Business/Policy
With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.

Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business. Ontario's agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province's economy every year.

This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms. In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together. However, there are some exceptions.

For the year of 2015- 2016 the ministry received 107 complaints related to farm practices. Of these, 45 (40 percent) were about odour, while the others were mainly about noise (26 percent), flies (19 percent) and municipal by-laws (nine percent).

Odour complaints are generally related to:
  • Farmers spreading manure on fields
  • Fans ventilating livestock barns
  • Manure piles
  • Mushroom farms
To manage conflict about farm practices, the Ontario government enacted the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA). This act establishes the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) to determine "normal farm practices".

When a person complains about odour or other nuisance from a particular farming practice, the board has the authority to hear the case and decide whether the practice is a "normal farm practice". If it is, the farmer is protected from any legal action regarding that practice.

When people make complaints about farm practices, a regional agricultural engineer or environmental specialist from OMAFRA's Environmental Management Branch works with all parties involved to resolve the conflict. The board requires that any complaint go through this conflict resolution process before it comes to a hearing.

Each year, through the conflict resolution process, OMAFRA staff have resolved the vast majority of complaints. In 2015-16, only twelve of the 107 cases resulted in hearings before the board. Of these, only two were odour cases involving multiple nuisances such as noise, dust and flies. Thus, while odours remain the biggest cause of complaints about farm practices, OMAFRA staff working through the conflict resolution process has proved very effective in dealing with them.
Published in Regional
Ames, IA ― As June approaches, some northern areas of Iowa have experienced delays in corn planting due to a cold spring that turned wet. Producers considering changes to crop rotation should pay attention to the impact it has on manure management plans.

The Iowa Administrative Code only allows a maximum of 100 pounds N per acre manure application on ground to be planted to soybean. However, it does allow fields that had liquid manure applied at rates intended for growing corn to be switched to soybean on or after June 1 with no penalty of over-application of manure nitrogen. Thus if a field planned for corn has not been planted and will be switched to soybean, this can be done. Producers should document the changes in crop rotation, application methods and other changes in their annual manure management plans.

Given it has been a wet spring in some areas, nutrient management and specifically, nitrogen loss may be top of mind. Livestock producers with Iowa Department of Natural Resources [DNR] manure management plans are reminded if they have already applied the maximum nitrogen rate to the field, they can’t apply additional sources of nitrogen unless the need is confirmed by the use of a Late Spring Nitrate Test. This test measures nitrate-N concentration at the 0 to 12-inch depth.

Results can be interpreted by the ISU Extension and Outreach publication “Use of the Late-Spring Soil Nitrate Test in Iowa Corn Production” (CROP 3140), which considers both the original fertilizer source and the amount of rain that occurred in May (excessive is more than five inches in May). When adding extra nitrogen, be sure to document soil sample results and reference the publication to interpret the test results in management plans.

While fall provided favorable application conditions, and periods in March were favorable, producers should plan ahead if not as much manure as normal is applied in the spring. Having a plan in place will help prevent potential issues from turning into problems. Keep an eye on storage, and have a plan for needed action.
Published in State
Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Anuvia Plant Nutrients are pleased to announce a new partnership to create sustainable fertilizer from renewable biological materials collected from manure treatment systems at Smithfield's hog farms.

This project is part of Smithfield Renewables, the company's new platform dedicated to unifying and accelerating its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.

The project reuses organic matter found in hog manure to create a commercial-grade fertilizer that is higher in nutrient concentration than the original organic materials.

Farmers are able to better manage nutrient ratios while using less fertilizer by applying precisely what they need for optimal plant growth.

Because Anuvia's products contain organic matter, nutrient release is more controlled, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller environmental footprint.

Anuvia will utilize remnant solids from Smithfield that accumulate over time at the bottom of the anaerobic lagoons, basins designed and certified to treat and store the manure on hog farms.

Anuvia, which specializes in the transformation of organic materials into enhanced efficiency fertilizer products, will manufacture and sell these commercial-grade fertilizer products to farmers nationwide.

"Through Smithfield Renewables, we are aggressively pursuing opportunities to reduce our
environmental footprint while creating value," said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables. "Along with projects that transform biogas into renewable natural gas, this is another example of how we are tackling this goal on our hog farms."

"This is the beginning of a partnership based on a shared vision that will positively impact livestock and crop production," says Amy Yoder, Anuvia Plant Nutrients CEO. "Our proprietary manufacturing process which converts organic waste into novel bio-based plant nutrients is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Our products reduce leaching and put organic matter back in the soil. Our process is a prototype for a circular economy as we reclaim organic waste, convert and reuse on cropland. This relationship provides a new sustainable way for Smithfield to return its remnant solids back to the land for use on the crops grown to feed the hogs. The impact of this is extremely significant for hog production and the livestock industry. We look forward to helping achieve both Smithfield's and Anuvia's environmental goals."

Company-owned and contract hog farms in North Carolina will participate in this project.

Smithfield will collect and begin the process by de-watering the waste solids before providing the remnants to Anuvia. Once acquired, Anuvia will pick-up and transport the material to their processing plant to create the fertilizer.
Published in News
Beef cattle feedlot, Simplot Feeders, LLP has agreed to pay a reduced fine and invest in a project that reduces small-particle pollution at their operation in Walla Walla County.

In 2015, the Washington Department of Ecology fined the company $50,000 for failing to manage air pollution, including dust and dried manure. Fine particles like dust can cause health problems for people who are exposed frequently and at high enough levels.

Ecology reduced the amount to be paid to $35,000 as part of the settlement agreement. Also, Simplot agreed to pay $5,000 of the fine, and use the remainder to fund a project to help improve air quality. The project includes paving a high-traffic area to significantly reduce dust from vehicles driving in and out of the facility.

The settlement also requires Simplot to update the facility's dust control plan to strengthen measures that prevent particle pollution. The plan calls for improved staff training, using water to control dust from roadways and cattle pens, and daily monitoring to determine if dust control practices need to be adjusted.

The Pollution Control Hearings Board dismissed Simplot's appeal of the penalty on April 3, 2018.
Published in News
Hiawatha, KS – AgJunction, Inc., a global leader in advanced guidance and autosteering, recently announced the opening of the www.HandsFreeFarm.com online store to bring low-cost, simple-to-use precision agriculture solutions direct to all farmers.

To launch the online store, AgJunction introduced RANGER, precision farming made simple with an easy-to-install and use guidance system for under a thousand dollars.

"The launch of our Hands-Free Farm online store is an exciting milestone for AgJunction as we continue to expand our vision to bring hands-free farming to every farmer," said Dave Vaughn, AgJunction president and chief executive officer. "Critical to our vision is the need to change both the method of getting product to the farmer and the level of complexity in installation and use of precision ag equipment."

With the introduction of HandsFreeFarm.com, a new online buying experience has been created to sell direct to all American farmers. Customers will find the easy-to-use products, affordable prices, simple purchasing, and always accessible support that they desire, but have never had, for precision agriculture solutions.

Hands-free farming represents the precision guidance, positioning, autosteering and machine control that is the foundation of any precision agriculture solution. Until now, products for hands-free farming have been sold almost universally through dealers who are best suited to support the expensive purchasing decisions, complex installation, and extensive training required for the current offerings in the market. The cost, complexity, and cumbersome purchasing process limits the reach of hands-free farming to only the largest farms despite evidence that every farmer can benefit.

"We are commited to bringing the benefits of precision ag to all farmers." Vaughn continued, "The HandsFreeFarm.com store is a key step in providing all farmers easy to use, low cost solutions they can easily purchase and install themselves without having to leave the farm."

RANGER, an easy to use, complete GPS guidance solution priced at only $995, is the first product in the HandsFreeFarm.com online store. RANGER is ready to use right out of the box, with everything included, installs in minutes and is so simple to use customers can start farming with precision right away.

The intuitive, patented steering guide shows visual cues in advance affording farmers the time to focus on farming instead of staring at a map. The system provides the essential accuracy for spraying, spreading, tilling and planting crops like soybeans and supports both straight line and free-form contours useful for terraces and irregular fields. RANGER provides farmers the flexibility to leave the field and return precisely where they left off and gives the option to share GPS location data with implements and yield monitors.

Farming is a legacy to be cherished and, hopefully, passed on to the next generation. The www.HandsFreeFarm.com online store has been created to increase access to precision agriculture to ensure that every farmer can prosper through the benefits of hands-free farming.
Published in Companies
Carroll County, M.D. - After years of complaints from residents, the Carroll County Commissioners are now considering increasing the distance of confined animal feeding operations from neighbors' homes.

Unfortunately, that doesn't help the group of people who came to the April 2 commissioners' meeting asking for relief from an 8,000-hog operation that is now planning to add another 10,000 hogs. | READ MORE
Published in News
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP).

The AMMP is one of two programs designed by CDFA to reduce dairy and livestock greenhouse gas emissions. The program will provide $19 to 33 million in grants to California dairy and livestock operators to implement non-digester manure management practices that reduce methane emissions.

Applicants must access the 2018 Request for Grant Applications at www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/ammp/ for detailed program requirements and application instructions.

CDFA has partnered with the State Water Resources Control Board to utilize its online application site, the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). All prospective applicants must register for a FAAST account at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov to apply. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.

All prospective applicants should access the AMMP webpage for information regarding additional, free-of-charge technical assistance conducted by non-profit organizations, Resource Conservation Districts and California academic institutions to assist in the submission of AMMP applications.

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA's Grants Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with general program questions.
Published in News
Boardman, OR - An imperiled mega-dairy near Boardman will be allowed to continue operating under a settlement it reached with state regulators Wednesday.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture agreed to let Lost Valley Farm, a 7,288-acre ranch permitted to house 30,000 cows, to produce massive amounts of wastewater and manure, despite a year of repeated violations of its permits. The state had threatened in a February lawsuit to temporarily shut down its operations.

Under the new agreement, Lost Valley can generate up to 65,000 gallons of wastewater per day compared with the 514,000 the dairy estimated it would need. It also must comply with other terms of its permit, such as notifying the state if there is a wastewater or manure spill. And the dairy must remove 24.4 million gallons of liquid manure from its overloaded storage facilities by summer, so that it can avoid polluting local water sources during a heavy rainstorm. | For the full story, click here
Published in News
After a soft launch in late 2017, Marketplace-E is being introduced by Ritchie Bros. as its latest buying and selling solution.

Complementing the company's onsite unreserved auctions and online-only auctions through IronPlanet, Marketplace-E offers sellers increased control over price, location, and timing, while providing buyers access to more equipment available to purchase right away.

"With the launch of Marketplace-E we can now serve customers as a true one-stop shop, with a complete suite of selling solutions to meet every need," said Ravi Saligram, CEO of Ritchie Bros. "We have many customers who, for a variety of reasons, need more control over the selling price and process of their assets. With Marketplace-E they will get the control they need while still benefiting from Ritchie Bros.' marketing and expansive global buyer network."

Ravi continued, "Marketplace-E will also open up new customer opportunities for Ritchie Bros. In our quest to lead the industry in innovation; we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the asset disposition experience. Developing a sleek, user-friendly digital platform expands the options available to OEMs, dealers, brokers and end users."

How Marketplace-E works – three selling options:
  • Make Offer: List equipment online and let potential buyers submit offers, then negotiate with potential buyers to reach an agreement.
  • Buy Now: List equipment online at a fixed, buy-it-now price; like a basic ecommerce transaction. Once the item is purchased, the listing is closed.
  • Reserve Price: An online listing with a minimum/reserve price. The item will not sell until the reserve is met. The seller minimum is protected, but the potential highest selling price is not capped.
The selling process is also aided by an inside sales team dedicated to facilitating offline negotiations between interested buyers and sellers.

For more information about Marketplace-E, visit: ironplanet.com/Marketplace-E.
Published in News
A U.S. Senate committee took testimony on a bill that supporters say offers a bipartisan compromise on reporting manure emissions.

The legislation would exempt farms from a law spawned by careless handling of industrial waste in the 1970s. The bill, however, leaves open the possibility that producers will someday have to report the volume of gases released by livestock under a different law inspired by the 1984 chemical leak in Bopal, India, that killed up to 20,000 people. | READ MORE
Published in News
Magog, QC – Camso, formerly Camoplast Solideal, unveils its new proprietary smart track technology for the first time in North America.

The vision behind Camso smart track technology (patent pending) is to support farmers through innovations, adding value to their field. "As the leader in track and track system development, we're committed to redefining the industry standard and engineering products that support the evolution of farming equipment," explains Martin Lunkenbein, service and aftermarket sales executive director – Agriculture at Camso. "New technology announcements, such as smart tracks, demonstrate our commitment to developing solutions that advance a farmer's operation in terms of efficiency, productivity and ease of use," he says.

According to Lunkenbein, when coupled with smart technology, tracks can be an invaluable source of information. "The idea is to use our proprietary smart technology to gather data using the various track components (guide lugs, tread bars, carcass). From there, we can track what really impacts farmers' profitability: durability, performance, agronomic field conditions, and more."

The first application of Camso smart technology will involve track temperature sensors for high-speed roading to help farmers get in their field faster while lowering their operating costs and improving track durability.

"With higher roading speeds and fields farther away from each other, farmers are looking to operate at maximum transport efficiency. Our roading smart track solution will allow for optimal machine speed while avoiding heat build-up, which can cause premature track damage," says Lunkenbein.

Camso already offers the leading roading track solution, using the best compounds and ensuring optimized tread performance and life.

This first application represents a huge leap forward in integrated track technology. Camso's technology employs a temperature sensor embedded in the track. If the track reaches high temperature levels, the sensor sends a signal to the tractor, ensuring that speed is readily adjusted to protect the track investment. A working prototype will be introduced later in 2018.
Published in Manure Application
OriginClear Inc. recently announced that its licensee in Spain, Depuporc S.L., has signed a commercial contract to supply complete mobile treatment systems to pig farm operators.

The units have a daily capacity of 120m3, or 31,700 gallons per day. Depuporc intends to integrate OriginClear's Electro Water Separation with Advanced Oxidation technology in the systems it deploys.

The contract outlines orders beginning with 12 machines in the first year, tripling to 36 units by the third year. Between component sales and royalties, OriginClear believes that this project will generate about half a million dollars in the first year, also tripling by year three.

"We licensed the OriginClear technology to optimize and improve the patented manure treatment process that we have developed over the past years," said Francisco Longares, CEO of Depuporc SL. "We did several tests with various animal farming effluents, including one particularly successful test that our team published on video, and this confirmed our opinion of EWS:AOx. We are extremely happy to see that our efforts are now materializing into commercial results."

OriginClear's EWS:AOx will form the core of a complete mobile system designed and built by Depuporc in Spain. Large solids will be removed before EWS:AOx, with a polishing stage afterwards, to ensure discharge water quality will meet stringent European Union water quality standards.

"The Spanish market is undoubtedly huge and as such, a first commercial implementation has tremendous value to us," said Jean-Louis "JL" Kindler, president of OriginClear Technologies. "In addition, a success there will set an example for other major markets in the animal effluent industry, namely the U.S. and China, where we are already present and active."

With over 28 million animals, Spain is now the world's third largest pork meat exporter after China and the U.S. Furthermore, increased industrialization has seen the average number of animals per farm nearly quadruple, from 122 to 467, in less than 15 years. This also concentrates the production of manure in Spain, which is currently estimated at 62 million cubic meters per year. This is equivalent to covering the whole area of New York's Central Park in manure, to the height of a five-floor building (17 meters or 55 feet).
Published in News
February 28, 2018, Boardman, OR – Oregon's newest mega-dairy has repeatedly endangered nearby drinking water by violating environmental laws and should be shut down immediately, the state alleges in a lawsuit.

The operation opened in April 2017 near Boardman along the Columbia River in north central Oregon to supply the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which makes Tillamook Cheese. Since then the dairy has failed numerous inspections, has been cited four times and has been fined $10,640. READ MORE
Published in State
February 26, 2018, Des Moines, IA – Recent application denials at the county level mean more Iowans see the need for a moratorium on new factory farms, according to Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association said a moratorium on hog farms would devastate Iowa's economy and livestock producers. READ MORE
Published in Swine
February 22, 2018, Champaign, IL – The Illinois manure haulers group will be holding several update meetings for members during March and April.

On-site workshop sign-in and late registration starts at 10:30 a.m. for each meeting. They will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude by 1:30 p.m. The registration cost is $20 and lunch is provided. Register here.

Some of the rules and setbacks for manure spreading in Illinois were changed by the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency AFO/CAFO rules. Commercial manure haulers and farm operators can learn how these rules – which address all livestock facilities in Illinois – affect their operations, by attending one of the four regional meetings being held this spring. This is an important, unique opportunity to hear Illinois rules clarified by experts. Speakers include Illinois EPA regional environmental protection specialists, University of Illinois Extension faculty and educators, and agriculture commodity group representatives.

Sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Farm Bureau, and University of Illinois Extension, these information-packed mid-day meetings are designed for anyone involved in hauling and spreading livestock or poultry manure in the state. Operators need assurance that they are correctly interpreting the 2014 Illinois EPA rules for manure application; at these events, the regulations will be illustrated using lots of example cases for clarity. Manure nutrient management planning and data recording tools, manure gas personal safety monitors, and best management practices for environmental protection will also be discussed. Register soon for a meeting near you! These events are a great value, seats are limited, and we anticipate a big turnout this spring.

Dates and locations are below.

March 8, 2018 – Mahomet, IL; Farm Credit Illinois, 1100 Farm Credit Drive, Mahomet, IL 61853

March 15, 2018 – Mt Vernon, IL; Farm Credit Illinois, 410 Potomac Blvd, Mt Vernon, IL 62864

March 20, 2018 – Monmouth, IL; Compeer Financial, 700 E. Jackson Ave, Monmouth, IL 61462

April 3, 2018 – Sycamore, IL; DeKalb County Farm Bureau, 1350 W. Prairie Dr., Sycamore, IL 60178
Published in State
February 21, 2018, Tucker, GA – The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association recognized six poultry farm winners and three finalists who received the annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo.

The award is given annually in acknowledgment of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.

“It is a privilege to recognize these nine family farms for the excellent job they do in being good stewards of their land,” said Tom Hensley, president, Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Ga., and newly elected U.S. Poultry chairman. “Our industry could not continue to operate and flourish without taking proper care of our natural resources. These six winners and three finalists are to be commended for their efforts.”

Applicants were rated in several categories, including dry litter management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques and participation in education or outreach programs. In selecting the national winners and finalists, applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies and state poultry associations.

The winners were chosen from six geographical regions from throughout the United States. They are as follows:

Northeast Region winner – Baker’s Acres, Millsboro, Del. Terry Baker Jr., nominated by Mountaire Farms

North Central Region winner – Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, Saranac, Mich. Greg Herbruck, nominated by Eggland’s Best, LLC

South Central Region winner – 4 T Turkey Farm, California, Mo. Bill and Lana Dicus, nominated by Cargill

Southeast Region winner – Morrison Poultry, Wingo, Ky. Tim and Deena Morrison, nominated by the Kentucky Poultry Federation and Tyson Foods

Southwest Region winner – Woape Farm, West, Tex. Ken and Dana Smotherman, nominated by the Texas Poultry Federation and Cargill

West Region winner – Pickin’ N Pluckin’, Ridgefield, Wash. Rod and Glenda Hergert, nominated by Foster Farms

There were also three finalists recognized at the award presentation. They are as follows:

West Region finalist – Hiday Poultry Farms LLC, Brownsville, Ore. Randy Hiday, nominated by Foster Farms

Northeast Region finalist – Foltz Farm K, Mathias, W.Va. Kevin and Lora Foltz and sons, nominated by Cargill

South Central finalist – Featherhill Farm, Elkins, Ark. Bud and Darla O’Neal, nominated by Cargill

Published in Poultry
February 20, 2018, Bloomsburg, PA – A Columbia County man is taking his fight to build a swine barn to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The farmer initially received a special exception from the township to build the 4,800-head nursery barn in 2013, but a citizens group has been appealing that decision ever since.

The state attorney general's office, Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Protection, along with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and PennAg Industries Association, have also joined the appeal, which could have a profound impact on how PA farms are regulated. READ MORE
Published in Swine
February 20, 2018, Clarion, IA – Plans are being unveiled for a $25 million fertilizer plant to be built in north-central Iowa.

Bryce Davis, Wright County’s economic development director, says the plant will be located in a rural area about ten miles from Clarion and it’ll take in up to 150,000 tons of chicken waste per year from several area poultry plants. READ MORE
Published in Poultry
February 16, 2018 – A U.S.-Canadian agency says there's little doubt that commercial fertilizer and manure are the top sources of phosphorus pollution in western Lake Erie.

The International Joint Commission says its science advisory board based the conclusion on an extensive analysis of existing data about the shallowest of the Great Lakes. READ MORE





Published in Other
February 15, 2018, Washington, DC – Legislation strongly supported by the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and United Egg Producers was introduced Feb. 13 to exempt farmers from reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard emissions from the natural breakdown of manure on their farms.

Led by Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Ranking Member Tom Carper, D-Del., the bipartisan “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act” would fix a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). READ MORE





Published in Associations
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