United States
A much-debated farm pollution regulation is set to take wider effect soon in Maryland, stirring growing anxiety among farmers and environmentalists alike. Those concerns could put the rule on hold next year.

The state's Phosphorus Management Tool rule, adopted in 2015, aims to reduce the risk of polluted farm runoff by limiting how much manure farmers can use to fertilize certain fields.

Only about 100 farms have been affected so far, as the restrictions are being slowly phased in through 2022. But the number of farms that must comply with the rule is set to jump significantly in 2019. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
Published in State
Livestock Water Recycling is committed to providing hog, dairy and anaerobic digester operations with the most effective and efficient manure treatment technology on the market. As part of this commitment, LWR has recently added a seasoned manufacturing veteran to their organization. Joel Darichuk, the company's new production coordinator, has been hired to streamline LWR's manufacturing processes.
Published in Companies
This fall has been exceptionally wet and that has led to saturated soil conditions around much of Iowa, and while this has made the primary focus on manure delayed harvest of corn and soybeans and thus limited area for manure application.
Published in Manure Application
Spring in America's heartland is often wet. That makes its soil too soft for planting. One solution to that issue is tile drainage. Growers insert a series of pipes (drain tiles) under their fields, which drains water from the soil into nearby streams and lakes.
Published in Other
Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce, through the nationwide expansion of Smithfield Renewables, innovative projects designed to help meet its goal to reduce the company's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025, which it set in concert with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This month marks the one-year anniversary of Smithfield Renewables.
Published in Companies
This spring started cool and wet, delaying planting season, but was followed by a beautiful early summer with warm temperatures and heat units that pushed crops forward quickly. As harvest season has neared, we have been faced with some wet conditions slowing harvest.
Published in Manure Application
The 2018 North American Manure Expo featured Zimmerman Manufacturing's Red Ziper toolbar during the equipment demonstartions, held August 15th in Brookings, S.D.
Published in Manure Application
The American Biogas Council announced the winners of the Biogas Industry Awards, presented at a sold out dinner celebration at BIOCYCLE REFOR18. Thirty-three awards were presented to exceptional technology innovations and biogas projects across the industry in the agricultural, municipal and merchant sectors.
Published in News
Puck Custom Enterprises is continuing to expand its international presence after partnering with two organizations to bring its manure application and agitation equipment to Serbia.
Published in Companies
Want to know more about your environmental footprint? Get additional information about operational costs? University of Minnesota Extension specialist, Erin Cortus and extension educators, Diane DeWitte, Jason Ertl, and Sarah Schieck are looking to work with producers in confidentially assessing their own operations using The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator - a tool developed with support from and maintained by the National Pork Board.
Published in Swine
Bazooka Farmstar announced the release of four new core products at the latest North American Manure Expo, including: The full throttle series 1,000 gallon trailer, the full throttle high reach outlaw, the 80' Infinity Series boom truck, and the NEXUS control system.
Published in Manure Handling
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the National Weather Service has designed a new tool for those applying manure in Minnesota called the Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast.
Published in Manure Application
McLanahan Corporation is excited to announce the official launch of the Modular SMS12. This system, similar to others manufactured by McLanahan, separates bedding sand from dairy cow manure. The Modular SMS12 utilizes proven equipment for separating manure and sand, and is supported by a company that is an expert in this type of processing equipment.
Published in Manure Handling
Bristow, IA – Iowa Department of Natural Resources staff have investigated a manure spill caused by a broken water line in a hog confinement located about three miles north of Bristow.

An unknown amount of manure from an empty building traveled about a mile before entering a tributary of Parmentar Creek on Sept. 26. Field tests by DNR staff found slightly elevated ammonia levels, but not high enough to kill fish.

A cleanup crew from the farm stopped the flow and built dams downstream to contain contaminated water, which they pumped and hauled to apply on crop fields.

DNR did not observe any dead fish in the stream. DNR will continue to monitor cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.

Published in News
Washington, DC – As North Carolina communities grapple with the fallout from flooding during Hurricane Florence, community groups and an allied national coalition filed a legal complaint in federal court Sept. 28, challenging a Trump administration policy that exempts animal feeding operations from having to report emissions under a federal emergency planning and right-to-know law.

“The full extent of the damage to our communities is still unknown. But one thing’s clear – we need better protections for communities neighboring these operations,” said Devon Hall, executive director of the Duplin County, NC-based Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH). Duplin County, a hub of industrial pig operations, was among the hardest hit by Hurricane Florence. “Eliminating this exemption is a simple way to help make sure my neighbors and I are better protected.”

At the heart of the matter are two environmental laws – the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Both require reporting of releases of hazardous substances that meet or exceed reportable quantities within a 24-hour period in order for federal, state, and local officials to evaluate the need for an emergency response to mitigate the effects of a release to the community.

Back in December 2008, the EPA published a final rule that exempted all farms from reporting hazardous substance air releases from animal waste under CERCLA. Only large CAFOs were subject to EPCRA reporting.

Several citizen groups challenged the validity of the final rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals and, in April 2017, the court vacated the final rule.

In March 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Omnibus Bill) was signed into law, a section of which – known as the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (FARM Act) – amended CERCLA to exempt air emissions from animal waste at a farm from reporting under CERCLA.

Accordingly, on August 1, 2018, EPA published a final rule revising the CERCLA reporting regulations to incorporate the FARM Act’s amendments to CERCLA.

Based on the criteria for EPCRA release reporting, the EPA maintains that air emissions from animal waste at farms do not need to be reported under EPCRA.

REACH and Sound Rivers are being represented by the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice and are joined by Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, Don’t Waste Arizona, Environmental Integrity Project, Food & Water Watch, Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club, and Waterkeeper Alliance in the complaint.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Published in Federal
Four years ago, dairy farmer Jay Richardson and his wife, Kristi – owners of Son-Bow Farms in Northwest Wisconsin – sat down for a heart-to-heart to discuss the future of their business.
Published in Dairy
There was a mixture of hot temperatures, high humidity plus driving rain and wind. But the weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of attendees at the 2018 North American Manure Expo.
Published in Other
Earthworms eat biological material in the soil to survive. Now, their abilities are being put to work by a company called BioFiltro. They are used in a controlled environment to clean liquid manure waste streams in a matter of hours where it would otherwise have taken weeks.
Published in Dairy
In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System [NAHMS] released its most recent report, Nutrient Management Practices on U.S. Dairy Operations, 2014.
Published in News
It’s been almost a week since Hurricane Florence struck North Carolina and some hog farmers are still dealing with challenges left over from the storm.

According to a report from the North Carolina Pork Council [NCPC], some hog farmers and partner production companies are going to extraordinary lengths to care for their animals, including living in the barns for days, traveling by boat to do chores and even being shuttled to farms via helicopter.

Some are also dealing with manure management problems.

“While it’s clear that farmers properly managed lagoon levels in advance of the storm, a small percentage of lagoons have been impacted by the record-setting rainfalls,” the NCPC report stated. “In some cases, lagoon levels are being lowered by transferring liquids off the farm in tanker trucks or by piping to other lagoons with ample storage.”

According to a Sept. 23 report from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, five lagoons in the state suffered structural damage, 32 lagoons overtopped, nine lagoons were inundated [no indication of discharges], 18 lagoons are at full capacity [have no freeboard left] and 39 lagoons have zero to 3-inches of freeboard available.

“While we are dismayed by the release of some liquids from some lagoons, we also understand that what has been released from the farms is the result of a once-in-a-lifetime storm and that the contents are highly diluted with rainwater,” the NCPC stated.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sets preliminary livestock losses at 3.4 million poultry and 5,500 hogs.

“This was an unprecedented storm with flooding expected to exceed that from any other storms in recent memory,” said Steve Troxler, NC Agriculture Commissioner. “We know agricultural losses will be significant because the flooding has affected the top six agricultural counties in the state. The footprint of flooding from this storm covers much the same area hit by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which only worsens the burden on these farmers.”

The department’s environment programs and division of soil and water conservation is assisting livestock and poultry farmers with recovery to ensure environmental impacts are minimized to the extent possible. The department’s veterinary division is helping to assess risk to livestock operations and depopulation teams are on standby and are assisting producers with disposal concerns.
Published in Swine
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