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IA tour focuses on feedlot manure control


July 31, 2012 – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Center will host a free tour for beef feedlot operators looking at manure control structures and management options on small open feedlots August 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Extension staff members also will discuss costs related to each system.

The tour starts at the Brian Mogler farm two miles south of Lester, Iowa, at 1695 Dove Ave. The farm showcases how producers can collect manure effluent below settling basins and pump the effluent to nearby cropland. The second stop begins at about 2:15 p.m. at the Perry Mogler farm, 2027 100th St., Larchwood, Iowa. This stop showcases an alternative technology site funded with Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) money that includes a settling basin with a grass infiltration strip. The final stop begins at about 3:30 p.m. at the Gary Twedt farm, 1652 Beech Ave., Larchwood. The Twedt farm demonstrates a manure effluent pumping system.

The sites with pumping demonstrations are part of a demonstration project funded by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University to look at the cost-effectiveness of using pumps to manage effluent from settling basins at small feedlots of 1,000 beef animals or less. Iowa law requires all feedlots, regardless of size, to settle the manure solids coming off a feedlot. Once the solids are settled, the effluent can be released as long as it does not cause a water quality violation. One effective solution is to use small pumps to divert the effluent runoff from drainage pathways and distribute it on crop fields where growing crops can utilize the water and the nutrients.

This tour is also supported in part by the Water Quality Initiatives for Small Iowa Beef and Dairy Feedlot Operations.

The primary objectives of this project are to 1) educate producers to better understand the pollution potential of open feedlots; 2) train producers to accurately assess the water pollution potential of their feedlots; 3) assist producers to identify and evaluate appropriate runoff control alternatives; and 4) provide technical assistance to producers to implement solutions that improve the environmental performance of their feedlots.

More information about this initiative can be found at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/smallfeedlotsdairy.