Manure Application/Handling
October 16, 2017, Olympia, WA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture proposes to study whether it should regulate cow manure hauled from dairies and spread at other commercial farms.

WSDA monitors how dairies use manure, but the oversight ends when manure goes elsewhere. The department hopes to get a grasp on whether those manure applications threaten groundwater and waterways. READ MORE
Published in Dairy
October 12, 2017, Deschambault, Que – The Canadian government is prioritizing science and innovation and the competitiveness of the agriculture industry as a whole to create better business opportunities for producers and Canadians.

Funding was announced recently for two projects by the Centre de recherche en sciences animales de Deschambault (CRSAD), including $665,546 aimed at developing sustainable strategies for standardizing the manufacturing and use of recycled bedding in dairy production to improve the sector’s environmental performance without reducing the profitability of businesses, as well as to respond to consumer concerns.

With the funding, the CRSAD will be able to determine the best methods for manufacturing recycled bedding from manure and to make recommendations for the adoption of the best management methods, practices and technologies, with the welfare of animals and workers and the safety of products also taken into account. Dairy producers will be therefore able to reduce their operating costs and reuse or sell the energy produced by the biodigesters, which will provide farms with an additional income stream.

“The investment in research to improve livestock housing conditions in the dairy industry will enable Canadian producers to differentiate themselves, be more competitive, improve their businesses and, especially, enhance their living conditions and those of their livestock,” said Jean-Paul Laforest, president of the CRSAD.
Published in Dairy
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 11, 2017, Madison, WI – A software program intended to cut water pollution and soil erosion has matured into an essential production tool for farmers, says a Fond du Lac County dairy farmer.

“I began using it in 2005 because I had to, I won’t lie,” Josh Hiemstar says in his barn office, as he gears up for the fall harvest on a 525-acre farm.

The software, called SnapPlus, was created at the University of Wisconsin department of soil science and introduced in 2005 under a state-federal mandate to reduce soil erosion and prevent runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus. These essential nutrients can over-fertilize lakes and streams, and feed the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Now, I use it because it helps me make better business decisions, better environmental decisions,” says Hiemstra. “SnapPlus is a big deal for farmers.”

SnapPlus solves several problems at once, related to distributing manure and fertilizer efficiently while meeting guidelines for protecting groundwater and surface water,” says Laura Good, the soil scientist who has led development and testing. “The program helps to maintain crop fertility without wasting money or endangering natural resources.”

The program is used on 3.36 million acres, or about 37 percent of the state’s cropland, says Good.

The crux of SnapPlus calculates nutrient requirements for croplands and pastures. The phosphorus calculation starts with a soil test, adds phosphorus from planned fertilizer and manure applications, then subtracts phosphorus extracted by crops. The software also estimates field erosion and phosphorus runoff rates to streams and lakes.

The math may sound simple, says Good, but the real world is complex. Soils have varying structure, slope, and subsurface geology – all factors that affect whether nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen stay where needed or become water pollutants.

Conditions can change from year to year, even within a field. Cropping sequences – called rotations – can be variable and complex.

And weather is, well, weather.

Fertilizer ranks near the top in farm expenses, but if some is necessary, more is not necessarily better. And so beyond enabling farmers to heed runoff standards, SnapPlus offers a means to optimize fertility and yields, and control costs.

Any farm in Wisconsin that applies nutrients and has benefited from government cost-sharing or receives the agricultural property tax credit must write a nutrient-management plan according to state-specific guidelines, which is typically done with SnapPlus.

“These standards and restrictions would be rather difficult to follow on paper,” Good observes.

Although SnapPlus is produced by the UW–Madison department of soil science, experts from UW Cooperative Extension have contributed nutrient recommendations and algorithms.

SnapPlus automatically taps databases on soil types, municipal well locations, and streams, lakes and shallow bedrock, so it “knows” factors conducive to rapid movement to groundwater, Good says.

“It tells you, on each field, what kind of soil you have, what kind of issues you have.”

Nutrient planning is often done by hired certified crop advisors, although many counties offer training courses to farmers who want to write their own plans.

With its triple benefit of avoiding pollution, supporting yields and reducing costs, SnapPlus “is a good use of taxpayer dollars,” Hiemstra says.

“You can call the county and get support, if they can’t answer, there is a full staff in Madison. The people who are writing the program are the ones telling you how to use it, and answering your questions.”

Agriculture may not get many headlines, but technology and economics are changing fast.

“Where we are now with the economics of agriculture,” Hiemstra says, “it’s even more important for farm operators to know their costs, and manage on their own. If you as a producer don’t take ownership of the information, you may be spending more than you need to spend.”
Published in Other
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 10, 2017, Toledo, OH – A team of STEM students came up with their best solution to help farmers process manure and fertilizer in a more environmental friendly way.

The St. Ursula team is putting the final touches on their model of a machine that separates manure into water, liquid fertilizer and dry fertilizer. The team is competing against high schools from across the country in the Lexus Eco Challenge. READ MORE
Published in Other
October 6, 2017, The Netherlands – A wedding ring found in a manure tank on a farm in Groningen province last month was probably lost on a farm in Noord-Brabant 37 years ago.

The owner of the ring – engraved Dini 28-7-60 – has been “99 percent” identified by finder Bram Hamminga from Zuidbroek after a Facebook appeal.

The hunt for the owner first looked fruitless but Hamminga now believes the ring belongs to 76-year-old Brabant widow, Diny van Oorschot. READ MORE
Published in Other
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 3, 2017 – In the past, livestock producers have inquired about applying liquid dairy or swine manure to newly planted wheat fields using a drag hose. The thought process is that the fields are firm (dry), there is very little rain in the nearby forecast, and the moisture in the manure could help with wheat germination and emergence.    

The manure nutrients could easily replace the commercial fertilizer normally applied in advance of planting wheat. The application of fall-applied livestock manure to newly planted or growing crop can reduce nutrient losses compared to fall-applied manure without a growing crop.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted wheat. It’s important that the wheat seeds were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating wheat seed.

It’s also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so we don’t grow soil phosphorus levels beyond what is acceptable.

If the wheat is planted at its typical one-inch depth and swine or dairy manure is surface applied there should be no problem applying 5,000 gallons per acre of swine manure or 8,000 gallons per acre of dairy manure. If the wheat is emerging when manure is being applied, there is the possibility of some burn to the wheat from swine manure. If the wheat is fully emerged, there is little concern for burning.

If incorporating manure ahead of planting wheat, try to place the manure deep enough (at least three inches) so the manure does not impact the germination and emergence of the wheat crop. Another option is to incorporate the manure and wait a few days before planting the wheat.

If incorporated, the opportunity to carry some of the manure nitrogen through the winter could allow for a reduction in the amount of topdress nitrogen needed for the wheat crop next spring.

The application of 5,000 gallons of swine finishing manure could contain 200 pounds of nitrogen, 75 pounds of P2O5 and 100 pounds of K2O. The application of 8,000 gallons of dairy manure could contain 175 pounds of nitrogen, 60 pounds of P2O5 and 150 pounds of K2O. Manure nutrient content can vary tremendously from one manure storage facilitate to another but stay reasonably consistence from the same facility year after year.

As always, print out the weather forecast when surface applying manure. Remember the “not greater than 50 percent chance of 0.5 inches of rainfall in the next 24 hours” rule in the western Lake Erie watershed.
Published in Other
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 25, 2017, Lancaster, PA – Fire and Penn Township municipal crews faced an extensive cleanup operation after a September 22 crash involving a farm vehicle spilled an unknown amount of the manure.

Northern Lancaster County Regional Police said a tractor towing the liquid manure spreader – filled with 6,000 gallons of manure at the time – lost control and the rig overturned. READ MORE
Published in Manure Application
September 22, 2017, Ames, IA – I often get asked: “What does the future of the manure industry look like?”

I typically give a little thought and reply: “A lot like it does now. We’ll continue to try to get better at finding ways to more quickly and accurately apply the manure nutrients so we can better capture the fertilizer value.”

I say this because I mean it; manure can be a great fertilizer resource on a farm and when we think about it, livestock production is a critical component of sustainability as the majority of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium we feed ends up in the manure and needs to be recycled.

Today I’m going to stop and consider this number a little for you – we are going to focus on liquid manure in Iowa. There is somewhere around 10 billion gallons of manure produced annually (give or take a billion here or there depending on rainfall and the accuracy of my animal populations, the production systems I assume farmers are using, and general variation). It’s a bit hard to fathom this number but I’m going to try a couple ways. The first is if we think of a 40-acre field the manure would be 767 feet tall, or just a little more than the 801 Grand (previously The Principal Building, which as far as I can tell is the tallest building in Iowa). Of course, Iowa really has around one million acres so if we tried to put or manure on all of them each acre would only get around 500 gallons (or you know a little less than 0.02-inches).

As interesting as that is, today I wanted to take a look at slightly different topic, manure application logistics. So we know we are working with approximately 10-billion gallons of manure and if we look in the fall we have approximately 75-days between October and mid-December and then another 30 days of potential application in the spring. So, we are looking at somewhere around 105 application days in a given year (give or take depending on the exact day we start applying and the number of days unsuitable due to soil and weather conditions). That means to get all our manure applied, we need to apply somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-million gallons per day.

So, what does the typical logistics of application look like?

If we think about a drag-line system, when it’s flowing we are probably in the neighborhood of 1,500 gpm for a flow rate; however, there is some setup time involved as we move to new fields. Just for fun, let’s figure that we are somewhere around 50 percent efficient with this system, that is it is running half the time and being reset the other half of the time. If this is true, we’d average around 750 gpm or about 45,000 gallons per hour. Assuming 12-hour days (some companies run longer but I need some time to clean and move from farm to farm) we’d need about 18,500 days to finish all the manure in Iowa. Luckily, there are lots of companies out there to help with this big task.

Similarly, if a manure tanker is used – let’s just say it is a 7300-gallon tank and we get it 95 percent full with each load – and we are hauling three loads an hour, then every hour we are moving 20,000 gallons. To finish hauling all the manure in Iowa in those 105-days, we’d need somewhere around 400 manure spreaders going not stop 12 hours a day.

Luckily, Iowa farmers and commercial manure applicators have recognized this challenge and continuously are purchasing new and better equipment to help ensure they are moving manure from farm to field as cost effectively and responsibly as possible.

For more posts by Dan Andersen, visit his blog – The Manure Scoop.
Published in Other
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
The sun has set on another edition of the North American Manure Expo, which was held in mid-August at the University of Wisconsin’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station near Arlington, Wisc.
Published in Manure Application
Drag hose operator Rick Martens has seen a lot of things in his 30-plus years as a custom applicator. Most of it’s been positive.
Published in Other
September 18, 2017, Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is considering adopting regional restrictions on manure spreading. If the proposal is accepted, it would mark the first time the agency has considered adopting rules that vary by geographic location.

The targeted area currently being considered is comprised of 15 eastern Wisconsin counties. They include: Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. READ MORE
Published in State
September 13, 2017, Alpine Township, MI – A 56-year-old man lost his arm recently in a farming accident.

According to Kent County police, he was working near the PTO shaft of a manure spreader when his clothes became entangled and his arm was wrapped up in the shaft. READ MORE
Published in Other
September 7, 2017, Idaho Falls, ID – The Idaho National Laboratory has released multiple new open-source software projects, including a program aimed at helping with manure management decisions.

The Decision-support for Digester-Algae IntegRation for Improved Environmental and Economic Sustainability (DAIRIEES) was developed in collaboration with the University of Idaho and Boise State University. It is a novel treatment system to mitigate many current environmental concerns of manure management and create value-added product from manure, including bioplastics, electricity, fertilizer and animal bedding. DAIRIEES allows users to enter characteristics about a dairy farm’s manure, manure management plan and regional market. Based on these inputs, the options are analyzed in detail using data from laboratory research to determine the most efficient use of this material. You can read more about it at dairiees.inl.gov.

All of the programs are freely available to the public and open to collaboration directly with researchers and engineers outside of the laboratory. It’s hoped that by fostering widespread distribution of the software, it will accelerate the adoption of these technologies within industry and fuel innovation in other research organizations that may build on them.

All of INL’s open-source software may be acquired at no cost at github.com/idaholab, including the following recent additions to INL’s open-source software portfolio.

Published in Other
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