Proceeding with precision

Proceeding with precision

What are the benefits of investing in and using precision application technology?

Composting or Stockpiling – What’s the difference?

Composting or Stockpiling – What’s the difference?

The difference in aerobic and anaerobic may seem small, but there are some important distinctions between the two that result in vast differences.

Finding success with an on-farm digester

Finding success with an on-farm digester

Manure is powering this Pennsylvania farm into the future.

Preparing for an inspection on the farm

Preparing for an inspection on the farm

Follow these simple compliance checks to ensure your farm is in accordance with the environmental rules and regulations.

With a potentially tight window for getting on fall manure in the coming months, the best policy is to be prepared. Now’s the right time to start thinking about fall applications. Here are eight key things to keep in mind as you plan.
A new Canadian technology may be an asset to producers in improving livestock transport truck disinfection, according to Mark Beaven, executive director at the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC), a non-profit organization that works on livestock health and welfare solutions.
Ontario’s dairy farmers are working with veterinarians to boost biosecurity and animal care training in their sector.
Proper composting is almost an art, and it takes the right combination of many components to work efficiently. In general, you want a particle size of 1/8 to two inches; internal temperature of 110 to 150 degrees F; moisture content of 50 to 60 percent; oxygen content of 10 to 15 percent; carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) 25:1 to 30:1.
Connecticut dairy and compost producer Collins Powder Hill Farm is using a compost aeration and heat recovery (CAHR) technology that really sucks, but in a good way.
Manure storage lagoons and hurricane-force wind and rain are not a healthy mix. And, as the frequency of severe storms increases, dealing with wild weather is becoming a stark reality for producers in hurricane-prone areas like North Carolina. Many lessons have been learned by the state’s hog producers over the years on how to mitigate the potential consequences of these severe storms.
What is stockpiling? If you look up stockpile, you’ll find that it means a passive management of solid manure where the material is placed into a storage where it remains until it is either land applied or moved. In either case, the important points to stockpiling are that this is a passive management system, once the manure is stacked it is left alone and not disturbed, and, as a result the pile will become anaerobic.
A recent study from the University of Arkansas shows the U.S. pork industry has made great progress in multiple key sustainability metrics over the course of more than five decades.
At the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Animal Welfare Forum in Paris, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in collaboration with the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the updated IDF Guide to Good Animal Welfare in Dairy Production.
Manure contains ample amounts of nutrients and is considered to be an integral component of dairy farm nutrient management. Significant amounts of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) as well as small amounts of trace minerals are present in dairy manure and can be utilized as a main source of fertilizer for dairy operations, thereby potentially reducing input costs.
Rain falls, and that might make some farmers happy, depending on the time of year.
Weather impacts both manure application and loss of nutrients on crop utilization.
The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that up to $250,000 of funding is available in Oregon for eligible individuals, local and state governments, non-governmental organizations, and tribes through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program.
The state Department of Natural Resources is working with counties and farms in eastern Wisconsin to enforce new restrictions on manure spreading that took effect last year.
A much-debated farm pollution regulation is set to take wider effect soon in Maryland, stirring growing anxiety among farmers and environmentalists alike. Those concerns could put the rule on hold next year.The state's Phosphorus Management Tool rule, adopted in 2015, aims to reduce the risk of polluted farm runoff by limiting how much manure farmers can use to fertilize certain fields.Only about 100 farms have been affected so far, as the restrictions are being slowly phased in through 2022. But the number of farms that must comply with the rule is set to jump significantly in 2019. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
It’s a beautiful spring day as you drive along a country road. The sun is out and your windows are rolled down when suddenly an offensive odor hits you right in the nostrils. Someone hit a skunk. What is it about this smell that makes it so offensive? Does this have any relation to the odor of livestock manure?
Beef and dairy farmers around the world are looking for ways to reduce methane emissions in their herds and cut greenhouse gas emissions – a global priority. To help meet this goal, researchers from Canada and Australia teamed-up for a three-year study to find the best feeding practices that reduce methane emissions while supporting profitable dairy and beef cattle production.
Washington, DC – As North Carolina communities grapple with the fallout from flooding during Hurricane Florence, community groups and an allied national coalition filed a legal complaint in federal court Sept. 28, challenging a Trump administration policy that exempts animal feeding operations from having to report emissions under a federal emergency planning and right-to-know law. “The full extent of the damage to our communities is still unknown. But one thing’s clear – we need better protections for communities neighboring these operations,” said Devon Hall, executive director of the Duplin County, NC-based Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH). Duplin County, a hub of industrial pig operations, was among the hardest hit by Hurricane Florence. “Eliminating this exemption is a simple way to help make sure my neighbors and I are better protected.” At the heart of the matter are two environmental laws – the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Both require reporting of releases of hazardous substances that meet or exceed reportable quantities within a 24-hour period in order for federal, state, and local officials to evaluate the need for an emergency response to mitigate the effects of a release to the community. Back in December 2008, the EPA published a final rule that exempted all farms from reporting hazardous substance air releases from animal waste under CERCLA. Only large CAFOs were subject to EPCRA reporting. Several citizen groups challenged the validity of the final rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals and, in April 2017, the court vacated the final rule. In March 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Omnibus Bill) was signed into law, a section of which – known as the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (FARM Act) – amended CERCLA to exempt air emissions from animal waste at a farm from reporting under CERCLA. Accordingly, on August 1, 2018, EPA published a final rule revising the CERCLA reporting regulations to incorporate the FARM Act’s amendments to CERCLA. Based on the criteria for EPCRA release reporting, the EPA maintains that air emissions from animal waste at farms do not need to be reported under EPCRA. REACH and Sound Rivers are being represented by the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice and are joined by Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, Don’t Waste Arizona, Environmental Integrity Project, Food & Water Watch, Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club, and Waterkeeper Alliance in the complaint. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Iowa farmers identified potential regulation as a top concern when considering water quality practices, according to a Center for Rural Affairs report recently released.Catching Waves: Farmers Gauge Risk to Advance Water Quality In Iowa, examines perceived production and social risks to adopting water quality improvement practices in Iowa."Water quality is a contentious issue in Iowa," said Katie Rock, policy associate at the Center, and author of the report. "Continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation."The report breaks down data from a 2017 survey by the Center for Rural Affairs that polled Iowa farmers. Responding to the survey were 52 farmers representing 41 of the state's 90 counties.Results show weather and shifting climatic patterns is a top concern are the largest perceived threat to farmers' operations. Respondents identified agricultural consolidation, fluctuating commodity prices, and nutrient and soil loss as other top concerns.A majority of farmers reported they do not feel social pressure to install additional conservation practices. Beyond potential regulation, those who reported feeling this pressure identified soil health, nutrient retention, and cost savings as top reasons for new practice adoption."As Iowa continues to expand its watershed approach to water quality, understanding the needs, risks, and barriers farmers face will be critical," said Rock.These findings can help guide water quality efforts by researchers, farmers, watershed organizations, and government officials. The Center for Rural Affairs is dedicated to facilitating research-based solutions that elevate rural communities and people.For more information, and to view the report, visit cfra.org/publications/CatchingWaves.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has applauded a recent U.S. District Court after it issued an injunction affecting Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to prevent enforcement of the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Last month, Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts from Louisiana and Mississippi filed a motion asking the court to expedite their request for an injunction. The legal action was necessary after a district court in South Carolina overturned President Trump’s effort to delay the WOTUS rule so that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could prepare a replacement rule. While district courts in North Dakota and Georgia enjoined WOTUS in 24 states, the rule remained in effect in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and other states not covered by the two injunctions. “Today’s district court ruling is a win for property owners in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, sparing them from the … WOTUS rule that would allow EPA regulation of ponds, streams and puddles on private land,” Attorney General Paxton said. “By restoring principles of federalism to this area of law, the ruling is an even bigger win for the Constitution and the fundamental liberties it protects.” In 2015, Attorney General Paxton was part of a multi-state coalition lawsuit that won a nationwide stay against WOTUS in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, preventing the federal government from taking control of ponds, streams and puddles of Texas property owners. One of President Trump’s first actions in office was an executive order directing the EPA to begin the process of eliminating WOTUS. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cases litigating the Clean Water Act should be heard by federal district courts. View a copy of the injunction here.
Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently learned that a project to allow farmers to submit manure management plans online won an award in the 2018 national Government Experience Awards. The project was recognized in the Government-to-Business Experience category, one of six categories acknowledging how all levels of government are working to improve citizens’ interactions with their government. Historically, about 7,000 Iowa farmers had to fill out paper forms, drive miles to get them signed and leave a copy of the manure management plan at the county courthouse, and then submit the signed forms to DNR. “Our goal was to cut the time and effort it takes for farmers to submit annual plans, while maintaining the information we need,” said Bill Ehm, head of DNR’s environmental division. “Now, instead of days, they can use their smart phone to file the plan and pay fees online in minutes. That’s a tremendous savings for all involved. “The online process makes everyone’s lives easier: the producers, and DNR and county staff,” he added. “It should also be helpful for records.” The awards are presented by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policy and best practices in state and local government. California, Maryland, Texas and Utah also won in the State Government-to-Business focus area. Learn more about the eMMP, including how to submit one and the stakeholders involved in the project at www.iowadnr.gov/emmp.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it has awarded $1,164,612 to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to improve the health of Delaware's rivers and streams."This grant highlights the power of state and federal governments working in partnership to protect the natural environment," said EPA regional administrator, Cosmo Servidio. "Providing these funds directly to Delaware empowers the state to address its unique and critical environmental challenges.""Over the years, there has been vast improvement in the water quality in Delaware, but challenges still persist," said Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control secretary, Shawn M. Garvin. "DNREC appreciates the ongoing partnership and funding support from EPA. This grant will support investments in cover crops, nutrient management, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), stormwater retrofits, and tree planting projects that will enhance and improve water quality statewide."The funding is provided under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes EPA to provide grants to states to implement nonpoint source pollution control programs. It will support Delaware's nonpoint source management program, focusing on watersheds with water quality impairments caused by polluted runoff. These nonpoint source control projects include a variety of structural and non-structural best management practices, monitoring, and technology demonstrations. The funding will also support outreach activities to educate the public about nonpoint source pollution.Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and ground water. Sources of nonpoint source pollution include urban runoff, agricultural runoff, and changes to natural stream channels.Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Section 319 enables EPA to provide states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and support local projects to improve water quality.Since 2005, this work by states has restored more than 550 impaired waterbodies nationally, which includes more than 200,000 acres of lakes and more than 10,500 miles of rivers and streams. Hundreds of additional projects are currently underway across the country.Learn more about successful nonpoint source projects at https://www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories.
Loudonville, OH — Holmes and Ashland Soil and Water Conservation Districts are hosting a meeting on August 30 at 6 p.m. at the Ohio Theater (156 N. Water St., Loudonville) to provide information and updates about winter manure management. Attendees will learn the latest information from the Ohio Department of Agriculture regarding changes to nutrient management regulations. In order to provide tools to deal with manure management, Rob Clendening with the Knox County Farm Bureau/SWCD will give a presentation about the OnMrk app for nutrient tracking and record keeping. Likewise, Dr. Libby Dayton will demonstrate the OnField! app, which explains the new Phosphorus Risk Index and what it means to producers. These tools will help farmers be proactive and informed about the risks associated with nutrient management. Pizza and drinks will be provided at no cost. Pop and popcorn will be available for purchase at the theater. RSVP to this free event by Aug. 27 by calling Ashland SWCD at 419-281-7645. Any questions can be directed to Ashland SWCD or Holmes SWCD at 330-674-2811, ext. 3.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is reminding livestock producers to review changes made to standard animal weights that take effect in 2019.These new weights could reclassify some livestock farms as Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), requiring those farms to adopt new levels of compliance with nutrient management laws. | READ MORE 
Due to regulatory changes, residue levels of some types of antibiotics have decreased significantly in manure over the last few years in Europe, North America and elsewhere.
Cow manure can do a lot more than create wrinkly noses. It is poised to be pivotal in a biogas revolution and contribute to a fossil-free fuel future. Pioneering Arla farmers are starting to make the most of their cow's manure by turning it into biogas, which is now powering an Arla milk truck in Sweden.
The American Biogas Council (ABC) released the following statement in response to the introduction of Senator Ron Wyden's (D-OR) Technology Neutral Energy Tax Reform bill, the Clean Energy for America Act.
Vancouver-based Boost Environmental Systems, a company created and staffed by leading University of British Columbia researchers, is in the final stages of proving a new and highly-efficient method for managing livestock manure.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the City of Madison, Wisconsin, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Washington State University's Energy Program have been selected to receive funding for projects to help reduce food waste and loss and divert food waste from landfills by expanding anaerobic digester capacity in the United States. These projects further the federal government's efforts set forth in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative.
The Güres Group, a poultry farm in Manisa, Turkey, has been experiencing a growth spurt for over five decades. Ahmet Remzi Güres, one of the founder deputies of the Republic of Turkey, started out with only 600 hens in 1963. Today, the farm produces one billion eggs a year.
In response to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the American Biogas Council (ABC), the trade association for the U.S. biogas industry, released the following statement. Biogas systems recycle organic material like food and yard waste, sewage sludge and animal manure, producing renewable energy in addition to valuable soil products.
With the New Year in full effect, so too is the conference and trade show season. All across North America (and the world), industry folk have been braving the winter temperatures to take in the latest educational sessions, network with a few like-minded individuals or maybe just collect a few free pens. Regardless of the motives, trade show season is full of opportunity.
The American Biogas Council released the following statement in response to the fourth National Climate Assessment. The American Biogas Council is the trade association for the U.S. biogas industry. Biogas systems recycle organic material like food and yard waste, sewage sludge and animal manure, producing renewable energy in addition to valuable soil products.
The BlueBox Ultra has been specially developed for the biological treatment of manure and fermentation residues and works the same way as a municipal wastewater treatment plant. In the bioreactor of the BlueBox Ultra, the manure is converted into water, which contains only traces of nitrogen and phosphorus and is therefore ideally suited for irrigation. Since nitrogen and phosphorus are almost completely removed, only very small surfaces are required for application. The BlueBox Ultra eliminates the need for expensive and environmentally harmful manure transports, where manure sometimes has to be transported over hundreds of miles."I no longer want to have to carry out expensive manure transports," explains farmer Jorn Ahlers, who runs a farm with a biogas plant in Lower Saxony. "I am convinced of the technology and user-friendliness of the BlueBox and I am confident that the system will go into operation on my farm this year.""In recent months, we have presented our ground-breaking manure solution to many farmers and operators of biogas plants in Germany, especially in the manure hot spots of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bavaria. The sale of the first manure treatment plant in Germany is of course an important milestone for us," says David Din, CEO of Bluetector. "Our BlueBox enables farmers to convert their manure into water with a low-cost bioreactor without the need for costly and maintenance-intensive equipment such as reverse osmosis or centrifuges."
JSE-listed Montauk Energy has struck a deal with a dairy farm in California where it will for the first time transform cow manure into natural gas.The company mainly extracts and converts methane gas from waste landfills across the US where it benefits from subsidies through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal programme.Montauk said it entered into a joint venture agreement with the dairy farm in July and would own and operate a manure digester and build, own and operate a renewable natural gas (RNG) facility for 20 years. | For the full story, CLICK HERE. 
In early June, Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island introduced the Carbon Utilization Act of 2018 which will incentivize emerging carbon utilization technologies, such as digesters and carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) by providing increased access to USDA loan guarantees, research programs, and rural development loans. The bill will create education and research programs and encourage interagency collaboration to advance these technologies. The American Biogas Council praised its introduction as the programs within it can help farms become more resilient and sustainable.Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) said, "As we look to the future of clean energy, we must invest in innovative, secure, and low-carbon technologies—especially in rural communities. We will work to include these energy provisions in the Farm Bill to provide funding for projects that create jobs, secure our electricity systems, and combat climate change. We must ensure that rural communities are included in the clean energy economy."Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (D) added: "Experts agree that transforming pollutants into something useful ought to be part of our fight against climate change. That's why we need to help promising carbon capture and biogas technologies compete in new markets, like on farms and at other rural businesses. This bill will help those technologies find new uses in agriculture while reducing carbon and methane pollution, benefiting both our climate and the rural economy. That's a clear win-win.""We are grateful for the leadership and vision of Senators Bennet and Whitehouse in recognizing the significant benefit that biogas systems can provide our country," said Patrick Serfass, ABC's executive director. "A robust agriculture industry is essential to American prosperity. Like biogas systems help our nation's farms, the Carbon Utilization Act of 2018 will strengthen farming operations, increase sustainability and create new revenue streams to help protect family farm operations, especially during commodity price swings."
The Government of Canada will invest $8.3 million for six projects that will help support Canada’s beef industry. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, made the million dollar investment announcement while attending the Calgary Stampede.
In 2013, Pennsylvanian hog farmer and retired high school teacher, Virgil Gutshall Sr., and his son, Virgil Jr., began to explore various application methods for planting cover crops while side dressing and incorporating hog manure into his corn crops. Virgil Jr., owner and operator of Beaver Ridge Farm, Inc., finishes hogs for Country View Family Farms.  
Spring has arrived and here at Manure Manager magazine that means planning for this summer’s North American Manure Expo (NAME) has been kicked into high gear.
The SVG Ventures-THRIVE AgTech platform has just announced the nine startup finalists that comprise its 5th annual seed accelerator cohort. Following six months of rigorous research and analysis, Livestock Water Recycling (LWR) was selected from a global applicant pool of 275 companies across 67 countries. SVG VenturesTHRIVE will invest in each startup.
The story of how Reinford Farms in Mifflinton, Pennsylvania ended up where it is now – with sources of income and savings stemming from their digester – is both surprising and inspiring.
Farmers rely on phosphorus fertilizers to enrich the soil and ensure bountiful harvests, but the world's recoverable reserves of phosphate rocks, from which such fertilizers are produced, are finite and unevenly distributed.
While skimming through the latest industry news, a new tech development out of Alberta caught my eye. ManureTracker: a smartphone application for managing manure.
Over the last decade, Lake Erie has been struggling with high phosphorus levels. Farming is one of the leading land uses in the Lake Erie watershed, giving agriculture a critical role to play in improving water quality in the lake.
Livestock farmers are subject to inspections by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). And, because these assessments usually occur with little or no notice to the farmer, it is essential to be prepared for your livestock farm to be inspected at any time.
What are the benefits of manure over fertilizer? Jeff Schoenau, professor of soil fertility at the University of Saskatchewan and a professional agrologist, explains.
Manure Manager magazine is joining with Annex Business Media's other agriculture publications to conduct a survey to gain a better understanding of the future of Canadian farming.
A Minnesota farm family's four-generation conservation initiative garnered national attention at the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. The National Corn Growers Association's presented Rick Schlichting's - Schlichting Farms of Rice, Minn. with its 2019 Good Steward Recognition.
Field-applied manure supplies two main forms of nitrogen: organic N, and ammonium N. The ammonium portion is immediately available for plants to use, and the organic portion is not and needs time to break down to become plant-available.
Manure treatment, such as composting, and manure land application are generally considered to be effective measures to reduce bacterial pathogens and utilize the manure in an environmentally sustainable manner. However, unlike pathogenic bacteria, antimicrobial resistant bacteria can persist throughout various manure treatments and land application events.
In 2016, the University of Nebraska decided to close down their swine manure storage lagoon. The hog facility at the university had not been in operation for nearly a decade, and since the lagoon was no longer being used, it was an environmental responsibility.
Early adaptors of precision application tools say there are numerous benefits that come with implementing the technology.
Precision agriculture means using variable rates based on management zones, and it has been gaining popularity over the past decade. Variable rate planting and commercial fertilizer application are the most common types of precision agriculture, but manure may soon be joining their ranks.
The application of livestock manure to farm fields has always been an expense for producers. On-farm research plots were assessed in Ohio following application of liquid swine and liquid dairy manure using drag hoses to provide side-dress nitrogen to emerged corn.
Farming has become more precise with advanced tools to apply such essentials as seeds, commercial fertilizers and chemicals. This has opened the door to more precise variable rate application control of manure.
As we continue to search for profitable ways to expand the manure application window in Ohio, we have begun to research dragline application of manure to growing soybeans.
If you have excess dairy manure or are providing manure to a neighboring farmer supplying you with forage, it's important to know a ballpark figure of what that manure is actually worth.
The opportunity to get bedded-pack cattle manure was too good to pass up. But now as the field in front of me is a sea of white with deep drifts, one question arises, "Where is the best location to temporarily store the manure?"
Using manure more efficiently and saving on input costs were two of the key areas focused on at the international EuroTier trade show held in Germany in late 2018.
This fall has been exceptionally wet and that has led to saturated soil conditions around much of Iowa, and while this has made the primary focus on manure delayed harvest of corn and soybeans and thus limited area for manure application.

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