May 2013 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management May 10, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

A monoslope bedded beef barn in South Dakota"Monoslope Bedded Beef Barns for Cattle" is the topic of the May webcast. Learn more about these buildings and why they are gaining in popularity in the Midwest. The speakers will be Beth Doran, Iowa State University and three producers who currently feed cattle in this system.   More... May 17, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (eastern). Related: Monoslope Beef Barns

Looking Ahead to June

The topic for the June 21 is "Marin Carbon Project: Research to Action". The project was formed to establish the basis for soil carbon sequestration for local rangelands. This webinar will feature the researchers, ranchers, and advisers involved to share how this project has moved from foundational research to wider on-farm application. More...

Future Topics

July-Results of Monoslope Beef Barn Air Quality Research
September-Prediction of Phosphorus Bioavailability for Dairy Cattle
As always, you can check out the recordings of past webcast at our webcast archive and view the schedule of webcast at upcoming webcasts.

Are the Waste to Worth Recordings going to be available?

YES! Waste to Worth recordings are being added to the online agenda agenda daily. Click on the name of a paper to see if the recording is there. Additional ways to make the recordings & proceedings available are being explored.

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Small Farms, Poster Contest, Digester Nutrients

Small Farms. Some new curriculum materials developed by Colorado State University have been released for use by teachers and extension educators. Both modules include presentation slides, videos, a lesson plan, sample quiz or review questions and more! Small Scale Poultry Production | Small Scale Sheep & Goat Production Related: Waste to Worth Proceedings "Small and Backyard Poultry"

Poster Contest. Three exceptional students were rewarded for their involvement in manure-related research at the first ever Ron Sheffield Memorial Student Poster Competition at the 2013 Waste to Worth conference. The winner was Kira Shonkwiler, Colorado State University. In second was Fei Sun, Washington State and the 3rd place winner was Kelsey Bruning, Iowa State University. More...

Digester Nutrients. A new article is available on the transformation and agronomic use of nutrients from digester effluent. More...

In Memory

Richard HeggThe world of manure management lost a great friend and advocate with the passing of Dr. Richard Hegg on April 1. Dick retired March 3rd from his position as National Program Leader for Agricultural Engineering with emphasis on animal waste issues. He administered the manure management area of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and frequently identified LPELC webcast presenters and newsletter articles from the great technologies identified in that program. It is easy to say that the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center would not have evolved as successfully without the involvement and assistance of Dr. Hegg. Dick is survived by his wife Betsy, son Richard (Rick) Hegg, daughter Shannon Hegg, daughter in-law Dabney, grandson (Yates) and granddaughter (Parrish). More...

National Resources

Grid Sampling, P Losses, Women Farmers, Organic Outreach, P Index

Grid Sampling. The University of Minnesota has released several case studies and videos on "Using Grid Sampling to Guide Manure Application". The project looked at potential situations where variable-rate manure application is a profitable decision. More...

P Losses. A new tool for estimating annual phosphorus losses has been released by the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The freely-available spreadsheet was developed to provide a more consistent value than the P-Index, which varies from state to state. The program can also estimate over longer periods of time and across an entire farm. More... Related: Read Dr. Vadas' Waste to Worth recording"The Role of Computer Models in Environmental Phosphorus Management"

Women Farmers. Women are increasingly starting new farming enterprises and represent one of the fastest growing segments of the new farmer demographic. The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) released a report on the characteristics of women farmers and their farms. Women represent a large number of new small, specialized farms and also are becoming very active in grazing animal production. More...

Organic Outreach. A great resource for those working with organic producers is a listing of organic research and outreach programs in the North Central region. The publication describes organic programs in each state and provides links to publications and reference materials, including several on manure management. More...

P Index. What is the state of the phosphorus index? A new Journal of Environmental Quality article examines the phosphorus index 20 years after its initial proposal as a nutrient planning tool. More...

State Program Highlights

  • North Dakota: In light of the potential for flooding near rivers, North Dakota State University released advice on "Keeping Livestock Manure Out of Flood Waters". North Dakota State University is also seeking applicants for a nutrient management specialist position. More...
  • Iowa: The IMMAG staff at Iowa State University released a collection of resources aimed at assisting unpermitted feedlots and dairies with spring runoff issues. More...
  • Michigan: "What is Your Manure IQ?" is a fun and informative quiz from Michigan State Extension.

Have a state project or program you would like to see in this section? Email the details to

Hot Topics

Dairy and GHG, BMP Obstacles, Climate Perspective, Nitrogen & Carbon

dairy cowsDairy and GHG. The USDA and dairy producers have renewed an agreement aimed at increasing the adoption of waste to energy projects on farms. Much of the emphasis on this agreement will be on financial and technical assistance for building anaerobic digesters. More...

BMP Obstacles. Adoption of best management practices (BMPs) is often not as simple as weighing the negatives of positives and making a management decision. There are complex factors that weigh in whether a particular BMPs is even considered and whether the practice is seen as feasible. This report does not mention manure application, but it is an interesting look at on-farm decision making. More...

Climate Perspective. A recent symposium presented climate change through different perspectives. Presenters looked at the issue as part of national security, free enterprise, and people of faith. More...

Nitrogen & Carbon. Researchers at the University of Illinois say that nitrogen plays a key role in determining carbon dioxide emitted in land use changes. More...

Events & Announcements

Adaptive Management. USDA NRCS will host a webinar on "Getting More Bang for Your Buck from Adaptive Nutrient Management - Helping Farmers Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency" May 23, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern) More...

AgSTAR Conference. The call for abstracts is out for the 7th annual National AgSTAR conference focused on anaerobic digestion and biogas recovery. The conference will be held in June, 2013. More...

ASABE Conference.  The annual international meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers will be held July 21-24, 2013 - Kansas City, Missouri. More...

Manure Expo. The North American Manure Expo will be held "up north" this year as the University of Guelph will host the Expo on August 21, 2013 near London, Ontario, Canada. To keep up with more information on the Expo check out the website or Facebook page.

Have your state/regional/national event added to this section of our newsletter. Send them to Jill at

Manure In the News

A look at animal agriculture and manure in the news, serious, funny or controversial. Inclusion here does not constitute LPELC endorsement. In other words, we don't create this stuff, we just link to it.

"The cow is queen" chronicles a dietician's visit to a Washington dairy farm.

"What Do Farmers Do With Manure? We Get Our Poop In a Group!" a blog post about one dairy farm's manure hauling this spring.

"Uncooperative weather straining manure pits statewide" (Wisconsin)


If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact Jill Heemstra

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