Environment
November 21, 2017, Harrison, AR – A 2,400-hog farm in the Buffalo River watershed must clean up the manure on its property within the next 60 days, a Boone County circuit judge has ordered.

The Newton County operation must empty a barn of dry pig manure, revegetate land and keep the hogs on its property, Judge Gail Inman-Campbell said. READ MORE
Published in Swine
November 21, 2017, Crawfordsville, IA – A failed hose connection led to a manure spill on the western edge of Louisa County late Nov. 17.

An estimated 7,500 gallons of manure spilled into a crop field before the pump shut off. The owner tried to block tile intakes, but manure had already entered the underground tiling and flowed into the upper end of Buffington Creek. He did prevent manure from moving downstream by temporarily damming the creek.

The Iowa Department of Natural Nesources (DNR) investigated the spill site Nov. 18, finding the creek was mostly dry and the manure contained.

The DNR will monitor cleanup activities and consider appropriate enforcement action.

Published in State
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
Innovative research is reshaping what is known about ammonia and related emissions from feedlots. And that new knowledge may help the industry to adjust its management, shape and react to public policy more effectively.
Published in Beef
For decades, phosphorous has accumulated in Wisconsin soils. Though farmers have taken steps to reduce the quantity of the agricultural nutrient applied to and running off their fields, a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reveals that a “legacy” of abundant soil phosphorus in the Yahara watershed of Southern Wisconsin has a large, direct and long-lasting impact on water quality.
Published in Dairy
The $3 million poultry manure-to-energy demonstration project recently installed in Maryland by Irish-based Biomass Heating Solutions Limited (BHSL) shows that its technology can produce heat and electricity from poultry litter generated by local farms, just not as easily, consistently, and cost-effectively as in Europe – yet.
Published in Poultry
As I write this, only a few days are left before livestock operations need to submit their air emissions data to the federal government under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). All poultry and livestock facilities that are likely to emit more than 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24-hour period are required to report their initial continuous release notification to the National Response Center.
Published in Federal
November 14, 2017 – Dozens of livestock farmers in the Netherlands are breaking the rules for the disposal of surplus manure, according to an investigation by the NRC Handelsblad, an evening newspaper based in Amsterdam.

Farmers are forging their accounts, illegally trading their manure or dumping more on their land than permitted by law, while transport companies are fiddling lorry weights and making unrecorded trips to dump manure at night, the paper said.

In total, the NRC found that 36 of the 56 manure processing and distribution companies in the two regions had been fined for fraud, or suspected of fraud, in what the paper calls the “manure conspiracy.” READ MORE
Published in Other
Ephrata, PA – Mark Mosemann has used half-a-dozen manure systems since he came back to his family’s dairy farm in 2000.

There were the bad old days of daily hauling, which the Warfordsburg family accomplished without a skid loader.

There was the new dairy complex with alley scrapers, then a dabble with sand bedding that got expensive, and finally a test of – and then wholesale shift to – separated manure solids.

Mosemann is still looking at upgrades, including a cover for the manure pit. READ MORE
Published in Dairy
November 13, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – New hog barns will be built Manitoba.

After an all-night session at the Manitoba Legislature, Bill 24 has passed its final reading and received royal assent.

The newly passed act amends The Environment Act, removing general prohibitions for the expansion of hog barns and manure storage facilities. Bill 24 also strikes the winter manure application ban from the Environment Act, although winter application would continue to be prohibited for all livestock operations in Manitoba under the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. READ MORE
Published in State
November 10, 2017, Kewaunee, WI – The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance regulating manure irrigation at its Nov. 7 meeting.

The Chapter 37 Agricultural Waste and Process Wastewater Irrigation Ordinance allows low pressure-drip irrigation at a height no greater than 18 inches to apply nutrients during the growing season. The vote was 19-0 with one supervisor excused. READ MORE



Published in Regional
November 10, 2017, Washington, DC – A House Subcommittee on the Environment held a hearing recently on a bipartisan bill to reduce the risk of farmers from citizen-led lawsuits.

The Farm Regulatory Certainty Act has more than 60 co-sponsors, and was spearheaded by Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif. Newhouse, a former Washington ag director, told the subcommittee about a Washington state dairy farmer who was operating under state nutrient management plans, but entered into a consent decree with EPA. Then a third party got records on the dairy and it was sued under an environmental act. READ MORE





Published in Federal
November 9, 2017, Allison, IA – A leaking pit from a hog confinement about five miles southeast of Allison in Butler County sent Iowa Department or Natural Resources (DNR) staff to the field to investigate Nov. 4.

The manure flowed into a grass waterway, into an underground tile line and into a tributary of the West Fork of the Cedar River. The facility owner discovered the leak and a faulty pipe seal.

The farm crew worked overnight to remove manure from the pit and land apply it. They also worked to dam the tributary and pump up contaminated water in the creek.

When the DNR arrived, pumping and land application to crop fields continued. Most of the contaminated water was contained, but field tests showed elevated ammonia levels below the dam. Staff saw one small dead fish but no others.

The owner continued pumping contaminated water and land applying it. On Nov. 6, DNR staff found contaminated water contained to a one-mile stretch of the tributary. Fisheries staff found a few more dead fish, but also live fish in the stream.

The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup and will consider appropriate enforcement action.

Published in Swine
November 7, 2017, Marianna, FL – Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam presented Cindale Farms of Jackson County and two other farms – those in Alachua and Hillsborough counties – with the state’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award on Nov. 1.

The awards were among several in various categories given at a Florida Farm Bureau meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach. Florida Blue Farms Inc., of Alachua County, and Speedling Inc., of Hillsborough County were the other honorees in that category.

Cindale, a dairy and creamery operation, was lauded for its innovative practices in protecting and preserving Florida’s resources. READ MORE
Published in Dairy
November 7, 2017 – A new funding program being delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) aims to improve soil health through investments in nutrient application equipment.

With 60 percent cost-share support, up to a maximum of $25,000 per business, this is a significant opportunity for Ontario’s nutrient applicators.

The Manure and Biosolids Management Program – available to all licensed custom applicators in Ontario – seeks to enhance soil health across the province. Adding organic matter to the soil is a key piece of building soil health, particularly when applied using precise and innovative spreading techniques.

“It’s the multiplier effect that is so significant within the Manure and Biosolids Management Program,” said Andrew Graham, executive director of the OSCIA. “Each implemented best management practice can benefit soil health on many farm properties. The potential impacts are exponential.”

The Manure and Biosolids Management Program encourages the use of best management practices (BMPs) that enhance soil health, improve application accuracy to reduce phosphorus loss from the field edge, and protect water quality. Improving soil health is also an important part of the agri-food industry’s work to mitigate climate change. Funding is available to customize spreading equipment to allow in-crop application, or to allow slurry seeding of cover crops. There is also an innovative approaches BMP that allows businesses to invest in up-and-coming technology that is not yet available in Ontario.

“There are new ideas coming forward from around the world for precision manure application and data management,” says Mack Emiry, president of OSCIA. “The innovative approaches BMP encourages businesses to invest in these technologies, raising the bar for nutrient management here in Ontario.”

Funding for the Manure and Biosolids Management Program is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible applicants must have an up-to-date Nutrient Application Technician Licence and/or an up-to-date Prescribed Materials Application Business Licence. Applications can be made immediately. Projects must be complete, and claims submitted by January 15, 2018.

Published in Other
November 1, 2017, Dyersville, IA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently received laboratory results confirming that ammonia toxicity in runoff from a dairy was responsible for an October fish kill in Dubuque County.

Test results from water samples DNR collected Oct. 9 showed elevated levels of ammonia below a manure storage basin at the New Vienna operation. Additional test results ruled out other livestock facilities and a field where manure had recently been land applied.

The DNR fisheries report shows 60,278 fish were killed along nearly seven miles of stream, including an unnamed tributary of Hickory Creek, Hickory Creek and Hewitt Creek. More than 42,000 were minnows, shiners, dace and chubs. The remainder included primarily suckers, darters and stonerollers.

The DNR will seek fish restitution of $21,712.44, which includes a fish replacement value of $19,416.15 and the cost of the fisheries investigation.

The investigation started Oct. 9 at Highway 136 bridge in Dyersville, following a report of dead fish in Hewitt Creek. DNR staff followed dead fish upstream until they found evidence of manure washed into a stream.
Published in Dairy
October 27, 2017, Des Moines, IA – Iowa's largest pork producer is rapidly expanding, adding nearly 90,000 pigs at time when water quality issues have state and local leaders calling for a moratorium on industry expansion, says a grassroots activist group.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says Iowa Select is adding at least 19 hog confinements and the Des Moines group wants the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to extend the permitting period to 90 days so residents and county supervisors can "review this onslaught of factory farm proposals.” READ MORE
Published in Swine
October 26, 2017, Atlantic, IA – Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Atlantic field office were in the field recently checking for the source of a manure spill that reached a tributary of East Tarkio Creek in Page County.

Staff responded to an Oct. 25 report of a manure spill that occurred the previous evening when a stuck pump valve caused manure to pool at a confinement near Clarinda. DNR staff found manure pooled at the site, and in roadside and drainage ditches that flow into an unnamed tributary of the East Tarkio Creek.

An estimated 7,000 gallons of manure was released during manure pumping by a commercial manure applicator. The applicator immediately limed the ditch and placed hay bales to keep manure from moving downstream. The DNR is requiring him to build a temporary dam in the ditch and excavate soil to prevent more manure from reaching the stream. Staff found no dead fish, but the investigation is ongoing.

Published in State
October 23, 2017, Lancaster, PA – State environmental officials on Friday continued clean-up efforts at a Lancaster County creek contaminated by a manure spill.

A manure storage facility at a farm in Pequea Township ruptured, releasing an estimated 250,000 gallons of manure into an unnamed tributary to Stehman Run, which runs into the Conestoga River. READ MORE
Published in Other
October 23, 2017, Richmond, VA – The poultry industry’s growing footprint on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is getting new scrutiny from regulators and activists after a head-turning decision by a state regulatory body to demand harsher punishment for pollution violations at a chicken-processing plant.

The Virginia State Water Control Board, a citizen body appointed by the governor, this summer rejected state regulators’ recommended fines against a Tyson Foods facility that’s a hub for a growing number of chicken houses in Accomack County.

By a vote of 4 to 1, the board decided in July that a $26,160 fine proposed by the Department of Environmental Quality was insufficient, given the history of violations at the plant. The board’s rare rejection of a consent order negotiated by the DEQ to settle a pollution violation heartened activists, who fear the poultry industry’s expansion on their narrow, low-lying stretch of the Delmarva Peninsula puts the Chesapeake Bay and their quality of life at risk. READ MORE





Published in Poultry
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