What was done
Winter cereal rye planted as a cover crop has been shown effective in capturing nitrate before it leaches from the root zone. We conducted on-farm trials in central and southern Minnesota to determine if a rye cover crop would capture significant root-zone nitrate in the fall and spring but release it in time to maintain yield in the subsequent corn crop.
In the fall of 2015 and 2016, we partnered with 19 farmers (ten in 2015 and nine in 2016) to drill strips of cereal rye immediately after harvest of corn silage or soybean. After the rye was established and soil temperatures began to fall, we injected liquid dairy or swine manure into the cover crop and check strips. Three replications (with and without cover crop) were planted as wide or wider than the farmer's combine or silage chopper. The following spring, we sampled the cover crop for biomass and nitrogen content. We also soil sampled the cover crop and check strips to a 24-inch depth for nitrate. The rye was terminated, usually before reaching eight inches in height. In most cases, the rye was terminated with herbicide and tilled in. Corn was planted in the cover crop and check strips, usually with a small amount of starter nitrogen. We measured yield and nitrogen content of the corn at harvest.
Fall manure injection into cereal rye cover crop.
Fall manure injection into cereal rye cover crop.
Cereal rye at same location two weeks after manure injection
Cereal rye at same location two weeks after manure injection
Spring rye growth at the same site.
Spring rye growth at the same site.
Our results indicated
Spring Soil 24 inch Nitrate. Cover crop had 124 pounds of nitrate nitrogen per acre. No cover crop had 202 pounds of nitrate nitrogen per acre. The difference was 78 pounds of nitrate nitrogen per acre.
In both years, adequate growing season existed to establish the rye cover crop after either corn silage or soybean harvest, but above-ground fall growth was limited.
The rye was very resilient to manure injection, however, stand reduction was considerable at two sites where shank injectors or disk coverers were too aggressive.
Spring rye growth was good at most sites, with soil nitrate reduced under the cover crop compared to the check strips at all sites.
Rye growth and nitrogen uptake were greater in southern than central Minnesota.
Across sites, there was no significant difference in silage or grain yield between the cover crop and check strips.
Grain yield adjusted to 15 percent moisture. Cover crop yielded 199.5 bushels per acre whereas no cover crop yielded 201.2 bushels per acre.
Corn silage yield adjusted to 65 percent moisture. Cover crop yielded 20.7 tons per acre whereas no cover crop yielded 20.8 tons per acre.
Take home message
We concluded that, in central and southern Minnesota, it is feasible to establish cereal rye cover crop after corn silage or soybean harvest, inject liquid manure, capture root-zone nitrate with the rye, and deliver sufficient nitrogen to the subsequent corn crop.
Additional experiments are needed to determine any nitrogen recovery effect of no-till vs tillage termination, as well as supplemental nitrogen needs if the rye were terminated at a later maturity.
Authors: Les Everett, University of Minnesota Water Resources Center and Randy Pepin, University of Minnesota Extension
Reviewer: Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota and Mary Berg, North Dakota State University
On-site workshop sign-in and late registration starts at 10:30 a.m. for each meeting. They will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude by 1:30 p.m. The registration cost is $20 and lunch is provided. Register here.
Some of the rules and setbacks for manure spreading in Illinois were changed by the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency AFO/CAFO rules. Commercial manure haulers and farm operators can learn how these rules – which address all livestock facilities in Illinois – affect their operations, by attending one of the four regional meetings being held this spring. This is an important, unique opportunity to hear Illinois rules clarified by experts. Speakers include Illinois EPA regional environmental protection specialists, University of Illinois Extension faculty and educators, and agriculture commodity group representatives.
Sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Farm Bureau, and University of Illinois Extension, these information-packed mid-day meetings are designed for anyone involved in hauling and spreading livestock or poultry manure in the state. Operators need assurance that they are correctly interpreting the 2014 Illinois EPA rules for manure application; at these events, the regulations will be illustrated using lots of example cases for clarity. Manure nutrient management planning and data recording tools, manure gas personal safety monitors, and best management practices for environmental protection will also be discussed. Register soon for a meeting near you! These events are a great value, seats are limited, and we anticipate a big turnout this spring.
Dates and locations are below.
March 8, 2018 – Mahomet, IL; Farm Credit Illinois, 1100 Farm Credit Drive, Mahomet, IL 61853
March 15, 2018 – Mt Vernon, IL; Farm Credit Illinois, 410 Potomac Blvd, Mt Vernon, IL 62864
March 20, 2018 – Monmouth, IL; Compeer Financial, 700 E. Jackson Ave, Monmouth, IL 61462
April 3, 2018 – Sycamore, IL; DeKalb County Farm Bureau, 1350 W. Prairie Dr., Sycamore, IL 60178
But the farm won't have to shut down or get an operating permit, Boone County Circuit Judge Gail Inman-Campbell ruled this month. READ MORE
Anyone who applies manure is urged to attend. The purposes for the meeting are to present the draft version of the proposed manure hauler certification program, receive comments on the material that has been developed in support of the certification program and increase hauler knowledge of manure application.
The goals of the certification program are to:
- Prevent manure application problems before they occur.
- Increase nutrient management plan implementation.
- Demonstrate responsible manure application.
- Increase the base level of manure management knowledge of all applicators.
One of the benefits of a certification program includes a reduction in pollution insurance premiums. Since 2003, the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW) has partnered with the insurance industry to provide discounts for manure applicators that participate in their voluntary certification program. Due to court decisions in 2015 that decreed bacteria was a pollutant, PNAAW spent a year revamping the insurance portion of their certification program. PNAAW initially looked at a group policy, but then opted to go with individual policies in grouped pools based on the program. The new program has a strengthened auditing component by the insurance industry and provides full environmental coverage for $10 million aggregate. The new discounts average 38 percent on all insurance, except workman’s comp, for for-hire applicators. In its first year, the new program saved applicators more than $300,000. Dave Anderson with Vincent Urban Walker and Associates (Green Bay, WI) was a primary architect in designing the revamped insurance component of the certification program. He will provide more details on the insurance premium reductions offered to certified manure haulers and the third party verification process conducted by the insurance industry during the meeting.
While the morning will be spent learning about the manure hauler certification program, the afternoon will be spent learning about the impact of the Lake Erie watershed on Michigan agriculture, getting a regulatory update from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and learning about manure handling and storage safety.
- Inspect equipment. Make sure everything is functioning properly. To avoid leaks or spills, replace or repair anything that needs fixed.
- Get your manure sampled and analyzed, or find your most recent manure analysis. This will give you an accurate idea of how many nutrients are available to you.
- Plan applications for each field. Calculate your application rates using the nutrient needs of your upcoming crop (based on the University of Minnesota recommendations) and your manure nutrient analysis. Subtract out any nutrient credits from manure applied in the past 3 years or from legumes grown in the past year.
- Determine any setbacks needed in fields. This includes streams, ditches, lakes, tile inlets and sinkholes. Also mark locations of sensitive features to avoid.
- Put together an Emergency Action Plan. Make a list of emergency contacts in case of a leak or spill and think of ways that you could possibly contain a spill so that you can have the appropriate tools on hand.
- Monitor the weather. Avoid applying immediately before a predicted rainfall.
- Avoid wet or frozen fields. Manure can very easily run off of a frozen field, especially in spring rains. On fields that are wet, adding manure (which has liquid in it) will only increase the likelihood of runoff or the start of tile flow. You are also more likely to cause soil compaction in wet conditions.
- Apply manure according to calculated rates. Do not overapply! Nutrients are less likely to be lost to our waterways when applied at appropriate rates.
- Monitor equipment for leaks. Have equipment handy for stopping leaks and for cleanup. Know the numbers you need to call if there is a spill.
- Keep records. Always note the field location, manure source and amount applied. Keep records on file for at least three years.
About 90 people turned out recently for “Managing Dairy Manure Systems: Sharing Experiences of Farmers and Engineers,” a program put on by Washington County Extension. They learned the pros and cons of different practices such as hauling, satellite lagoons, pumps and draglines, and how to implement such systems. READ MORE
Sheldon Kye Energy and Harvest Operating LLC are teaming up to develop the digester. Both companies are headquartered in the metro Denver area. Brian Johnson is heading up the project for Sheldon Kye Energy, and Alan Nackerud is the Harvest Operating representative. READ MORE
These projects, part of the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on California dairy farms and livestock operations by using manure management practices that are alternatives to dairy digesters (i.e. non-digester projects).
The winning projects can be viewed here.
When livestock manure decomposes in wet conditions, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 72 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Changing manure management practices so that manure is handled in a dry form can help significantly reduce methane emissions. These reductions contribute to the state’s overall short-lived climate pollutant strategy under Senate Bill 1383, which aims to reduce California’s methane emissions to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
“California dairy farmers are leading the way in proactively addressing greenhouse gas emissions” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “I am excited to see both the diversity of farms and the variety of non-digester manure management practices being adopted through these projects that will help meet the state’s climate goals.”
Financial assistance for the implementation of non-digester practices comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals. CDFA and other state agencies are investing these proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide additional benefits to California communities. AMMP grant recipients will provide an estimated $2.7 million in matching funds for the development of their projects.
Information about the 2017 Alternative Manure Management Program projects is available at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/AMMP/ .
The electronic (eMMP) option provides a simplified process for producers, their consultants, counties and the DNR.
Producers can submit annual short forms and pay fees from home, the office or their smart phone. Or, they can assign rights to their consultant to file the forms. The streamlined process will cut out driving to county offices for signatures. Instead, the DNR will notify counties once the submission is complete.
Producers can find out more about the process by going to DNR’s eMMP webpage and pre-registering for a Feb. 28 live webinar.
The DNR developed the rules largely in response to widespread groundwater contamination in Kewaunee County. Manure runoff has harmed drinking and surface water in parts of the county and other communities.
The regulations limit how much manure farms in the counties can spread. The limits vary according to the depth of each farm's topsoil. Farms with less than two feet of topsoil would be prohibited from spreading any manure. The restrictions also carve out zones around wells where farmers can't spread manure. READ MORE
The DNR has been working on the regulations for two years, largely in response to widespread drinking water contamination in Kewaunee County. The initial version called for statewide manure restrictions, but the dairy industry balked at the potential costs after Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s office shared the plan with farm groups. READ MORE
The meetings are specifically designed for WPDES permitted CAFO owners/managers, producers considering expansion, nutrient management plan writers and engineers. Each meeting will provide information on new policies, proper spill response, manure hauling, day-storage calculations and will feature a DNR panel.
The forums are slated to be held throughout the state in the coming weeks. Nutrient management plan writers and engineers working on large farms are also invited to attend.
The meetings will be held on the follow dates and locations:
- February 5: Tundra Lodge Conference Center, Green Bay
- February 5: Crystal Falls Banquet Hall, New London
- February 6: Silver Valley Banquet Hall, Manitowoc
- February 6: University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac
- February 8: County Building, Dodgeville
- February 9: UW-Extension office, Jefferson
- February 12: UW-Marshfield Ag Research Station, Marshfield
- February 13: Clarion Hotel, Eau Claire
More information on the meetings and individual meeting brochures can be accessed at https://conservation-training.uwex.edu/news/2018-annual-cafo-update-meetings.
To pre-register for any of the workshops, call UW-Extension at 920-391-4652.
“I am excited to build relationships with farmers locally and statewide to help them maximize production while remaining environmentally sound as well as educating community members on the important role that agriculture plays in the food system and the steps agriculture takes daily to protect the environment,” Rogers said.
She will be based out of the Gratiot County MSU Extension office in Alma, Michigan.
A native of Michigan, Rogers’ passion for both animal science and Extension programming began at a young age through her experiences in 4-H, which carried forward as she earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University in 2012. Her dedication and interest in Extension programming led her to pursue a master’s degree in Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Animal Science, which she completed in 2017.
Rogers’ research efforts [which will be featured in an upcoming Manure Manager magazine feature] centered on environmental poultry management, focusing on discovering and promoting efficient poultry production systems that place minimum burden on the environment. Although managing manure and the by-products of poultry production are obvious endeavors, other important efforts include impacts of odor, flies and traffic (to name a few) on the environment. All of which are important to the sustainability of poultry production and processing in Pennsylvania. Rogers and her advisors, Dr. Paul Patterson and Dr. Michael Hulet, addressed this region’s industry needs for research-based information on poultry manure production and nutrient content within the Chesapeake Bay watershed through Rogers’ master’s thesis project, which investigated nutrients produced by commercial laying hens, laying hen pullets, broilers, turkeys, and breeders under changing management styles for use in the Chesapeake Bay models that determine Total Maximum Daily Loads. She presented her work at the 2017 International Poultry Scientific Forum during the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, GA, and the 2017 Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.
Through her research efforts at Pennsylvania State University, Rogers has worked with poultry integrators and visited more than 70 farms, collecting manure samples from random points and at varying depths throughout manure stacks. The manure was sampled at the time of hauling to best represent the nutrients being land applied. Due to the nature of her research, Rogers discovered a passion for helping farmers be successful in their operations and to help the community better understand agriculture’s role in protecting the environment.
Manure application in winter should not ever be part of a manure management plan. Rather, it should be part of a contingency plan, because we all know that weather happens. Frequent rain and a late corn harvest are taxing manure storage capacities on many farms. Contingency plans are essential for manure that must be applied in less than ideal conditions. A forage or wheat field can be an ideal site for contingency plan manure application, because compaction should not be an issue, and the soil cover would help prevent nutrient runoff and erosion. Forage or wheat fields are ideal for those reasons. However, winterkill becomes a much greater risk, especially with application of liquid manure. Why? Beside the common risks – which include compaction from wheel traffic and crown damage – manure contains salts!
Salinization, the concentration of salt in the root zone, is not an issue in Ontario. Ample precipitation and drainage leaches the salts through the soil profile. However, when the soil is frozen, infiltration can’t occur. Salts in manure can then turn deadly. High sodium also has a negative effect on soil structure; making the soil more susceptible to crusting, and further decreasing the capacity for infiltration.
Livestock manure contains many salts, including ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. When accrued, they can be significant. Salt content varies from farm to farm based on livestock species, diet formulation and even the salt in the drinking water. Many manure analyses report “Total Salts” or electrical conductivity (EC) to reflect the accumulated salts. A typical hog manure (as applied basis) can have about 20 mS/cm (milliSemens/cm) or about 125 lbs of total salts per 1,000 gallons. Dairy manure average is 14 mS/cm or about 90 lbs/1000 gallons. Sodium and magnesium chloride have a working temperatures to about -15° C; potassium chloride to -4° C, while calcium chloride can work to about -23° C.
When manure is applied on frozen or snow-covered soils, the salts melt the snow and ice at the soil surface. The layer below may still be frozen, preventing infiltration. The melted, saturated layer is high in salts, toxic to roots, and more prone to erosion and runoff, and more susceptible to frost heaving. All these risks are increased where manure with high EC or total salt contents has been applied.
When contingency plan applications become necessary during the winter season, options include:
- Late summer application to forage crops after the final cut or at the beginning of the critical harvest period,
- Temporary storage at a neighbouring storage that has extra capacity,
- Application to forage fields or cover crops that will be tilled or killed,
- Application to the most level harvested fields, preferably with residue still present, furthest away from surface water, where application does not occur through water runs or “flow paths.”
Sampling manure at the time of application should be standard practice. A manure analysis that includes total salts will help to determine the level of risk if contingency application in winter is a last resort.
Research being conducted by the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Livestock and the Environment is examining the survivability and infectivity of PEDv in manure and the potential of soils fertilized with infected manure to become a vector for the spread of the disease.
Christine Rawluk, the research coordinator with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, says the threat of the spread of this virus has increased substantially.
“When Dr. Ehsan Khafipour began the first project with MLMMI and PAMI in 2014, the incidence of the disease on Manitoba farms was minimal,” she says. “Flash forward a few years and we're seeing quite a different picture. This was the very first comprehensive study of PED survivability and infectivity in earthen manure storages. A subsequent project that recently concluded focused on PED survivability in soils following surface applications of PED positive manure.”
“The initial work showed that not only can PEDv survive our winters, the virus can potentially replicate throughout the winter in earthen manure storages,” Rawluk adds. “Their recently completed field investigations found detectable levels of the virus in soil samples collected three weeks after surface applications. But, in this study, they did not assess the virus infectivity. It was not part of what was undertaken but they see that as a critical first step to understanding the risk posed by soils receiving PED positive manure.”
Rawluk says we still need to understand the potential of the virus to survive in soil and remain infective following land application of infected manure and determine the potential of this soil to become a vector for spreading this disease.
She says planned future PEDv research will examine the survivability and infectivity when infected manure is applied to different soil types under different climate conditions.
In March, after almost two decades in operation, the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative will disband and its activities will be rolled into a more broadly mandated provincial research organization created under the new federal provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
MLMMI Executive Director John Carney says, over the past 20 years, while the focus has remained the same, the priorities have evolved.
“The focus in the beginning and right through to today has been simply manure management in Manitoba,” Carney says. “Our focus has been consistent. From time-to-time, priorities change. For instance, in our early days, a lot of our research went into odor mitigation and management and then, for a period of time, we really focused on nutrient management and phosphorus imbalances, where there's greater nutrients produced by livestock than spread acres.”
“PED came into focus and we've done some work on survivability of the virus in PED,” he adds. “Now that conditions are right for the industry to look at some growth again, the focus is now shifting back to questions like odor management and also the value of nutrients in crop production and the economic value of manure.”
Carney notes, effective April 1, the work of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative will be amalgamated into a new research program under a single research delivery model.
He says, under the new program, the work the MLMMI has been doing will continue but will be broadened to cover all forms of agriculture related research.
But while Riverhill Farms may seem unchanged by time, Rodes and his family are looking to the future. They have been experimenting with turning manure into energy for several years. Rodes even calls himself a “fuel farmer” in his email address. READ MORE
Wisconsin Sea Grant is providing backing for an evaluation effort of the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast (RRAF) through the Environmental Resources Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and University of Wisconsin-Extension and thanks to funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that was awarded to the National Weather Service. READ MORE
Manure management plans are required in Pennsylvania for anyone who mechanically applies manure or pastures animals. The Bradford County Conservation District will hold an informal “open door” day on Dec. 15 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone needing help getting this document in order.
The Manure Management Manual is a fairly easy and short document that will not only bring you into compliance, possibly save money on your fertilizer bill, and increase yields; but will help cover you in the event of a complaint. Most information can simply be filled out by the animal’s owner. However, you may benefit from the conservation district’s help with maps and more detailed information. This “open door” day will allow anyone to walk in at their convenience and get the help they need without spending any more or less time on it than necessary.
Important to note is that these plans belong to you. There is no requirement to submit a copy of this plan to any government agency. They are for your use and are required only to be kept on file at the farm.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has been inspecting Bradford County farms in recent weeks. Your manure management plan is one of the first things they would ask to see. You want to be ready if they show up at your farm. DEP is responsible for enforcing Pennsylvania’s regulations requiring farms to implement manure management and erosion control plans.
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Ontario Pork CongressTue Jun 18, 2019
Poultry Health Day Tue Jun 25, 2019
Livestock Environmental Training for CAFOs WorkshopWed Jun 26, 2019
Iowa Swine Day Thu Jun 27, 2019
North American Manure ExpoWed Jul 31, 2019 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Manure Science Review 2019 Wed Aug 07, 2019