Business/Policy
December 14, 2017, Towanda, PA – Calling all farms! Get help with your manure management plan on Dec. 15 from the Bradford County Conservation District in Wysox.

Manure management plans are required in Pennsylvania for anyone who mechanically applies manure or pastures animals. The Bradford County Conservation District will hold an informal “open door” day on Dec. 15 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone needing help getting this document in order.

The Manure Management Manual is a fairly easy and short document that will not only bring you into compliance, possibly save money on your fertilizer bill, and increase yields; but will help cover you in the event of a complaint. Most information can simply be filled out by the animal’s owner. However, you may benefit from the conservation district’s help with maps and more detailed information. This “open door” day will allow anyone to walk in at their convenience and get the help they need without spending any more or less time on it than necessary.

Important to note is that these plans belong to you. There is no requirement to submit a copy of this plan to any government agency. They are for your use and are required only to be kept on file at the farm.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has been inspecting Bradford County farms in recent weeks. Your manure management plan is one of the first things they would ask to see. You want to be ready if they show up at your farm. DEP is responsible for enforcing Pennsylvania’s regulations requiring farms to implement manure management and erosion control plans.

You can call or just drop in. We will be glad to help you put the finishing touches on this plan for your farm. Light refreshments will be available. Let us help you with your manure management needs. Contact the Bradford County Conservation District with any questions at 570-265-5539 ext. 3105 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information about the Bradford County Conservation District, visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.

Published in State
December 14, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – Effective March 2018, the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative (MLMMI) will disband and its activities will be rolled into a more broadly mandated provincial research organization created under the new federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

John Carney, executive director of the MLMMI, said work over the past almost 20 years has included odor mitigation, odor measurement and quantification, nutrient management including manure separation and manure nutrients in crops, the feasibility of a manure pipeline to transport manure, pathogens in manure and barn worker health and safety.

“Certainly, there's been quite a bit of work done in odor management,” he said. “We have a model that is very helpful for predicting odor plumes and there's actually some refinements going on with that as we speak.”

“We fully investigated five different technologies for manure separation as part of redistributing nutrients from areas that don't have enough spreadable acres.We looked at alternatives and costs of manure transportation.”

“I think it's important to note too that we don't just consider our success when we find something that works,” Carney added. “When we find that it's not the answer, I think that's just as valuable as when you find something that is what you hoped it would be.”

“Our research has the capabilities of saving a lot of producers the time, money and frustration of implementing technologies or strategies that it turns out don't work in Manitoba conditions.”

According to Carney, under the new program, this research will be broadened to cover all forms agriculture.

He said there continues to be opportunities for Manitoba to produce more livestock so manure research will continue to be an important focus.
Published in Associations
December 12, 2017, Reynoldsburg, OH – With the winter season upon us, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation would like to remind producers and nutrient applicators of laws and restrictions on manure application.

Signed into law in July 2015, Ohio Senate Bill 1 clarifies and enhances the restrictions on manure application within the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB).

Application restrictions in the WLEB include:
  • On snow-covered or frozen soil;
  • When the top 2 inches of the soil are saturated from precipitation;
  • When the local weather forecast for the application area contains greater than fifty percent chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a 24-hour period.
Applicators are responsible for checking and keeping forecast information before application. Any source of weather prediction is acceptable.

Restrictions do not apply if:
  • The manure is injected into the ground;
  • Manure is incorporated with 24 hours of surface application, using a tillage tool operated at a minimum of 3-4 inches deep;
  • The manure is applied onto a growing crop;
  • The chief of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation has provided written consent for an emergency application. Contact the division in case of an emergency.
Producers in the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed are also reminded of the manure application ban that starts on December 15. Producers and manure applicators shall not apply manure between December 15 and March 1. Producers are also banned from surface applying manure on frozen ground or ground covered with more than one-inch of snow outside of the December 15 and March 1 dates.

Producers in other areas of the state are reminded to use best management practices when applying manure and follow USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Standard 590.

For more information about manure application, producers and applicators can contact the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation at 614-265-6610 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in State
December 12, 2017, Loveland, CO – A dairy farm near Loveland is being investigated by public health officials who say the facility allowed runoff from manure piles to leach into the Big Thompson River without a permit.

A November 2015 inspection by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed two wastewater ponds overflowing into a drainage ditch that flowed into the Big Thompson River. The inspector observed that the leakages from the farm “were likely ongoing for a significant period of time.” READ MORE
Published in State
December 11, 2017, Deerfield, MA – A $5 million methane digester-power generator that went online last March is finally showing signs of being fully connected at Bar-Way Farm, nine months after the 1-megawatt generator was supposed to have been churning out electricity for the power grid.

Eversource crews were at work at the dairy farm, where farmer Peter Melnick had complained in September that the utility had failed to meet several promised dates for hooking up the methane-burning generator to the electric grid. READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
December 8, 2017, Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources could adopt regional restrictions on manure spreading to help protect drinking water.

Fifteen counties with bedrock consisting of Silurian dolomite and shallow topsoil are targeted: Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.

New restrictions would affect the time and place where manure can be added on cropland. Areas with bedrock depth of two feet or less would not be able to have manure – liquid or solid – added. READ MORE
Published in Regional
December 5, 2017, Portland, OR — Representatives of Oregon agriculture say they are wary of a proposal to reduce the state’s carbon emissions. While farmers could attract new revenue under the system, they could also face higher costs for fuel, electricity and other inputs, they say.

Oregon lawmakers in the House and Senate are currently devising carbon emission “cap-and-invest” bills to be introduced during the 2018 legislative session. The goal is to mitigate climate change by reducing the amount of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide that gets into the atmosphere. READ MORE
Published in Other
December 1, 2017, Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds farmers that December 15 is the last day to spread manure and other organic nutrient sources on cropland.

Under modified Nutrient Management Regulations approved earlier this year, farmers statewide are now prohibited from spreading manure between December 16 and March 1.

“The fall spreading date for manure and other organic nutrient sources has been extended through December 15 to reflect warmer weather patterns and reduce the amount of time farmers need to store manure over the winter,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The extra time allows farmers to empty their storage structures ahead of winter. Ultimately, our goal is to avoid application of nutrients in the winter when fields are at the highest risk for runoff.”

An emergency provision in the modified regulations allows the department to work with farmers to prevent an overflow from liquid manure storage structures during winter, when spreading manure is otherwise prohibited. This exemption is only for on-farm generated liquid manure that the farmer cannot store due to extraordinary circumstances. It does not apply to biosolids or food waste. A 100-foot setback from surface waters is required for any emergency spreading that takes place in winter and farmers are prohibited from applying manure if the ground is frozen or snow covered. Livestock farmers seeking this exemption should contact their regional nutrient management specialist for assistance.

Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations allow farmers to apply poultry litter to crops in the fall. Farmers may apply other types of manure in fall for spring crops planted before June 1. Farmers should review their Nutrient Management Plan, talk to their nutrient management consultant, or contact the nutrient management specialist serving their county.

For more information, contact the Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959 or visit the program’s website.

Published in State
December 1, 2017, Los Angeles, CA – Toyota plans to build a power plant in California that captures methane gas from dairy cattle manure to generate water, electricity and hydrogen.

The company announced the project Nov. 30 at the Los Angeles auto show. The Tri-Gen Project at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., will be the world’s first commercial-scale 100 percent renewable power and hydrogen generation plant. Toyota is betting heavily on fuel-cell technology, especially in Japan. READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
December 1, 2017, Princess Anne, MD – A new public-private partnership between University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a western-shore based recycling startup company proposes to solve some of Delmarva's most pressing problems.

With no incineration, leaving behind no waste or byproducts and in just 30 minutes, ReGreen Organic's innovative recycling process transforms waste into clean, sanitary, odor-free and marketable products: Fertilizers, compost, animal feed and fuel pellets. READ MORE
Published in Poultry
November 30, 2017, University Park, PA – A new study of methane emissions from livestock in the United States – led by a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences – has challenged previous top-down estimates.

The research was conducted because serious discrepancies exist between top-down estimates that suggest the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is underestimating agricultural methane emissions by up to 90 percent, and bottom-up estimates accepted by the federal government showing lower emissions.

Top-down emissions estimates involve monitoring atmospheric methane concentrations by satellites or from air samples collected at high altitude by planes, and using models to estimate the sources of emissions. Bottom-up estimates take into account livestock populations and animal emission factors.

In their detailed analysis, researchers used a spatially explicit, bottom-up approach, based on animal inventories and feed-intake-based emission factors, to estimate enteric methane emissions for cattle and manure methane emissions for cattle, swine and poultry for the contiguous United States.

The researchers estimated methane emissions using a "gridded" approach, dividing the U.S. into 0.1 by 0.1-degree GIS units, which created cells from 31 square miles in the northern United States to 42 square miles in the southern part of the country.

"This level of detail enabled us to more accurately assess agricultural methane emissions based on activities involving livestock," explained lead researcher Alex Hristov, professor of dairy nutrition, who is a member of the current National Academy of Sciences Anthropogenic Methane Committee.

"We must have more specific information about methane emissions that combines local livestock populations and characteristics with distribution of landscape features – and a gridded inventory approach provides that," he said.

According to the EPA, the top three sources of anthropogenic methane in the United States are the combined energy sector – natural gas, petroleum systems and coal mining – which makes up 40 percent of the total; livestock, 36 percent of the total; and landfills, 18 percent of the total.

Methane emissions from livestock operations are the result of microbial fermentation and methanogenesis in the forestomach of ruminants and similar fermentation processes in manure from both ruminant and non-ruminant farm animals.

Methane is also produced from enteric fermentation in the digestive tract of non-ruminant herbivore species, such as horses, donkeys and mules, as a result of fermentation processes in their hindgut. However, "hindgut fermenters" do not produce nearly as much methane per unit of fermented feed as ruminants, so enteric or manure emissions from equine species were not included in this analysis. Neither were emissions from small ruminants such as sheep and goats, which are negligible in the U.S.

County-level, annual enteric methane emissions for all states were estimated for cattle only. A total of 3,063 counties in the contiguous U.S. were included in the cattle methane emission database.

Cattle inventories by county were obtained from the 2012 Census of Agriculture, which is the last census data currently available. Body weight data for cattle was derived from EPA records and dry matter feed intake was estimated based on National Research Council prediction equations for the various categories of cattle. Methane emission yield factors were calculated for each cattle category.

Overall, the research, which was published this month in Environmental Science and Technology, yielded total U.S. livestock methane emissions of 19.6 billion pounds per year. However, uncertainty surrounding that total is high, researchers acknowledged.

Compared with enteric methane, predicting methane emissions from manure is a more complex process and carries a larger uncertainty in the estimates, the researchers pointed out. Manure composition, type of storage facilities and manure retention time, and environment – particularly temperature – are among the factors that affect methane emissions from manure.

There is great uncertainty in both enteric and manure methane emissions from livestock, Hristov conceded. He said that research around the world has shown that variability in enteric methane emissions largely can be explained with variability in feed dry-matter intake. Nutrient composition of the feed is also important but has a lesser impact on enteric methane production.

"If methane emissions from livestock in this country really are twice as high as what is estimated now — and we don't believe they are — that would put a big target on agriculture to take measures to cut these emissions," said Hristov. "Having an accurate and spatially explicit assessment of methane emissions from livestock is critical for reconciliation of top-down and bottom-up approaches, and it's the starting point in any mitigation effort."

"Our analysis showed that the EPA’s estimates are close to reality, but there is a discrepancy in the spatial distribution of emissions. And, our research revealed a great discrepancy with global models such as the EDGAR (Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research) inventory."

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company partially funded this research.
Published in Air quality
November 28, 2017, Washington, DC – On November 22, 2017 – in response to a request from the Environmental Protection Agency – the DC Circuit Court of Appeals extended the deadline for farmers to report air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at livestock operations until January 22, 2018.

The decision postponed the effective date of the court’s April 2017 decision vacating an EPA rule that exempted these farms from certain statutory reporting obligations.

EPA is committed to providing America’s farmers and ranchers – people committed to conserving the land and the environment- the clarity needed in meeting their reporting obligations required by law,” said Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator.

The EPA sought this additional time in order to provide compliance assistance to farmers, update its guidance, and develop a more-streamlined reporting form. With the court’s decision, farmers are not required to report emissions from animal waste at these facilities until after the court issues its mandate, expected no sooner than January 22, 2018.

On April 11, 2017, the DC Circuit Court vacated an EPA rule finalized on December 18, 2008, that exempted most farms from certain release reporting requirements in two statutes, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

In response to a request from the EPA, the DC Circuit Court extended the effective date of its decision to vacate the 2008 rule to November 15, 2017. In response to a second request from the current administration EPA, the DC Circuit Court further extended that date to January 22, 2018. As such, farmers now do not need to report emissions under CERCLA until January 22, 2018 at the earliest when the D.C. Circuit Court is expected to issue its mandate.

The EPA has prepared guidance that includes links to resources that farmers can consider when calculating emissions for specific species of livestock. To view EPA’s guidance and Frequently Asked Questions on reporting air emissions from animal waste: https://www.epa.gov/epcra/cercla-and-epcra-reporting-requirements-air-releases-hazardous-substances-animal-waste-farms.

Published in Federal
November 28, 2017, Saint Paul, MN – Under an agreement between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program in Louisiana, eligibility for loans to implement Agricultural Best Management Practices (AgBMP) in Minnesota will be expanded to include larger livestock operations.

A formal letter of understanding was recently signed recognizing the importance of coordinating pollution prevention efforts throughout the Mississippi River watershed both locally in Minnesota and in distant downstream areas including the receiving waters of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary has developed a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan recommending practices that can be implemented from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the delta that will ultimately reduce sediment and nutrient loading to the estuary area and the gulf. With Minnesota’s formal recognition of the Barataria-Terrebonne management plan, eligibility for the MDA’s AgBMP Loan Program will be expanded to include livestock operations holding National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits or those operations with more than 1,000 animal units.

“All along the Mississippi River, we need to work with our partners and follow the same road map to manage the watershed while still recognizing that people and communities use the land in a variety of ways,” said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Expanding the number of farm operations eligible for AgBMP loans here in the Mississippi River’s headwaters state is another step toward managing and protecting this important watershed.”

This letter of understanding recognizes that pollution does not stop at state boundaries and that a multi-state perspective should be considered when addressing pollution problems. In addition to the expanded eligibility options and guidance, the understanding establishes regular reporting and communications between the two organizations.
Published in State
November 28, 2017, Hurlock, MD – On Mary Lou Brown's farm in Hurlock, tractors were rolling over giant concrete pads and dumping mounds of chicken compost in her manure shed.

Things that Brown says don't come cheap.

But now, more money could be on its way. U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, recently introduced the Chesapeake Bay Farm Enhancement Act of 2017. READ MORE
Published in State
November 27, 2017 – The costs of managing horse manure were found in a Swedish study to be similar to feeding costs.

University of Gävle researchers Åsa Hadin, Karl Hillman and Ola Eriksson set out to examine the prospects for increased energy recovery from horse manure, carrying out a case study in a Swedish municipality. The trio examined management practices, environmental impact and costs. READ MORE
Published in Other
November 27, 2017, London, UK – The global manure spreaders market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of close to seven percent during the period 2017 to 2021, according to a new market research study by Technavio.

The report presents a comprehensive outlook of the global manure spreaders market by distribution channel (offline stores and online stores). The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies.

Improving farm mechanization is crucial because it facilitates timely, precise, and scientific farm operations, thereby increasing farm input and labor efficiency. Appropriate farm mechanization is necessary to achieve timeliness in field operations, increase productivity, cut down crop production cost, reduce post-harvest losses, and minimize farm drudgery. This also boosts crop output and farm income. The importance of mechanization for farm productivity is coupled with a rise in government support in terms of convenient policies and farm income.

Vendors are coming up with advanced features such as fully automated processes, homogenous distribution of manure, multi-language user interfaces, and many more, which are expected to improve the performance of the machines and earn high profit margins. Such factors will increase the demand and sales of manure spreaders.

“The launch of new manure spreaders can increase the use and sales of machinery in the coming years,” said Shikha Kaushik, a lead analyst at Technavio for agricultural equipment research. “The growing demand for advanced features, improved performance, and better capacity in machinery has contributed to the development of new machinery, which augurs well for the growth of the market.”

The global manure spreaders market is fragmented with the presence of many medium and large-sized competitors. The market is anticipated to experience a sizable rise in production capacity as competitors embrace advanced technological methods to produce manure spreaders. Many competitors are adopting several strategic activities to increase their visibility and production capacities. The increase in production capacity will allow the competitors to meet the growing demand for manure spreaders.

The Technavio report is available for purchase by clicking here.
Published in Manure Application
November 21, 2017, Bennington, VT – A legislative panel wants to hear the agriculture agency's case for why farmers should be exempt from environmental enforcement under Vermont's land use law.

The Act 250 committee, which met Nov. 15, is tasked with proposing fixes to the state's land use law that will bring 50-year-old regulations up to speed with new environmental pressures.

At the next meeting, to be held in December, the committee will ask the Agency of Agriculture to justify land use exemptions for farms. READ MORE
Published in State
November 17, 2017, De Forest, WI – As farmers across the state clear their corn and soybean fields, those with livestock may list the next job on their “to-do” list as spreading manure. For livestock operations with larger numbers of animals, that fall project may include liquid manure. Spreading those liquid nutrients effectively and efficiently should be done with safety in mind says one man who has made manure spreading and farm safety his life’s work.

Rick Martens, executive director of the Minnesota Custom Applicators Association travels the country trying to help farmers and hired manure applicators change their perspective on safety. He’s got nearly 35 years experience in the business – his family’s business is Martens Manurigation — and he’s learned a thing or two he wants others to be aware of. READ MORE

Published in Other
It was during the peak of the porcine diarrhea epidemic in the winter of 2014-2015 that the need for the Ontario Professional Agri Contractors Association (OPACA) became clear to what would become its group of founding members.
Published in News
North Carolina is described as the heart of the “American Broiler Belt.” With the poultry industry still expanding to some extent in the state and less land being available for manure application due to population growth and urban sprawl, alternative uses for poultry litter are being urgently explored.
Published in Poultry
Page 1 of 76

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

South Dakota Pork Congress
Wed Jan 10, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Minnesota Pork Congress
Tue Jan 16, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Value of Biogas West
Tue Jan 16, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Iowa Pork Congress
Wed Jan 24, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
2018 International Poultry Expo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM