IMMAG Updates

August 2014

Welcome to the monthly update for the Iowa Manure Management Action Group (IMMAG) Web site. This update is provided as a service to inform you about changes made to the IMMAG Web Page or items of interest dealing with manure management and air quality from animal feeding operations. If you wish to subscribe to this mailing please click here. You may also view this update with direct links on the CURRENT NEWS site on IMMAG.

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A New Anaerobic Digestion Tool
Are you interested in the potential anaerobic digestion holds in the state of Iowa? A new, easy to use tool, the Iowa Biomass Asset Mapping Tool (IBAM), may be just what you are looking for (available at IBAM is an economic analysis tool integrated with geographical information systems and was produced as a collaborative product of Dr. Mark Wright of Iowa State University and the Des Moines based company EcoEngineers. IBAM is to provide a preliminary evaluation of generic biogas facilities and it does not replace a detailed project analysis. Although the intended audience for IBM is entrepreneurs, policy makers, and the general public, it is something to be aware of as it may create increased demand for or attention about your manure resources. Submitted by Dr. Daniel Andersen, ABE

Foaming Swine Manure
As you have probably heard, foaming manure pits can be a danger to both animals and workers. Though we have seen less foam this year than in the recent past, the frequency of foaming swine manure has begun to increase over the past month. The foam traps large amounts of explosive gas (methane), creating high potential of fires and explosions, especially if the foam is destroyed such as during agitation and pumping. With fuller manure pits and warm fall temperatures, the foam condition of manure can change quickly, so be vigilant in checking your pit for foam accumulation.

Develop an emergency action plan on how to respond to foam and review it with employees. The emergency action plan should include a list of clean-up and containment practices should foam overflow start to occur, recommendations on how you or your employees should respond to increased foam levels, and an emergency response plan should fire or explosion occur.

Although there are no proven ways to prevent manure foaming, research has indicated that at times of foaming the microbial community will change, leading to enhanced methane production from the manure and development of a foam layer that has increased levels of microbial produced carbohydrates and numerous fine particles that thicken and stabilize the bubble structure. Though no treatment is guaranteed to prevent foaming, research has suggested that treatment with microbial enhancements (addition of seed microbes) and microbial control (pH adjustment) have tended to encourage microbial communities more similar to non-foaming manures. Submitted by Dr. Daniel Andersen, ABE

Resources for Manure Nutrient Management Planning
This is the time of year we start taking manure samples and planning for fall application.  The following resources will help you make the best use of your manure nutrients for crop production while protecting the environment. 

PMR 1003 Using Manure Nutrients for Crop Production
PM 1558 How to Sample Manure for Nutrient Analysis
PM 3014 How To Interpret Your Manure Nutrient Analysis
PM 1901H Tillage, Manure Management and Water Quality
PM 1941 Calibration and Uniformity of Solid Manure Spreaders
PM 1948 Calibrating Liquid Tank Manure Applicators
PM 1859 Emergency Action Plans
Separation Distances for Land Application of Manure

Regulatory resources for manure plans, recordkeeping, fees, and construction requirements can be found on the DNR Animal Feeding Operations web page. To find the forms and fact sheets, click on “AFO Resources” on the left side of the page. These resources can also be found on the IMMAG web site under Plans, Permits, Regulations.


Attention confinement site manure applicators! We need your help in completing a short survey regarding the manure applicator certification training workshops you attended in January and February 2014. If you attended a live workshop at your County Extension Office, please take 5-8 minutes to complete this survey. If you have already completed the survey we thank you for your time. The survey will close on September 30, 2014. Click on this link to complete the survey:

Fall application season is rapidly approaching. Be sure your annual training requirements are up to date prior to applying manure. You can contact your County Extension Office to determine dates available for training, or you can call you local DNR Field Office to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at ISU recently released a summary of research projects and extension work related to livestock odor and air quality at ISU. The report is available on the CALS web page, the Animal Agriculture and Air Quality Web page at ISU or through this link, Selected Current ISU Livestock Odor and Air Quality Research and Extension.


The IMMAG Events page is a compilation of manure management related events. Please check the events page often for new listings.

September 19, 2014.  The LPE Webinar for September is part two in a series focusing on mortality composting. "Livestock Mortality Composting-Beyond the Basics" is a free webinar open to all. The webinar is a 1:30 p.m. (central) start.


Angela Rieck-Hinz
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Iowa Manure Management Action Group

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