Business/Policy
October 16, 2017, Des Moines, IA – A state fund set up to oversee Iowa livestock farms and manage the millions of gallons of manure they produce each year has been illegally diverted for other uses by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, according to the program's former manager.

Gene Tinker worked as the DNR coordinator of animal feeding operations for 14 years before he was laid off in August. In an appeal seeking to have his job reinstated, Tinker said he was told the layoff was due to state budget problems, even though the fund paying for his program received $1.6 million a year from fees charged to the livestock farms. READ MORE
Published in State
October 13, 2017, Dyersville, IA – On October 9 and 10, staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Manchester field office looked for the source of a fish kill on Hickory and Hewitt Creeks in Dubuque County.

Starting at the Highway 136 bridge in Dyersville, DNR staff followed dead fish upstream for about five miles to an unnamed tributary of Hickory Creek. The likely source of the fish kill is manure washed into the stream from an animal feeding operation in the upper part of the watershed.

The fish kill was reported October 9, but the caller noticed dead fish following rainfall over the weekend.

The investigation is ongoing as DNR awaits laboratory test results from water samples. DNR fisheries staff estimate thousands of fish were killed, including white suckers, stonerollers, minnows and creek chubs. An official count will be available later.

DNR will seek enforcement actions as appropriate.

Published in State
October 13, 2017, Indianapolis, IN – Indiana lawmakers will meet Oct. 19 to continue hearing testimony as they consider updating regulations on the state’s livestock feeding operations.

The Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, which has members from both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly, has already met twice this fall to discuss industrial confined feeding programs. READ MORE
Published in State
October 12, 2017, Toledo, OH – The operators of three agriculture businesses have been told to pay more than $30,000 for three large fish kills that Ohio's natural resources department says were caused by livestock manure spread on fields.

Investigators think ammonia-laden manure put onto the fields in northwestern Ohio ahead of rainstorms in August washed into creeks and caused the fish kills. READ MORE
Published in State
October 11, 2017, Madison, WI – Ten winners were honored from 30 finalists and more than 230 nominees during the 2017 Wisconsin Innovation Awards, held recently at the Wisconsin Union Terrace.

The agriculture winner was Midwestern BioAg and its TerraNu Nutrient Technology, a manufacturing process that gives crop producers access to manure-sourced nutrients from livestock farms.

The ceremony recognized the state’s most innovative products and services from nine industry categories. The 2017 winners were selected from a panel of 23 experts from around Wisconsin, and span all business sectors – technology, food, healthcare, agriculture, nonprofits, education, government, and the like – throughout the state.

“The Wisconsin Innovation Awards seek to celebrate and inspire innovation, and highlight the creative spirit from the state’s leading public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said Matt Younkle, co-founder of the awards and CEO of Cardigan, LLC. “We want to congratulate all finalists and winners from the 2017 Wisconsin Innovation Awards, and look forward to encouraging an even greater environment of innovation in the year to come.”

Published in Companies
October 10, 2017, Abbotsford, BC – Trident Processes recently received the Canadian Business Excellence Award for Private Businesses for 2018. The award is given annually to 25 private businesses across Canada.

Trident, headquartered in B.C., has commercialized a unique process for recovering and repurposing valuable resources from livestock manure and municipal wastewater. Its technologies recover nutrients and other resources, a growing focus of agricultural, municipal and industrial wastewater industries.

"I continue to be amazed at the level of recognition our company has been able to achieve the past couple of years," said Kerry Doyle, CEO of Trident Processes. "Who would have thought a small company that processes dairy manure and municipal wastewater would be receiving an award alongside big consulting firms, bankers and IT professionals?"

"It highlights the importance of the work we are doing," he added.

The award is presented by Excellence Canada and PwC Canada as special recognition of Canadian businesses that demonstrate exemplary performance of strategic plans and exceptional achievement of their business goals. Applicant companies are evaluated by an independent adjudication committee from organizations that include BC Business Magazine, CEO Global Network, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Carleton University, CPA Canada, MaRS, PwC Canada, and Excellence Canada.
Published in Companies
October 4, 2017, Madison, WI – Dairy Herd Management recently announced LWR’s First Wave System among the Top 10 Products in the 2017 Dairy Herd Management Innovation Awards.

The Dairy Herd Management Innovation Awards recognize the best of the best in new products that will be game changers for dairy producers in the areas of efficiency, functionality and technology.

LWR Director of Operations, J.R. Brooks says that the launch of the First Wave System was in direct response to the feedback that they were receiving from the dairy industry.

“We are constantly listening to producers and we recognized that to fully service the dairy industry we needed to offer the same quality of manure treatment that you get with the LWR system, in a package that drastically reduces operating costs not only for smaller operations, but to an entire industry that has been battling low milk prices,” he said.

“We also recognized that not every farm needs to make clean water, but that most want a different way to manage their manure. The First Wave System offers the same precise nutrient control as the full LWR system, and the beauty is that you can add the Second Wave Module at any time to start making clean water when the time is right.”

“This dairy industry is fast-paced and ever evolving, these awards showcase the finest in the industry and the commitment industry partners make to keep the future of the dairy industry strong,” said Cliff Becker, vice president and publishing director of Dairy Herd Management. “We are pleased to recognize these top innovators at World Dairy Expo.

“The LWR system was recognized as a Top 10 Product in the 2011 Dairy Herd Management Innovation Awards, and now to have the First Wave System on that list is a true testament to our longstanding commitment to the dairy industry,” adds Brooks.

Entries were evaluated by Dairy Herd Management's panel of dairy farmers, agribusiness representatives and university experts, and were judged on their originality within the marketplace, usefulness and value to dairy farmers.
Published in Manure Handling
October 4, 2017 – The Virginia State Water Control Board recently approved a revised proposed regulation for the certification of non-point source nutrient credits.

The regulation now moves to the governor’s office for final review before being issued for public comment.

The proposed regulation – to be issued pursuant to Va. Code § 62.1-44.19:20 of the State Water Control Law – establishes the framework for nutrient credit usage in Virginia. It reflects recent efforts to strengthen an earlier version of the proposed regulation on this topic, including a more detailed and substantial approach to eligibility and certification of NSN credits to be traded in Virginia’s nutrient credit marketplace.

Nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorous, which, when discharged in wastewater and stormwater, can adversely affect water quality. While point-source discharges typically occur from discrete conveyances like pipes and ditches, non-point sources of nutrients involve sheet-flow stormwater runoff or other sources not regulated as point sources, such as crop and pasture lands and residential lots. The ability to use NSN credits offers an increasingly valuable and significant alternative for dischargers of wastewater and stormwater with nutrient loads. Municipalities, certain industries, and developers can utilize NSN credits to offset nutrient loads in their respective wastewater and stormwater discharges and apply them to help meet nutrient limits in their wastewater and stormwater permits. The earlier version of the proposed regulation published more than two years ago garnered many comments, but other factors have shaped NSN credit issues since then as well. Such factors include evolution of state and federal water protection planning and nutrient management and reduction practices, newer nutrient management strategies, innovation in technology and nutrient reduction tools, and experience with a burgeoning nutrient credit market. In particular, the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load’s increasingly stringent requirements for point-source discharges and increasing pressure to address loadings from non-point sources have sharply accelerated the need – and related market-based opportunities – for NSN credits to offset these loadings.

The proposed regulation addresses several key aspects of agency certification of NSN credits and assurance of their eligibility and viability for use by others. These aspects include (a) NSN credit certification and registration procedures; (b) calculation of the nutrient reduction factor associated with a particular NSN credit, which depends on the nutrient reduction method used to generate the credit; (c) the duration of NSN credit certification (perpetual or for a set period of time) and the retirement of NSN credits once used or expired; (d) reasonable assurance that the NSN credits are actually generated as certified; (e) reporting and recordkeeping obligations; (f) compliance audit and inspection processes and authority; (g) requirements to comply with local water quality standards even if NSN credits are applied against nutrient loadings; (h) public notification of use of NSN credits as part of a discharge permit condition; and (i) allowances for other requirements as the board deems necessary and appropriate. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality would serve as the implementing agency under the proposed regulation.

As the issues have evolved, the proposed regulation has in turn changed from the earlier proposed version and includes several new or different provisions, including: (i) clarification that the proposed regulation would only apply to NSN credits that will be registered on Virginia’s Nutrient Credit Exchange; (ii) inclusion of municipal separate storm sewer system service areas within the definition of “management area” to clarify that the entire MS4 service area is required to meet applicable urban baseline determination requirements before an MS4 may generate nutrient credit; (iii) certification and use of NSN credits generated in tandem with stream or wetland mitigation credits; (iv) addressing “innovative practices” that don’t squarely fall within nutrient management practices approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program or listed in Virginia’s best management practices clearinghouse; (v) specification of a five-year maximum period for term NSN credits (those other than perpetual); (vi) more specific provisions for perpetual NSN credits; (vii) certain exceptions from financial assurance obligations; (viii) aligning NSN credit review for land-conversion projects with 2016 statutory amendments; and (ix) other changes based on DEQ’s experience to date in certifying NSN credits under its statutory authority.

The proposed regulation indicates that the certification process and NSN credit verification and assurances are evolving to keep pace with a growing market and increasing and critical need for NSN credits to help regulated wastewater and stormwater dischargers meet ever tightening nutrient load and permit limits. All stakeholders should carefully monitor the public comment process as it unfolds.
Published in State
October 3, 2017, Carroll, IA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently reported it had issued an administrative order on a Sac City man for noncompliance with the state’s manure management plan requirements.

The order says the man will be required to pay a $10,000 fine, to immediately submit a complete and accurate manure management plan and to pay overdue fees. READ MORE
Published in State
September 29, 2017 – The National Corn Growers Association has asked the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and write a new rule that provides farmers with clarity and certainty, reduces red tape, and does not discourage farming practices that improve water quality.

“Corn farmers take very seriously the important role we play in helping the country meet its water quality goals, as laid out in state and federal statutes, including the Clean Water Act,” said Wesley Spurlock, president of the NCGA. “We depend on clean water for our livelihood, and we are committed to conservation practices that protect our nation’s streams and rivers.”

Spurlock called the 2015 rule inconsistent with the aims of the Clean Water Act, and noted that the rule also “has the perverse effect of making it harder for farmers to practice good soil and water conservation, nutrient management, and water quality protection practices.”

Farming practices such as grass waterways and buffer strips reduce sediment and nutrient runoff. Instead of encouraging these types of farming practices, the 2015 rule effectively discouraged them, due to both the bureaucratic red tape, and fear of legal action.

“We support the administration’s effort to create a new WOTUS rule, and we stand ready to work with them to ensure farmers have the clarity and certainty they need,” said Spurlock.
Published in Federal
September 29, 2017, Bailey’s Harbor, WI – In a 3-2 vote, the Door County Land Conservation Committee decided to forward a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), voicing support for the karst-targeted changes to NR 151, the state’s manure-handling rule, but also asking for clarification on the cost-sharing aspect of the new rules.

Two farmers on the committee voted against the committee sending a letter of support after hearing from many farmers who believe they will lose about 30 percent of their cropland for spreading manure under the proposed rules. READ MORE
Published in Regional
September 27, 2017, Sacramento, CA - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has extended the grant application deadline for the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), from October 2, 2017, to October 16, 2017 at 5 p.m. PDT.

The AMMP is one of two programs designed by CDFA to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. The program will provide between $9 million and $16 million in grants to California dairy and livestock operators to implement non-digester manure management practices that reduce their methane emissions.

For detailed information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the CDFA AMMP website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/ammp/. To streamline and expedite the application process, CDFA is partnering with the State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application tool, the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). All prospective applicants must register for a FAAST account at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically using FAAST by October 16, 2017, at 5 p.m. PDT.

Published in State
September 27, 2017, Albany, NY – The New York state government recently announced that $50 million in grant funding is available, over three consecutive application rounds, to help state livestock farms implement water quality protection projects.

The funding is a part of the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, which invests in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and other water quality protection across the state, including funds to ensure proper management and storage of nutrients such as manure on farms. The application period for the first $20 million is currently open and closes November 20, 2017.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply for the CAFO Waste Storage and Transfer System Program on behalf of eligible farmers. The maximum award amount per proposal is $385,000, which includes funding for engineering and construction expenses. Grants will help Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation-permitted farms offset the cost of water quality protection projects, such as manure storage construction, site preparation and associated best management practices.

New York State has more than 500 CAFO farms, most of which are dairy farms with 300 or more cows. CAFOs can also include associated livestock operations such as beef, poultry and equine farms. Projects funded will also help farmers meet the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's new environmental requirements, first announced in January of this year.

The application and additional information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets' website. In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Markets along with the Department of Environmental Conservation have developed an informational document to educate communities on the importance of manure storage facilities to maintain New York State's environmental standards. The fact sheet can be found here.

Grant awards will be made by December 18, 2017. The department will launch a second and third application period for an additional $15 million in both 2018 and 2019.

“This is a great opportunity for CAFO farms to partner with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to construct and fully implement best management practice systems on their farms,” said Dale Stein, chair of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. “This funding program will assist producers in meeting the State's new environmental regulations, and will further protect the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams in New York State."

“The $50 million in grant funding for manure storage will improve environmental stewardship on livestock farms across the state,” said David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau. “The cost sharing partnership between farmers and New York State will provide greater flexibility to manage nutrients as farms comply with stricter regulations connected to the new CAFO permits. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the Governor's recognition of the continued need for the funding that will help New York agriculture improve on its strong water quality record."
Published in State
September 26, 2017, Tucker, GA – The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award.

The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any family-owned poultry grower or egg producer supplying product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due Oct. 16.

This year, the award was presented to exemplary family farmers in five regions of the country: Northeast, Southeast, South Central, North Central and Southwest. Nominations for the 2018 competition must be made by a USPOULTRY member or an affiliated state poultry association by completing the application provided by USPOULTRY. Each integrator or egg processor may nominate one grower or producer for each processing facility in each state supporting their operations.

Five families received the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award in 2017. The winners were: Daniel Lausecker, Nature Pure, Raymond, Ohio, nominated by the Ohio Poultry Association; Tom and Kim Nixon, Glenmary Farm, Rapidan, Va., nominated by Cargill; Tammy Plumlee, Lazy J Farm, Fayetteville, Ark., nominated by Cargill; Collins Bullard, Bullard Farms, Stedman, N.C., nominated by Prestage Farms; and Gary Fuchs, Ideal Poultry Breeding Farm, Cameron, Texas, nominated by the Texas Poultry Federation.

Three finalists were also recognized in 2017. They were Dennis and Yvonne Weis, Den-Yon Turkey Farm, Webster City, Iowa, nominated by West Liberty Foods; Greg and Carla Grubbs, Natural Springs, Clinton, Ky., nominated by Tyson Foods; and William and Lana Dicus, 4 T Turkey Farm, California, Mo., nominated by Cargill.

"Best management practices are used by poultry growers to enhance environmental stewardship on their farms,” said Jerry Moye, retired president, of Cobb-Vantress, Siloam Springs, Ark., and USPOULTRY chairman. “The dedication and inventiveness that our award winners and finalists display each year through their environmental management practices is commendable.”

All semi-finalists will receive a trip that covers travel expenses and hotel accommodations for two nights to attend a special awards ceremony that will take place during the 2018 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga. Each semi-finalist will also receive a Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award sign to display near the entrance of their farm.

The overall winner of each region will be named at the Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit, held in conjunction with IPPE, on Jan. 30, 2018. Each regional winner will also receive a $1,000 cash award. In addition, the farm for each regional winner will be spotlighted on USPOULTRY’s website, and the association will provide assistance in publicizing the farm’s award in local, regional and national media.

Competition details are available on the USPOULTRY website at www.uspoultry.org/environment.

Published in Associations
September 26, 2017, Jerome, ID — Alberto Navarro Munoz had been working on the farm for only two weeks when his tractor tipped over into a pit of cow manure, submerging the Mexican native under several feet of a “loose thick somewhat liquid-like substance,” according to the police report documenting his death in southern Idaho.

Munoz’s death – which occurred in Shelley, ID, last September – was one of two fatal accidents in 2016 involving dairymen who either choked or drowned in pits of cow manure. Another laborer from Mexico died in August after he was crushed by a skid loader, used to move feed and manure.

Agricultural workers suffer fatal on-the-job injuries at a very high rate — far higher than police officers and more than twice the rate of construction workers in 2015, the last year for which comprehensive records are available. READ MORE

Published in Dairy
September 25, 2017, Madison, WI – The five-plus year dispute between the developers of the proposed Golden Sands Dairy in Saratoga and their local township will soon be heard by the state's highest court.

Wisconsin Supreme Court justices recently issued a notice stating they will take the case after the Wysocki Family of Companies submitted legal documents to overturn an April 2017 decision by the District IV Court of Appeals that stated the farm would not be able to use more than 6,000 acres of nearby land for manure spreading or other agricultural purposes because of a local ordinance instituted by the town board.

The dairy wants to house 5,300 animals on the site, which would generate 55 million gallons of liquid manure and another 25,000 tons of solid waste each year. But neighbors are concerned that the manure would contaminate local drinking water and increase traffic on their local roads. READ MORE
Published in Dairy
September 25, 2017, Sauk Centre, MN – More farmers will bring feedlots into compliance in Minnesota’s number one dairy-producing county — cutting pollution to a Mississippi River tributary in the process — thanks to Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District staff’s ability to leverage federal funds and provide technical assistance.

The SWCD is targeting the top five contributors to the nutrient-impaired Sauk River and Sauk River chain of lakes. Sauk River Watershed District monitoring showed elevated phosphorous, sediment and bacteria levels. The SWCD typically takes on 10 to 20 feedlot projects a year.

A $392,500 Clean Water Fund grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources will allow the SWCD to stretch its resources even further as it strives to eliminate contaminated feedlot runoff. READ MORE
Published in Regional
It seems that sales of manure macerators are up, as they can be used with different types of injectors and help address the higher flow rate of manure pumps in North America. And new designs have improvements significantly over old ones.
Published in Manure Application
Vermont has recently adopted stiffer manure application rules to try to better control runoff into the state’s largest water feature and tourist attraction, Lake Champlain. As one of the state’s largest manure injection custom applicators, Matthew’s Trucking LLC is doing its part to help farmers better manage farm runoff.
Published in Other
For years, Fair Oaks, Ind.-based Prairie’s Edge Dairy Farms, LLC, had been trying to find the right technology to remove phosphorus from its manure. Little did Carl Ramsey, farm manager, know that search would lead to a new manure-based fertilizer.
Published in Dairy
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