IMMAG Updates

December 2013

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.


Follow iowamanure on Twitter The Current News page on the IMMAG site is updated weekly. Follow the Iowa Manure Management Action Group on Twitter at @iowamanure.

Winter is a busy time for Extension staff around the state. Many programs offer the majority of their meetings this time of year simply because you all might have a little more free time when the ground is frozen and covered in white stuff. I have included a short list of winter programs under the events section later in this newsletter.Take some time to explore these and other opportunities that are available to you. Have yourself added to newsletters and mailing lists that will help keep you up-to-speed on the latest in research, production practices and regulations. Speaking of which, feel free to forward this newsletter to friends who you think might be interested in reading about manure management.They can subscribe by clicking here and completing the on-line form.

Winter manure application always garners a lot of attention this time of year. Winter came early to Iowa this year and the ground was frozen much earlier than normal. This has left some livestock producers and commercial manure applicators facing some challenges as they try to land-apply manure. It is always tough to best-guess when you should put your manure on to best utilize the nutrient resource, protect the environment and meet the weather challenges. Winter application rules go into effect in Iowa on December 21. And while these rules only apply to confinement facilities (over 500 a.u.) with liquid manure, all livestock producers should be aware of these rules and best management practices for manure application when the ground is snow-covered and/or frozen. The forecast for this week is much warmer than we have seen in some time. DO NOT apply manure this week. If we get a mid-December thaw those nutrients are going to go with the snow melt events. Nutrients leaving the field is money lost, and quite frankly, a disregard to water quality. The rules are explained in the following article which was written in 2011, but is still accurate today.

Manure Management: Preparing for Winter Part 2
The following best management practices apply to all sources of manure and should be heeded regardless of whether or not your livestock operation is subject to the winter application rules.  

  • Do not apply manure in the winter.
  • If you have to apply manure in the winter, apply on the flattest slopes as far from water sources as possible.
  • Be sure to follow all separation distances. Even if you follow separation distances a water quality violation may still occur.
  • Avoid application on areas that drain to surface tile intakes.
  • Do not apply manure in a grassed waterway
  • Store or stockpile manure in a manner that does not cause runoff
  • Do not apply manure immediately prior to a precipitation event, especially if the ground is frozen. This can cause the manure nutrients and pathogens to quickly move off-site and likely cause a water quality violation.
  • Do not apply manure on deep snow cover when warmer temperatures are forecasted. Rapid snow melt can also cause manure nutrients to move off-site quickly.


Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has recently developed several new publications related to manure management and air quality.

The first two publications were developed as part of the Water Quality Initiatives for Small Iowa Beef and Dairy Feedlot Operators. Two of the goals of this initiative are to educate producers to better understand the pollution potential of feedlots and to provide resource material to help them implement practices to protect water quality.  

PM 3058 Clean Water Diversion for Open Feedlots discusses the importance and methods of keeping clean water diverted from open lots and pens thereby reducing the amount of pen runoff to be handled, stored and distributed or land-applied.

PM 3060 Small Feedlot Runoff Management Using Low-Pressure Flood Irrigation discusses how to capture liquid and nutrients from settled effluent coming from settling basins and land-apply the water and nutrients using low-cost, low-pressure irrigation systems.

The third publication is a companion piece to PM 3060 and summarizes the results of the demonstration project evaluating low-cost pumping systems. Inexpensive Pumping Systems to Manage Small Feedlot Runoff is a three page publication available through the Iowa Beef Center.

The fourth and fifth publications are a result of a grant funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2010-85112-20510.The goal of this grant was to investigate air quality in bedded mono-slope beef barns.

PM 3062 Air Quality in Bedded Mono-Slope Beef Barns is an 8 pg fact sheet highlighting the research methods, results of the research study and management factors affecting air quality and animal comfort in bedded mono-slope barns.

AEP 1022 is the 2013 Beef Facilities Conference Proceedings held on November 21st in Sioux Falls, SD. Once you click on this link, you can download a copy of the proceedings from this conference. The conference proceedings highlight results of the air emissions research, air quality regulations, capturing and valuing manure nutrients and a producer and extension panel discussion featuring management needs and cattle production in different barn types.

Additional resources related to the Beef Facilities Conference will be made available in a future IMMAG newsletter.


Manure applicator training for 2014 has been scheduled. The statewide training for commercial manure applicators is schedule for Tuesday, January 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in 76 Iowa County Extension Offices, 1 site in Minnesota and 2 sites in Wisconsin. For a complete list of locations please click here. This link also contains a list of 8 training dates for dry manure certification workshops. Commercial applicators handling and hauling primarily dry manure are encouraged to attend the dry manure applicator certification workshops. All currently certified commercial manure applicators will receive a postcard in the mail in December with a list of workshop locations.

Confinement site applicators may attend any one of 67 two-hour workshops scheduled for January-February 2014 to meet manure applicator certification requirements. A complete list of dates and locations can be found on the IMMAG web page by clicking here. Want to add your local confinement site applicator workshop to your electronic calendar? Click on the previous link. Find the county workshop you plan to attend and in the right column on the table click on the calendar icon. A pop-up box will open on your screen. Click “save and close” and the event will be added to your calendar. Confinement site applicators that prefer to attend the dry manure certification meetings can find a list at:

NOTE:  Confinement site applicators, if you received a letter from DNR in the past two weeks stating you need to take the remedial exam for manure applicator certification this is because you missed one of the annual two-hour training sessions sometime in 2012 or 2013. If you are absolutely confident you did not miss training, you must find proof of attendance in order to have the records changed. This proof most likely is a copy of the canceled check you sent to DNR to pay for your MAC education fees. Extension offices keep attendance records for three years however; even if you attended training, but did not submit your fees and paperwork to DNR you did not full-fill the annual training requirement. Please contact Colleen Zeliadt, at DNR, 515-281-5648 if you have questions. Extension staffs are not allowed to let you watch training older than the current year.


The IMMAG Events page is a compilation of manure management related events. Please check the events page often for new listings. January-February 2014.Make plans now to attend the Confinement Site Manure Applicator certification workshops.

January 2014. The Crop Advantage Series of workshops will be held at 13 locations around the state in January.

January 7, 2014. Commercial manure applicator training will be held at 76 locations in Iowa.

January 18, 2014. Corn-belt Cow-Calf Conference will be held at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.

January 21, 2014. Cattle feeders and agri-business professionals are invited to attend Feedlot Forum 2014, a day-long program at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. The 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. forum features educational components on timely issues affecting Northwest Iowa feedlot producers and a trade show displaying new products in animal health, beef nutrition and facilities. This year’s forum focuses on current feedlot issues - environmental regulations, cattle lameness and marketing - that are key in every Iowa feedlot.  For more information, contact Beth Doran at 712-737-4230 or

January 22-23, 2014. Iowa Pork Congress will take place at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA.

January 30-31, 2014. Driftless Region Beef Conference will be held at the Grad River Convention Center in Dubuque, IA.

Happy Holidays!


Angela Rieck-Hinz
2104 Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-9590
Iowa Manure Management Action Group

Copyright © 2013, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.


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