April 2015 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Animal Manure Management April 14, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

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Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to April: Manure Application Over Tile Drainage

tile drainageWhat is the management and fate of manure and nutrients in tile drained agricultural landscapes? Join us on April 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm (eastern) to find out! Speakers are: Jeff Strock, University of Minnesota; Larry Brown, Ohio State; Peter Kleinman, USDA ARS; James Hoorman, Ohio State; and Tim Harrigan, Michigan State. More...

Add to Calendar: iCal (Outlook) | Google calendar

Featured Video:

In House Composting of Poultry Litter (from the Oklahoma State University Waste Management Youtube channel)

More on Webcasts...

What's Going On In the LPELC?

Waste to Worth: Spreading science and solutions logoThank You!  Thank you to everyone that attended, helped produce, or otherwise supported the second Waste to Worth conference. We had over 270 attendees take in some of the best science and outreach related to animal agriculture and manure management. Over the next two months, we will be posting recordings of most presentations and preparing the RFP for Waste to Worth 3. Proceedings papers are linked in the agenda right now. A topic-by-topic and author search page are being created. | Add your photos to the slide show | Facebook page

Pathways Survey.  The LPELC is collaborating with a national team trying to measure how information and research pertaining to manure nutrient management is used and transferred between organizations. Our end goal is to better understand how to reach our target audiences, and effectively share information among organizations. If your work is or has been related to manure nutrients in the last five years, please proceed to the survey through this link: http://pathwaysproject2015.questionpro.com

The survey will take about 20 minutes and data will not be linked to individuals.  We request your responses by end of business on April 15, 2015. The project is supported in part by the North Central Region Water Network and numerous cooperating organizations.

Around the "Horns"

Farming Systems

  • sheep in a pastureMontana State University researchers are looking a using sheep to terminate cover crops in an integrated crop-livestock farming system. The analysis included environmental and economic factors. More... | Related: Sheep & goat curriculum materials
  • The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) has a recent publication offering information and case studies for crop farmers that are looking to integrate livestock into their system. More... | Download publication...
  • Dr. James Russell of Iowa State University and several colleagues looked at a single, mob-grazing event and examined the impacts on plant diversity. Factors such as land use history and soil moisture were compared to provide context for observed changes. More... | Related: Grazing management for water quality


  • The Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) compromise is moving forward in Maryland. The compromise involved a schedule for implementing the tool and an advisory board. More...
  • The "Waters of the US" (WOTUS) rule has been finalized and forwarded for OMB review. The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register yet in April. More... In related news, the House passed a bill last September blocking the rule and the Senate appears poised to do the same in the near future.The president has indicated he would veto that bill if it reaches him. A potential Congressional override is likely to be discussed if and when that happens. | Related: archived webcast of the proposed WOTUS rule

Nutrient Management

  • The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is hosting a webinar on using the Manure Management Planner (MMP) software in nutrient planning and to develop CNMPs. The webinar will be held April 29, 2015. More...
  • USDA NRCS has developed a spreadsheet to help farmers evaluate the economics of incorporating cover crops into their system. The spreadsheet evaluates factors such as nutrient credits, input reductions, and grazing opportunities among others. More...
  • Dr. Erin Cortus of South Dakota State University offers some "spring checkup" tips to manage runoff from pastures and open lots. More...

manure being injected into crop landAir Quality

  • Ammonia emissions can be significantly reduced by injecting dairy manure as compared to surface broadcasting. This research was done by Drs. Lide Chen and Howard Neibling of the University of Idaho.  More...

Small Farms

  • Angie Rieck-Hinz of Iowa State University outlines the basics of manure storage and nutrient management for small farm owners. More...

Extension & Outreach

  • USDA is hosting a May 14, 2015 webinar on "Using case studies to facilitate farmer conservation decisions". We all know that management decisions on farms are the result of a complex set of interactions related to goals, personal beliefs, experience, available information, and much more. The selected case studies represent a wide range of farms and experiences. More...
  • Spring is here! That means manure application season and the potential for runoff with spring rains if applications are not managed well. In the past we have seen some very nice efforts to help farmers and manure haulers assess risks (Wisconsin, Washington). Cornell University and the New York PRO-Dairy team recently observed conditions that merited a statewide communication advising against manure applications unless absolutely necessary. For those of you that maintain communication with farmers on this topic, it is a good example of a proactive message. More... | Related: archived webcast on winter manure spreading
  • The US Geological Survey and other partners are hosing a "Visualizing Nutrients" challenge with $15,000 in prizes. If you are good at creating visually appealing materials related to nutrients, check it out. More...

Climate Change

Animal Welfare.

  • The Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply (a group made up of a wide range or stakeholders) studied different hen housing systems at a commercial scale for the purpose of comparing several different housing systems. The research covered animal well being, production, economics, air quality, and other important aspects of egg production. Not surprisingly, there is no one perfect system, but it is a matter of selecting trade-offs when choosing to build a new facility. More... | Also see: Introduction to the project in Poultry Science.

Anaerobic Digesters.

  • The University of Missouri is studying ways to make anaerobic digesters more manageable and easier to afford through their small-scale digester research. Dr. Teng Lim and his team hope to see more digesters in use on pig farms in the future. More... | Related: Types of anaerobic digesters

Pathogens, Antibiotic Resistance.

  • We recently reported on a journal article on antibiotic resistance genes being found in particulate matter (dust) downwind from cattle feedlots. Several researchers/veterinarians have released a white paper listing concerns with conclusions drawn in that article. Read the white paper....

Manure tweet of the week:

Events & Announcements

ASABE Climate Change. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers will be hosting their first Climate Change Symposium - Mitigation and Adaptation.will be held in Chicago May 3-5, 2015. More...

Brazil Symposium. Rio deJaneiro, Brazil will be home to the IV International Symposium on Agricultural and Agroindustrial Waste Management - IV SIGERA May 5-7, 2015.  More...

Manure Expo. The next North American Manure Expo will be held in Chambersburg, PA on July 14-15, 2015. The theme this year... "Manure Than You Can Handle". Watch the Facebook page for updates as it gets closer.

Dairy Environmental Conference. Cornell University is hosting a Dairy Environmental Systems and Climate Adaptation Conference July 29-31, 2015 in Ithaca, New York. The conference will include tours and educational sessions.

Soil & Water Conservation Society. The SWCS is hosting its annual conference July 26-29, 2015 in Greensboro, NC. Oral presentation submissions close January 8 and poster submissions close March 2. More...

Mortality Symposium. The 5th International Symposium on Animal Mortality Management will be held September 28-October 1, 2015 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The call for papers and posters is now open. More...

Manure In the News

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

"ZooShare hopes to turn zoo manure into electricity for Ontario". More...

An article in Beef Magazine reports on the remarks made by Dave Daley, a fifth generation farmer and ag college dean, to the Cattleman's College recently. He was discussing the need for finding common ground with consumers. An especially relevant snippet for those of us in extension and outreach is pasted below. More...

“I think we do a lousy job of communicating. We want to talk, but we don’t want to listen; it’s human nature,” Daley said. He believes those in the cattle business rely too much on science and economics to defend practices, when neither can answer questions of ethics.

Avian influenza continues to make the news - this time in several turkey flocks in Minnesota. More...


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.