All of the grant proposals addressed subjects that are pertinent to dairy operators. Grant monies are collected from civil penalties assessed for RCW 90.64 violations.
Grant proposals selected for funding for 2013 included:
Waste Storage Pond Evaluation and Seepage Rate Documentation, Chris Clark, Whatcom Conservation District, Lynden – $20,000
May 31, 2013 to December 31, 2013
There are significant questions relative to the functioning of older manure waste storage ponds (WSPs). Many producers postulate that manure provides as good a seal as clay liners. Some regulators believe that though they have been maintained according to operation and maintenance (O&M) guidance, they should be abandoned or retrofitted to bring them up to current Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) specifications. This project will evaluate waste storage ponds to pre-2004 NRCS standards for structural integrity. This will included conducting a seepage test. Actual losses will then be compared with the calculated losses for their design and the current NRCS standard. Results will demonstrate to producers and regulators the magnitude of the actual contributions to groundwater.
Providing Weather Information for Manure Applications in the Yakima Valley, Gerrit Hoogenbottom, WSU-Prosser, Prosser – $14,792
June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014
Manure applications during adverse weather conditions can be a cause for non-compliance with Washington State’s current Water Pollution Control Act. Dairy operators could benefit from having access to near real-time weather information for the fields in the region where they are planning to apply manure, especially during the winter months. AGWeatherNet is a network of automated weather stations that is operated by Washington State University. Currently, AgWeatherNet does not record soil temperature of the top surface layer to determine frozen soils, but only at a depth of eight inches. This project will install a temperature probe at a soil depth of two inches for 10 stations in the Yakima Valley. We will develop a web interface where the soil temperature information will be displayed in near-real time. We will also develop a soil temperature alert system that producers can subscribe to for receiving updated soil temperature information to their cell phone or email address.
Applications were received for the proposals listed below but were unable to be funded.
From Nicole Embertson, Whatcom Conservation District:
- Integration of real-time soil moisture and temperature data into nutrient management planning tools and decisions.
- Demonstration of a web-based nutrient management tool for real-time recordkeeping and agronomic rate determination for Washington Dairies.
From Russ Davis, Organix:
- Evaluating barley fodder production for use as a year round dairy feed component and as a strategy for dairy wastewater cleanup.
From Andy James and Lynette Arias, University of Washington:
- Boise Creek Bacteria Source Tracers