And while the province says it wants to grow the industry, Hog Watch Manitoba said it has several issues with a recent proposal to make changes to the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation (LMMMR). READ MORE
A team of engineers and scientists, working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, is preparing to move into phase three of an initiative to adapt hydrovac technology to speed up and reduce the cost of washing and disinfecting swine transport trailers.
Dr. Terry Fonstad, a professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, explains swine transportation has been identified as the primary risk for transferring disease-causing pathogens.
Prairie Swine Centre is involved in doing a trailer inventory.
They went out and looked at all the trailers that are being used and then looked into both animal welfare and cleanability aspects of those trailers," Dr. Fonstad says. "PAMI is developing with us a cleaning system based on a concept of using vacuum and pressure washers."
"VIDO is working on the side of pathogen destruction and giving us the engineering parameters that we need to destroy pathogens and verification of that."
"Then, on the engineering side at the University, we're looking at measuring those parameters in the trailers to verify that we're meeting the conditions that'll destroy the pathogens," he says. "I think this is a bit unique for research in that it's industry led, industry driven."
"One thing that we did made sure that we put in is an advisory team that's everywhere from producers to veterinarians to people that actually wash the trucks and we get together every six months and have them actually guide the research," Dr. Fonstad adds. "I think that's been part of the success, is having that advisory team that's made up of that diverse group of people."
Dr Fonstad says a less labour-intensive prototype hydrovac system, which requires less water that cleans the trailers to a level that facilitates effective disinfection and pathogen deactivation using heat has been developed.
He says the next step is to automate or semi-automate the system.
The CVO has activated Manitoba Agriculture's Emergency Operation Centre to assist the affected producer and conduct a full disease investigation. Control measures were implemented immediately, and a plan has been developed for restricted site access, barn cleanup and animal care. Producers within a 5-km radius of the infected site have been alerted, and are monitoring their herds and collecting samples for testing. All swine veterinarians with producer clients in the region have been notified of the site's location so that those producers are aware of the disease potential.
Sharing of the site location information was made possible by the affected producer voluntarily providing permission to his herd veterinarian to share the information at his discretion with Manitoba Pork and other swine veterinarians through signing this Sharing of Information Waiver. Providing this permission through the waiver allows the CVO and Manitoba Pork to assist the producer in a more comprehensive and timely manner, while concurrently protecting the broader pork industry. Manitoba Pork urges all producers to sign the waiver with their veterinarian – and encourages all veterinarians to ask their clients to sign it and keep it on file – ahead of a disease outbreak.
With a new case of PED in Manitoba, producers should take this opportunity to review and further strengthen their biosecurity practices, paying particular attention to the following:
- Ensure that the trailers you allow on your farm have been thoroughly washed, disinfected and dried.
- Exercise extreme vigilance with trailers coming back from assembly yards (known hotbeds for all swine diseases) and other major collection points.
- Ensure that people coming onto your site follow strict biosecurity guidelines, with only essential service people being allowed into the yard and preferably parking outside of it if possible.
- For trailers returning from the U.S., request that a second wash and a complete dry be done in Canada at a trusted facility.
The Webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time.
Industry leaders from Noblehurst Farms Inc., EnviTec Biogas, and DVO, Inc. will review innovative business models for anaerobic digestion (AD) projects and discuss the hub-and-spoke model of hauling manure from several farms to a centralized digester, how to establish successful business arrangements with food waste producers, sustainable production of renewable energy and coproducts using AD and how AD project risks and benefits can be shared among multiple parties.
The webinar will include a question-and-answer session and participants will be encouraged to ask questions. Participation in the webinar is free. To register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5557285092277361154
As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, scientists with the University of Saskatchewan, the Prairie Swine Centre, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute and VIDO-InterVac are working to automate the cleaning of swine transport vehicles to speed up the process and cut the cost.
VIDO-InterVac is responsible for identifying approaches to inactivate the key pathogens responsible for the transmission of disease.
Dr Volker Gerdts, the associate director of research with VIDO-InterVac, said in this project scientists focused on temperatures and the amount of time at those temperatures needed to inactivate 12 pathogens, six bacteria and six viruses, considered important to the swine industry.
"Viruses in general are a little bit more difficult to inactivate because they are inside the cell but we also had a few bacteria, Streptococcus suis for example, which is also relatively resistant to heat," Dr. Gerdts said.
"If you were able to use a very high temperature, like 80 degrees, all of these pathogens will be destroyed within a very short period of time," he said. "Going lower, like at 60 or 65 degrees Celsius, then it would take much longer so it's really a combination of temperature and time.
"I can't really give you all of those but, if you were to go with a high temperature, like 80 degrees for example, that would be sufficient to kill most pathogens within minutes," he added. "If you were going to go with 70 or 65 degrees then you're probably looking more at 15 minutes or something like that."
Dr Gerdts noted the industry is using this approach already.
He said after cleaning, washing and disinfecting, they're baking the trailers but the various units are using slightly different temperatures and slightly different schedules.
The three projects with the university are supported by the $27 million Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), to help the Canadian farming sector become a world leader in the development and use of clean and sustainable agricultural technologies and practices. These projects will also help farmers increase their understanding of GHG emissions.
The AGGP covers four priority areas of research: livestock systems, cropping systems, agricultural water use efficiency and agro-forestry.
"This is a significant investment in U of G research, innovation, and knowledge mobilization. All three of these projects will help improve life and protect our planet, from improving agroforestry practices, to developing crop fertilization methods that reduce emissions, to use of aerial devices to assess soil carbon levels and elevate precision agriculture," said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (research), University of Guelph
The new AGGP investments will continue to support the work of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, which brings together 47 countries to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE
Consumption of animal protein is expected to increase more than 60 percent over the next 40 years according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Ruminants are a key to meeting this demand because they can convert forage to protein-rich food and make use of land not suitable for arable crops.
The dilemma is ruminants are also a significant environmental problem, producing large amounts of methane from that forage consumption.
There are no silver bullets to deal with methane and ammonia emissions but there is real promise for significant improvement on the horizon say Dr. Karen Beauchemin and Dr. Karen Koenig, two researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.
Here are three examples.
Perhaps the most dramatic methane control option is a new product in the pipeline designed specifically to manage methane production in ruminants.
"Methane is lost energy and lost opportunity," says Beauchemin. "The inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol (NOP) is a new compound synthetized by a company out of Switzerland specifically to control methane. A feed additive, it interferes with normal digestion process reducing the ability of rumen organisms to synthesize methane, shifting methane energy to a more usable form for the animal."
Research by the Lethbridge team showed adding NOP to a standard diet reduced methane production 40 percent during backgrounding and finishing of cattle. Trials have been done in commercial feedlots and it is moving into the registration channels in North America.
"Obviously there are hoops to go through in registration and questions such as pricing and mode of use in the cow calf sector that would affect industry uptake, but it is a very promising emission control alternative that could be available within three to five years," says Beauchemin.
Diet manipulation is also promising. For example, increasing the nutritional digestibility of forages through early harvesting increases animal efficiency and reduces methane emissions, says Beauchemin.
"We're also overfeeding protein in many cases which increases ammonia emissions," says Koenig. "For example, distillers grains, a by-product of the ethanol industry, are commonly fed in feedlots. But the nutrients are concentrated and when added to diets as an energy supplement, it often results in overfeeding protein, which increases ammonia emissions."
One new area of research that may mitigate that, she says, is using plant extracts such as tannins that bind the nitrogen in the animal's gut and retain it in the manure more effectively. That retains the value as fertilizer.
"There are supplements on the market with these products in them already, but we are evaluating them in terms of ammonia and methane management."
A new focus in research trials today is thinking "whole farm."
A new research nutrient utilization trial in the Fraser Valley of B.C. is looking at crop production in terms of selection of crops, number of cuts, fertilization and feed quality.
"We are looking at what is needed to meet the needs of the dairy cow," says Koenig. "It's a whole farm system that does not oversupply nutrients to the animal."
Basically, most things that improve efficiency in animal production reduce methane and ammonia production, says Beauchemin and Koenig. They emphasize that while forage does produce methane, forage is a complex system that must be considered as whole ecosystem with many positive benefits.
The biggest opportunity for improvement in methane emissions is in the cow calf and backgrounding sector because they are highly forage-ration based. But the low hanging fruit and early research in emission management is focused on the feedlot and dairy sector because diets can be controlled more easily.
Related scientific paper here "Effects of sustained reduction of enteric methane emissions with dietary... ."
"Livestock are significant emission contributors," says Dr. Sean McGinn of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, a long-time researcher in the emissions area. "That's quite clear and generally recognized by the agricultural research community."
Fifty to 60 percent of feed nitrogen is lost as ammonia at the feedlot. Eight to 10 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture and 90 percent of the atmospheric ammonia comes from cattle manure. Ammonia in the atmosphere is an economic loss because the nitrogen fertilizer potential of manure is lowered. And it's a health hazard. Ammonia mixes with acid to form fine aerosols, the white haze seen in confined airsheds.
"We know beef feedlots are 'hot spots' of ammonia emissions on the landscape, but we didn't know as much about the dynamics of ammonia emissions from feedlots. For example we didn't have real numbers from actual feedlots on how much is emitted, how much is deposited on nearby soil and how much re-emission occurs when that happens."
That's what McGinn and his colleague Dr. Tom Flesch (University of Alberta) set out to understand. Backed by funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), a two-year project investigated the fate of nitrogen in feedlots, what amount is deposited on land downwind and how much is carried long distances.
The other part of their research involves measuring methane and nitrous oxide, two prominent greenhouse gasses. Methane is produced by cattle due to the anaerobic digestion of feed in the cow's rumen and both nitrous oxide and methane come from stored manure in the pens.
The research produced significant results on several fronts from techniques to measure on a commercial scale, to new information on transfer, deposits and re-emission to nearby lands, to related opportunities for mitigation and management.
New measuring techniques
One major positive outcome was the development of new measuring technology adapted from what has been used successfully for measuring flare emissions in the oil and gas industry.
Using open path lasers that move over the feedlot and calculate concentration and wind characteristics, the system is able to measure emissions regardless of wind direction.
Measuring in real world situations offers some significant advantages to the more standard research protocols of using animals in individual chambers to measure emissions, says McGinn.
This new technique evaluates the feedlot as a whole, which means it can consider whole-unit management aspects which impact emissions. Also, by keeping animals in their natural environment and not interfering with them in any way, the laser approach promises more accurate, commercial scale results.
On a bigger picture level, this means actual feedlot emission numbers can be used in greenhouse gas assessments, an improvement from past practices of using estimates from global sources.
Early results show surprises
One of the surprises learned from this study was the fact that a significant fraction of ammonia was deposited on the land adjacent to the feedlot and, once deposited, how much was reemitted into the atmosphere.
"Our results illustrate the dynamics of reactive ammonia in the vicinity of a beef cattle feedlot," says McGinn. "It confirmed that a large portion of the nitrogen fed as crude protein is volatized from the feedlot's cattle manure. In the local vicinity of a feedlot, both ammonia deposition (14 percent of the emitted ammonia) and reemission occurred. That 14 percent is a large amount considering a typical feedlot emits one to two tonnes of ammonia per day."
There was a change in the soil captured ammonia that decreased with distance from the feedlot (50 percent over 200 m).
Logically it follows that quantifying the local dry ammonia deposition to surrounding fields is required when applying feedlot-based emissions to a large-scale emissions inventory, says McGinn. Failure to do that could mean badly misrepresenting the real situation.
"We need better emissions numbers to anchor effective public policy and fairly represent the feedlot industry in that data pool," says McGinn. "It's important to have research done before policy is set. The U.S. cattle feeding industry already has specific ammonia emission targets in place."
Related scientific paper here: "Ammonia Emission from a Beef Cattle Feedlot and Its Dry Local Deposition and Re-Emission."
Officials with the North American Manure Expo – being held August 22 and 23, 2017, in Arlington, Wisc. – are hoping to update the event's collectible T-shirt, an annual favorite among attendees. So, the hunt is now on for some of the crappiest slogans out there.
Spread the word or provide your own "deposit." Slogans are being collected through June 15, 2017, and can be submitted at: http://www.agannex.com/administrative/manure-expo/crappiest-t-shirt-slogan or by visiting manureexpo.org and following the links.
The top 50 slogans received – as decided by expo planners – will be voted on by the public with the top 10 going on the back of the 2017 Manure Expo T-shirt.
Anyone who submits a slogan that makes the T-shirt will receive a free shirt. Your friends will be brown with envy.
The brainchild of Rob Meinen, a senior associate with Penn State University Extension, the "Top 10 Rejected Manure Expo Slogans" T-shirt has become the must-have wardrobe item since 2015. During the first T-shirt slogan contest, more than 750 manure-themed messages were collected from participants all over the world. Planners are hoping for even more "offal" entries this year.
To help inspire, here are some of the top slogans from the 2015 Crappy T-shirt Contest:
• NOBODY sticks their nose in our business
• Immerse yourself
• Where no one stands behind their product
• You provide the creek, we provide the paddle
• Rated M for manure
• You name the species – we've got the feces
• Nature called – it wants its nutrients back
• Our grass is always greener
• Be part of the movement
• The incredible spreadable
• The future of what's left behind
Give into the pressure and dig deep. It's your "doody."
March 31, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – The Manitoba government is proposing changes to the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation to reduce redundancy, add clarity and eliminate ineffective regulations.
The Manitoba government has launched a 45-day public consultation on proposed amendments to the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. The proposed amendments to the regulation are intended to align with recent changes to the Environment Act under the province’s red tape reduction initiative. Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox says these changes will further reduce redundant or duplicated language, improve the clarity of processes and remove ineffective regulations.
“Just to be clear, we have maintained all of our environmental restrictions on manure management, including a ban on winter spreading that will remain, requiring manure management plans will remain, soil testing and a requirement for construction permits,” said Cox. “We have removed the requirement of an ineffective manure management treatment process based on scientific recommendations and practicability. The changes we are proposing, both in the act and in the regulation, are about maintaining our environmental standards while eliminating unnecessary or redundant stipulations. Having the environmental rules in regulation as opposed to legislation allows us to keep up with innovation more flexibly. It is bad policy to have technological prescriptions in legislation.
“We have held technical briefings for industry stakeholders and NGOs in the past few weeks and are now opening it up to public consultation, which we are actually enhancing from 30 to 45 days.”
March 22, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – Despite media reports that the Manitoba government plans to lift its ban on the winter spreading of livestock manure, the ban will remain in effect.
As part of Bill 24 – the Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act – introduced at the Manitoba Legislature last week, the Manitoba government plans to remove from the Environment references to a ban on winter manure spreading.
However, the ban will remain in effect as part of other provincial government legislation.
Mike Teillet, the manager of sustainable development programs with Manitoba Pork, notes provisions banning winter manure spreading were actually referenced in two pieces of provincial legislation.
“They were in the Environment Act and they were in Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation,” he said. “The regulation and the act both said that winter spreading of manure, that is application of manure on frozen ground, between November 10 and April 10 of any year was not permitted so really nothing is changing. In essence Bill 24, the Red Tape Reduction Act, is simply taking a redundancy out of the Environment Act.
“Manitoba Pork has never requested or asked the government to remove the ban on winter spreading and, when we say winter spreading we're talking about spreading manure on frozen ground. The pork council's position has always been that that has been a reasonable restriction and we've never been opposed to it.”
Teillet says removing references to winter livestock manure spreading from the Environment Act simply eliminates redundancy and the actual effect of the change is nil.
March 20, 2017, Calgary, Alta – Livestock Water Recycling, in partnership with the Birss Research Group from the University of Calgary, has been named to a short list of finalists to win Stage One of the George Barley Water Prize.
LWR’s innovation team’s submission included the Waterway Nanoshield solution that combines the water recycling ability of the LWR system with a patented technology developed at the University of Calgary.
The George Barley Water Prize is a competition that will advance viable technologies through stages over the course of four years, awarding cash prizes along the way, and ultimately crowning one phosphorus removal solution with a $10 million grand prize in 2020.
Florida dairy farmers have a vested interest in protecting wetlands, eco-diversity and other natural resources. For centuries, they have used traditional methods of manure management, and today, they are excited about evolving technology that will help them continue to reduce their environmental footprint.
The competition brings a variety of phosphorus solutions to Florida where they are facing a major a water crisis. In recent years, algae blooms have become commonplace in Lake Okeechobee, the largest freshwater lake in the state and the heart of the Central Everglades. One out of every three Floridians, an estimated 8 million people, relies on the Everglades for their water supply.
According to NASA, the algae bloom that grew last spring covered roughly 33 square miles of the lake, and was blamed for affecting water quality downstream all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
With more than 25 years experience protecting fresh bodies of water around the world, the Innovation Team at LWR is excited to be a part of finding a solution for Florida.
“Bringing our technology to the Everglades is very important to us.” says Charles Zhang, team lead on the project. “Florida is home to more than 130 dairy farms that are primarily owned and operated by second and third-generation farmers. We want to offer them a solution that will keep Florida dairy farmers farming sustainably for generations to come.”
LWR’s Waterway Nanoshield solution was among 77 global solutions that entered Stage One of the competition.
March 20, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation that would reduce outdated, contradictory, complicated or ineffective regulatory requirements imposed on businesses, industry and local governments, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen said recently.
Among the regulatory changes being considered is removal of general prohibitions from the province’s Environment Act for the expansion of hog barns and manure storage facilities.
“Our government recognizes the status quo has created unnecessary challenges for both industry and government,” said Friesen. “The proposed changes were identified as priority actions by both industry leaders and the civil service. Once implemented, these changes would improve efficiency and effectiveness, making it easier for all Manitobans to prosper and focus on their priorities.”
The Manitoba government introduced the freeze on new hog barn construction and expansions near Lake Winnipeg starting in 2006, expanding it province-wide in 2011. The province’s ban on winter manure spreading was imposed in 2013. Both pieces of legislation were aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff into waterways.
March 9, 2017 – Dane County Executive Joe Parisi recently announced a new program to help clean up area lakes by assisting small and medium sized farms store manure in the winter.
About $1.1 million will be available this spring for farmers to apply to help build community manure storage which will reduce the application of manure during critical times of the year when runoff is most likely to occur. Dane County and its partners spend more than $8 million a year to support the implementation of conservation practices.
“Our farmers are our best partners when it comes to lakes clean-up efforts,” said Parisi. “The county is working to do our part to ensure we preserve our agriculture heritage while protecting one of our most valuable resources.”
University of Wisconsin scientists estimate that 40 percent of manure containing phosphorus runs off snow or frozen ground between January and March and ends up in the lakes. Funds will be allocated using two methods: traditional cost share agreements and requests for proposals. The traditional Dane County cost share will fund a cost share for community manure storage. The request for proposal will allow producers to submit project proposals describing innovative ideas and strategies for managing manure such as ultrafiltration or composting.
Proposals are due to Dane County early this summer, county staff will work with the top ranked proposals to develop full proposals. Projects that rank the highest will be contacted by Dane County to develop funding agreements for project implementation.
“Our quality of life is one of the main reasons people are moving to Dane County more than anywhere else in Wisconsin,” said Parisi. “We have everything from generational family farms to bustling cities and beautiful lakes. Dane County must work to protect all of our vital resources to continue our economic growth.”
In addition to this effort, Dane County is working to remove phosphorous already in streams that feed into lakes. Research done by Dane County staff led to a 2017 budget proposal to fund an innovative effort to remove phosphorus-laden sediment from the bottoms of 33 miles of streams in the Lake Mendota watershed. In tandem with additional conservation efforts done in cooperation with farmers, it’s projected the $12 million initiative will eliminate 870,000 pounds of algae-growing phosphorus.
The county board’s Land Conservation Committee will need to approve the program and contracts.
March 2, 2017 – Over the past three years, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the Intensive Livestock Working Group (an alliance of eight of Alberta livestock and poultry organizations) have been collaborating to build a simple, personalized farm management decision-support tool designed to help manage phosphorus run-off.
The Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool, expected to be available in late spring, is a free, Excel-based tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk. The tool will also provide producers with management solutions that include both a relative cost and environmental efficacy ranking. READ MORE
February 24, 2017, Central Saanich, BC – Stanhope Dairy Farm Ltd. and the District of Central Saanich have agreed to a settlement, allowing the operation to continue its farming practices.
“We are satisfied with this being an outcome. I know that there are some residents who have different feelings on this. What I would say is that the municipality weighed all the information and came to this conclusion and I think that the conditions placed are ones that we’re going to continue to observe and make sure that the conditions are honoured,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor. READ MORE
February 22, 2017, London, Ont – Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has been called in to investigate after a missing worker at a dairy farm in the London area was found dead inside a manure pit.
Emergency crews were called to a property west of the city on the afternoon of Feb. 21 after a worker went missing. READ MORE
February 21, 2017, Spallumcheen, BC – Conservation officers are investigating after a manure storage lagoon on a Spallumcheen farm overflowed.
The spill occurred in the same area where residents have been raising concerns about high levels of nitrates in their drinking water source, the Hullcar Aquifer. READ MORE
January 16, 2017, Edmonton, Alta – A new tool to help mitigate phosphorus run-off risk will soon be available.
Over the past three years, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the Intensive Livestock Working Group have been collaborating to build a simple, personalized farm management decision-support tool designed to help manage phosphorus run-off. The Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool, expected to be available in late spring, is a free, Excel-based tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk. READ MORE
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Iowa Manure Calibration & Distribution Field DayFri Jun 02, 2017 @ 1:00PM - 05:00PM
World Pork Expo 2017Wed Jun 07, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Manure Storage & Handling Safety WorkshopMon Jun 12, 2017 @ 6:00PM - 09:00PM
Anaerobic Digester Operator Training CourseTue Jun 13, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
AgSource Laboratories Ice Cream SocialWed Jun 14, 2017 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Iowa Manure Calibration & Distribution Field DayFri Jun 23, 2017 @ 1:00PM - 05:00PM