakes on the drastic phosphorus reductions while increasing nitrogen efforts. More...

Foaming Manure. Iowa and Illinois researchers took a close look at foaming manure and factors (fiber source and particle size) that lead to this potentially dangerous situation in swine barns. They found that finer particles reduced methane potential while decreased digestibility (bigger grind size and more neutral detergent fiber) increased foaming. There appears to be a strong link between carbon in the manure and foaming. News article... | Journal abstract...

Events & Announcements

Fly Control Webinar.  "Unique Fly Control Methods for Organic Dairies", a webinar by eOrganic (March 24, 2016) More...

Outdoor Hogs Webinar. USDA NRCS is hosting a webinar on "Conservation Planning Considerations for Outdoor Swine Operations". March 20, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. (eastern). More...

Biocycle West. The west coast conference on organics recycling will be held April 4-7, 2016 in San Diego, CA. More...

ASABE 2016. Abstracts are being accepted for the 2016 Annual International Meeting for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) to be held in July in Orlando, FL. More...

Manure Tweet of the Week

It is almost that time of year (gardening).

News Droppings

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

"Maryland lawmakers take aim at chicken manure". A proposed bill would require poultry companies to be responsible for excess litter produced by their contract growers. More... | A later article talks about changes in the proposal. Basically, contract growers do not necessarily want to give up the manure and are citing constitutional amendments to keep it. More...

"Producer's safety mantra: No more, Nobody else". An Iowa farmer survived a methane explosion and exhorts others to put safety first. More...

"Wisconsin producer named 2016 innovative dairy farmer of the year" More... | Several cattle ranches were also honored for environmental stewardship. 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.