November 2013 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management November 08, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to November

November 15 marks the first in a three-part series of webcasts on nutrient recovery from manure treatment systems. Part 1 is "Capturing Valuable Nutrients from Manure" and will feature Joe Harrison of Washington State, Paul Fixen of the International Plant Nutrient Institute, and Dana Kirk of Michigan State University. November 15, 2013 starting at 2:30 (eastern). More...

Future Topics

December, January- Nutrient recovery from anaerobic digestion (series).
February - Gasification technology for manure and algae biomass
The "Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff" webcast that was cancelled due to the government shutdown has been rescheduled for March 7, 2014.
As always, you can check out the recordings of past webcast at our webcast archive and view the schedule at upcoming webcasts.

Featured Video:
Also see the original English version from Iowa Learning Farms

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Manure Sampling. It is a good time of year to remember manure sampling procedures and how important good samples are for developing a sound manure management plan. More...

Carcass Disposal. After the blizzard that caused catastrophic cattle losses in South Dakota and surrounding states, many educators are looking for materials on managing large-scale animal mortalities. The beginning farmer team for the LPELC developed some curriculum materials that can be modified or used as-is by those incorporating this topic in their programs or classrooms. More...

Climate Course. This self-paced course is specifically designed for Extension educators and technical service providers across the nation who serve livestock and poultry producers. Topics include recent weather trends, climate impacts, adaptation and risk management, basic climate science, greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation practices, the basics of carbon markets, and communication strategies for dealing with this contentious issue. Signups are available at the start of each month for this comprehensive course. More... | Brochure

National Resources

Nitrate Trends, Vermicomposting, State Program Highlights

Nitrate Trends. The US Geological Society has been tracking nitrates in the Mississippi River for several decades. The most recent report shows that levels continue to increase in the basin as a whole, with the Illinois River being a bright spot, with a 21% decrease in nitrates.  More...

Vermicomposting. A new publication from the National Sustainable Ag Information Service is titled "Vermicomposting: The Basics" and covers everything from bins to feedstocks, and harvesting the compost. More... Related: Vermicomposting Manure

State Program Highlights

  • Pennsylvania: Penn State will be tracking gas levels at several farms and demonstrating the use of gas monitors to try and reduce deaths and injuries during manure pit agitation and pumping. More...
  • Illinois: University of Illinois Extension is hosting workshops for the Certified Livestock Manager Program, which is required for all facilities with 300 or more animal units. More...
  • Iowa: A nice "top 10" list of ways to avoid a manure spill as selected and presented in a one-minute video by manure applicators in Iowa. See the video....

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

Hot Topics

Tile Drainage, Nutrient Challenge, EPA Court Cases 

Tile Drainage. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have found that  changing tile risers to blind inlets greatly reduced the amount of nutrients in water drained from prairie potholes. More... | Related: Manure Flow in Subsurface Drainage | Waste to Worth Tile Drainage proceedings

Nutrient Challenge. Got a great idea to reduce nutrients in water? $15,000 in prize money is being offered for submissions to solve the problem of excess nutrients in waterways. Ideas are due December 1. More... Related: LPELC Manure Nutrient Management

EPA Court Cases. A recent federal court judge held that litter and manure washed from the Alt Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) “farmyard”, i.e., the ground between poultry houses, to navigable waters by a precipitation event is “agricultural stormwater,” which is exempt from Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. Essentially, the court said that the material exiting the poultry building via exhaust fans did not constitute a "discharge". Full opinion

Events & Announcements

Beef Facilities Conference. Iowa State, South Dakota State, and USDA Ag Research Service will be hosting a conference on monoslope beef barns November 21, 2013 in Sioux Falls, SD. The morning session will cover air quality and nutrient management. The afternoon will include panel discussions on management by farmers with these buildings and a panel comparing cattle performance in different types of buildings. More...

Michigan Digesters. Michigan State is hosting a Forum on Anaerobic Digester Production of Energy: New Opportunities for Projects in Michigan on November 26. More...

Waste to Worth II. We are excited to announce that the follow up to Waste to Worth "Spreading Science and Solutions" will be held in Seattle, Washington and is tentatively planned for late spring, 2015. If you would like to be part of the planning committee, contact Joe Harrison

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

Manure tweet of the week:

the different between manure and fertilizer is what you do with it

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.

Crop of High-Tech Farmers Sows Results with Apps - including a "goCrop" app that helps plan manure applications.  More...

"Better Before Bigger" is a nice story of a Wisconsin dairy arm and their stewardship efforts. More... "Small Steps, Big Results" takes a similar look at a Washington dairy. More...

Dane County, Wisconsin is proposing to build a community manure pit that would allow farmers to bring manure when their own storage is full. More...

Future Phosphorus Rules Pave the Way for Chicken Litter as a Bioenergy Source More...

Parent company of Indonesian feedlot is donating biogas reactors to rural people to convert manure into clean gas for cooking More...


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.