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In the News: November/December 2008


January 5, 2009
By Manure Manager

In the News: November/December 2008

New CAFO requirements from U.S. EPA
The U.S. EPA has finalized a rule helping to protect the nation’s water quality by requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to safely manage manure.

This is the first time the EPA has required a nutrient management plan (NMP) for manure to be submitted as part of a CAFO’s Clean Water Act permit application.

Previous rules required a CAFO operator to use an NMP for controlling manure. The regulation builds on this rule by requiring the NMP to be submitted with the permit application. The submitted plan will then be reviewed by the permitting authority and conditions incorporated as enforceable terms of the permit. The proposed NMP and permit will be available for public review and comment before going final.

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The regulation also requires that an owner or operator of a CAFO that actually discharges to streams, lakes, and other waters must apply for a permit under the Clean Water Act. If a farmer designs, constructs, operates and maintains their facility such that a discharge will occur, a permit is needed. The EPA is also providing an opportunity for CAFO operators who do not discharge or propose to discharge to show their commitment to pollution prevention by obtaining certification as zero dischargers.

In addition, the final rule includes technical clarifications regarding water quality-based effluent limitations and use of best management practices to meet zero discharge requirements, as well as affirming the 2003 rule requirement for reducing fecal coliform through the use of best conventional technology.
The EPA worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the development of the rule and will work closely with states during implementation. The rule deadline for newly defined facilities to apply for permits is Feb. 27, 2009.

Information on the concentrated animal feeding operation rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule .


New manure, compost directory in Alberta

To help connect producers wanting to buy, sell or trade manure, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development have created the Manure and Compost Directory.

The Manure and Compost Directory is an online site designed to facilitate transactions between producers wanting to move manure or compost off-farm and those looking to apply manure to their land as a source of nutrients for crop growth. Producers can easily post a wanted or for sale listing on the site by going online at http://www.agriculture.alberta.ca or by calling the Ag-Info Centre (310-FARM (3276) in Alberta, 403-742-7901 out-of-province). The listing will indicate on a map of Alberta where the manure or compost is located and provide details regarding the amount and type of manure available, plus the desired price or arrangements of sale.

The Manure and Compost Directory can be found under the General Store tab on Ropin’ The Web: http://www.agriculture.alberta.ca .
Also new to Ropin’ The Web is the Manure & Compost Handling Custom Services Directory for custom applicators to post their services and contact information (search for “custom manure services” on the website).

For more information, please contact Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at the Ag-Info Centre toll-free in Alberta at 310-FARM (3276) or at 403-742-7901 from out-of-province.


Planning underway for 2009 AgSTAR National Conference

After a very successful 2007 national conference in Sacramento, Calif., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) AgSTAR program is looking forward to its next national conference Feb. 24 to 25, 2009 at the Baltimore Hilton in Baltimore, Md.
Interest in manure digesters and associated energy production is increasing, and new issues are arising every day – new technologies, regulatory hurdles, and financial incentives.
In 2007, the AgSTAR conference had more than 300 attendees and 38 exhibitors and planners are expecting at least that level of participation in Baltimore.
The conference is a must for livestock producers, project developers, regulators, energy professionals, financiers, and others interested in manure digesters and energy projects. The conference is a great place to learn, identify potential projects, and network with others in the industry.
The conference will highlight the latest projects, technologies and financial incentives, and will once again include technical presentations, a conference luncheon, exhibits, and a tour of local manure digesters.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/agstar/conference09.html


Growing the margins in demanding times

The farm, food processing and rural sectors are displaying increased interest in opportunities to conserve energy, develop sources of renewable energy, and produce or use bioproducts and byproducts to advantage. Actions taken to address important environmental concerns are commendable; however, in these demanding economic times, attention is focused on the bottom line as producers of all types are looking for ways to improve operating costs and land use.

This interest is reflected by a series of conferences called Growing the Margins: Energy, Bioproducts and Byproducts from Farm and Food Sectors.

The Third Annual GTM conference, scheduled for March 10-13, 2009 at the London Convention Centre, London Ont., will continue to explore the technological, operating, regulatory, financial and other challenges and opportunities facing farms and related food processing and rural industries as they strive to improve their energy efficiency, better utilize byproducts, and improve their bottom lines.

The conference will also feature the First Annual Canadian Farm and Food Biogas Conference and Exhibition. The biogas conference will run parallel to GTM #3, share plenary sessions and a common exhibition, but have a dedicated technical program of informative presentations and high-quality speakers.

There will be two special networking sessions on March 10, immediately prior to the conferences:

  •  the European Union/Ontario Biogas Networking Forum, designed to bring EU and other suppliers of proven biogas technologies together with potential Ontario collaborators interested in developing projects here, and
  • a Biomass Heat Networking Forum, which will provide an occasion for all stakeholders – agricultural producers, technology providers, utilities, rural municipalities and all levels of government – to discuss and explore the opportunities for a biomass heat industry in Ontario.

There will also be a Building Your Biogas System Workshop. This hands-on session is aimed at equipping farmers and food processors with the knowledge and tools that they will require in order to effectively design and construct an agricultural or agri-food based biogas-for-energy system.

The week will end with technology tours. Three tours are planned for next year, each covering projects and technologies (biogas, biomass, wind, solar and others) in different parts of Southwestern Ontario. Tours at last year’s GTM conference were sold out.

Anyone interested in learning more about the two conferences and associated activities should check out the websites at www.gtmconference.ca or www.biogasconference.ca .


Aerobic composting of poultry manure

The International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering recently printed a research article describing a proposed kinetic and reactor model for aerobic composting of poultry manure and wheat straw.

The article, written by Dr. Ivan Petric of the University of Tuzla in Bosnia-Hercegovina, is entitled: “Aerobic Composting of Poultry Manure and Wheat Straw – Kinetic and Reactor Model.” It describes laboratory-scale aerobic composting tests with mixtures of poultry manure and wheat straw and compares the performances of the composting process in both reactors to obtain the parameter values in the kinetic model and to validate proposed kinetic and reactor model in this work.

An abstract of the research paper is available at www.bepress.com/ijcre/vol6/A95 .


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