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Extension > Manure management and air quality education

Larry D. Jacobson, Extension Agricultural Engineer, U of M Extension

With the harvest season fast approaching, the application of stored manure from animal facilities on the harvested fields will soon follow. This year, pork producers need to be aware of the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) through equipment used to pump and land apply manure from all farms but especially those with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of the disease. PED can be spread through oral-fecal contact, manure contaminated boots, clothing, birds and wildlife, transport trailers and other equipment.

PED is a viral enteric swine ONLY disease with clinical symptoms of diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and death (age dependent). PED was first detected in the United States this spring and as of the first of September the disease had been confirmed on more than 500 swine herds in the United States. Spread of the virus continues, and it is both a good animal husbandry practice and a good neighbor policy for all pork farmers with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of PED to obtain a confirmed diagnosis and immediately establish enhanced biosecurity practices to avoid spreading the virus within their own animals and (or) to neighboring swine herds.

Because many pork producers hire commercial manure applicators to pump and land apply their manure from a farm's storage pits, tanks, and/or basins, their equipment can easily spread this virus from infected farms (barns) to uninfected farms (barns). In response to this urgent concern, the National Pork Board (NPB) along with several midwestern universities (Michigan State, Iowa State, and Minnesota) have just released a one page fact sheet listing the biosecurity recommendations that commercial manure haulers should follow to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

The fact sheet emphasizes the need for the manure applicator to communicate closely with the pork producers when pumping manure on a farm to reduce the risk of transferring this virus by manure handling equipment either from or to the farm.

The fact sheet is available here: NPB's PED biosecurity recommendations for manure pumpers, 9-6-13.pdf

Les Everett - Water Resources Center Education Coordinator, U of M. Randy Pepin and Jose A. Hernandez - Extension Educators, University of Minnesota - Extension

Using grid soil sampling to guide manure application can be a profitable investment, is the conclusion from case studies based on eight Minnesota farms. In fields where there is a history of non-uniform manure application, targeting new manure applications to areas with lower phosphorus and potassium soil test values can result in considerable economic returns above the cost of grid soil sampling. Variable rate manure applicators are not required when fields can be divided into application and no-application zones, with supplemental nitrogen fertilizer in the no-manure zones. The brief case studies are available on the University of Minnesota Extension web page for Manure Management and Air Quality http://www.manure.umn.edu, under Grid Soil Sampling for Manure Application. An introduction, the eight case studies, and a set of short video presentations based on the case studies are available at http://z.umn.edu/gridsoilsampling.

Funding for the development of these case studies was provided by the McKnight Foundation.

University of Minnesota Extension is presenting workshops for livestock producers and ag professionals on the use of grid soil sampling to guide manure application. Grid soil phosphorus and potassium maps from Minnesota livestock farms are used to create manure application zones and manure exclusion zones within fields in order to maximize the economic value of the manure as a fertilizer replacement and minimize phosphorus in runoff. Determination of manure application rates and supplemental fertilizer where necessary are part of the demonstration and discussion. Eight case studies are posted on the UM Extension manure website, http://z.umn.edu/manure .

Since the number of workshops funded by the McKnight Foundation project grant is limited, we invite county feedlot officerss and NRCS/SWCD staff to attend one of the following workshops. The workshop presentation Powerpoint is available for those wishing to conduct their own workshops, and a few more workshops could be presented by Randy Pepin, UM Extension (pepin019@umn.edu).

Workshops have been held Feb. 12, 26, and 27. Remaining workshops and hosts are:.

March 5: 11 a.m., Lake Crystal American Legion, Diane DeWitt, UM Extension.
March 6: 1 p.m., Murray County Courthouse, Slayton, Mike Boersma, UM Extension.

Nutrient Management Planner for Minnesota software, version 4.0 for M.S. Windows 7 and Access 2010 is now available on a CD from UM Extension, http://www.extension.umn.edu, at the Extension Store. NMP helps producers and their advisors plan field-specific fertilizer and manure applications that meet crop needs and agency requirements. Recommendations are consistent with current University of Minnesota fertilizer recommendations, the USDA-NRCS-Minnesota 590 (Nutrient Management) Standard, and Minnesota State 7020 Feedlot Rules. The software generates reports that meet NRCS and MPCA requirements, and that serve producers' farm management needs. The software includes a farm nutrient supply and demand calculator to determine the acres needed for manure applications. NMP V 4.0 requires a computer with MS Windows 7 and MS Access 2010. More information is at http://z.umn.edu/nmp.

By Jose A. Hernandez
Extension Educator - Nutrient Management

A new Manure Management and Air Quality Education website has been launched. The new website provides educational materials, and current research from the University of Minnesota, in the area of manure management and air quality in livestock production.

Major categories in the new website are: manure management, feedlot and manure storage, air quality, milk house wastewater, manure pathogens, manure treatment, and manure application.

The website will also provide an events calendar with local and regional manure management educational opportunities.

This website was made possible by funding from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Section 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Program from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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