January 2014 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management January 13, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to January

The third in a three-part series of webcasts on nutrient recovery from manure treatment systems will examine topics related to swine systems, co-digestion, scale and efficiency. It will feature Curt Gooch, Cornell University; Brian Paulsen, Murphy Brown; Dana Kirk, Michigan State University, and Sasha Rollings-Scattergood; Anaergia, Inc. The webcast is January 17, 2014 starting at 2:30 (eastern). More...

Future Topics

February - Gasification technology for manure and algae biomass
March 7 - Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff (rescheduled due to government shutdown)
March 21 - On-Farm Manure Research Results (applying manure to standing crops)
April - climate change topic TBA
As always, you can check out the recordings of past webcast at our webcast archive and view the schedule at upcoming webcasts.

Featured Video:

Can you compost mortalities in winter?

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Winter Spreading. With many winter manure spreading bans going into effect, it seems appropriate to review some of the research that has looked at risks of spreading manure on frozen and snow-covered ground. Check out these resources to learn more: Archived webcasts: Winter Spreading, What Are the Risks? and "Risk Assessment Tools & Advisories" | W2W proceedings: Will Bans Reduce Runoff Events?

Curriculum Materials. If you teach high school, college, jr. college, or continuing education programs, the LPELC has a large collection of curriculum materials ready for you to use. Air Quality | Climate Change | High school/cross referenced with national AFNR standards (includes: greenhouse gases, manure 101, nutrients, water, sheep & goats, poultry, and mortalities)

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

FDA Revisions, Manure Apps, Energy Efficiency, SARE Index

FDA Revisions. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement indicating significant revisions will be made to the proposed rule known as the Food Safety Modernization Act. Due to extensive public comment, several areas, including the section requiring lengthy prohibitions of some crops after raw manure application, are going to be revised and subjected to additional public comment before the final rule is released.  More...

Manure Apps. The University of Arkansas recently released a free app "Manure Valuator" that helps estimate the dollar and nutrient value of manure as a crop input. More... | Related: Smartphone Apps for Manure Management

Energy Efficiency. The National Sustainable Ag Information Service (ATTRA) highlighted dairy farm energy efficiency and solar watering systems for livestock in a recent newsletter. More...

SARE Index. Are you looking for sustainable ag research information? Wondering where to find it? Check out the Sustainable Ag Research and Education (SARE) program index to find out if there are research projects matching your search parameters. More...

State Program Highlights

  • Michigan: MSU extension provides a nice overview of the components of a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP). More...
  • Wisconsin: The annual Land and Conservation Report details several farm success stories, including several farmers improving grazing and manure management. News release... | Report...
  • California: A similar report from the American Farmland Trust highlights several California farms that are protecting natural resources, including several animal agriculture producers. More...
  • Kansas: KSU extension specialists released a thorough and concise review of the nutrient content and availability of poultry litter. They also included estimates of the economic value of the litter. More...
  • Iowa: ISU has released several new publications targeted for small and medium sized beef feedlots:"Clean Water Diversions", "Runoff Management Using Low-Pressure Flood Irrigation", and "Inexpensive Pumping Systems to Manage Runoff"
  • Alabama: Tuskegee University has released a publication on managing year-round forages for goat production. More...

Have a state project or program you would like to see in this section? Email the details to jheemstra@unl.edu.

Hot Topics

Antibiotics, Pit Foaming, Plastic, Bioaerosol Risk

Antibiotics. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued guidance on the voluntary program to phase out some antibiotics in animal production. The program targets uses that improve feed efficiency or increase growth rate. More... On a related note, a new article in the New England Journal of Medicine points a finger directly at the use of antibiotics in food production as a "low-value" use that should be ended. More...

Pit Foaming. A multi-state research group is seeing signs of hope in their quest to identify the causes of manure pit foaming and find a solution. The problem has been on the rise in deep-pit hog buildings in the upper-Midwest for several years and has even led to explosions and flash fires when the methane-laden foam is ignited. The current breakthrough is in regards to a test that can be done on a sample of manure and provide an assessment of the risk of that manure pit developing a foaming problem. More...

Plastic. We have reported on this before, but it is so awesome it bears another mention. Manure transformed into biodegradable plastic. More...

Bioaerosol Risk. A USDA Ag Research Service study looked at the movement of bioaerosols (bacteria, fungi, and remnants--often carried with dust) from dairies. They reported that concentrations of these contaminants dropped off drastically as sampling was conducted further downwind of the facility, dropping from 426 to 56 endotoxin units (EU) at 165 and 655 feet from the barn. More...

Manure tweet of the week:

Events & Announcements

Blue Ribbon Award. The deadline for applying for an ASABE Blue Ribbon award is January 22. The program recognizes outstanding educational materials developed by members.  More...

Manure Expo. The 2014 Manure Expo will be held July 8 and 9 near Springfield, MO. More details and information will be released as they are finalized. Past Manure Expo information can be found at http://manureexpo.com

Waste to Worth 2015. The second Waste to Worth conference will be held March 30-April 3 at the Westin hotel in Seattle, WA. More...

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

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.

Most of us are well aware of the rise in the use of digesters for treating animal manure. We also know that digesters, by themselves, do not reduce the amount of nutrients in the manure, but can lend themselves to nutrient capture with add-on technologies for the system. In our work with farmers, the public, and ag professionals it is important to remember that not everyone understands the limitations or the benefits of these technologies. The following back-and-forth opinion articles reminded me of that...


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.