IMMAG Updates

December 2016

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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Check out our new video about Utilizing Manure Value on Iowa Livestock Farms. In this video, you will have a chance to learn about how Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is helping farmers and livestock producers manage their manure supplies.

2017 Manure Applicator Season Approaches

Figure 1. Dynamic team learning during manure application training.Commercial Manure Applicator training is scheduled for January 5, 2017. Click here for a list of County Extension Offices hosting this event. Commercial applicators are required to attend 3 hours of training annually or take and pass the certification exam annually. Certification requirements must be completed prior to handling, hauling, or land-applying manure.

Dates have been announced for the 2017 Confinement Site Manure Applicator Workshop. A complete list of workshops can be found here.

Interested in learning more about manure but don’t need to be certified? Come on in for the training anyway! This year’s program is loaded with valuable information as previewed below. So if you are hoping to learn more about how your farm can get their most value from their manure stop in to get the latest tips.

MAC Program Preview

During the 2017 MAC programs, many great topics will be covered. Commercial applicators will learn about a recent liquid manure manifold distribution project, receive an update about hydrogen sulfide safety concerns and ventilation tips, and hear about how the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is handling applicator certification enforcement. Choosing a cover crop and manure application considerations, as well as selecting a nitrogen rate are a few of the items that will be presented during confinement applicator training. Dry manure applicators will have the opportunity to hear about grassed waterways and manure application, soil sampling tips and techniques, and a discussion about composting.

Winter Manure Application - Rule Reminders

Figure 2. Snowmelt can cause nutrient transport from manures so careful planning is required to protect water and get the most from manure nutrients.What is the best way to avoid manure nutrient loss and negatively impacting water quality? Do not apply manure during winter months. When manure is surface applied to snow covered or frozen ground, there is an increased risk of for manure runoff and consequently nutrient runoff into Iowa’s waters. Due to this increased risk, winter manure application is not recommended.

State law prevents confinement facilities with 500 or more animal units from applying liquid manure on ground with an inch of snow or one-half inch from December 21st - April 1st or on frozen ground February 1 - April 1 except in an emergency.  Lack of storage or improperly designed or managed storage does not qualify as an emergency. If emergency application is necessary, producers must call the local DNR field office to report emergency applications before they apply. Additionally, if you have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, winter application may be limited. Those with a Comprehensive Nutrient Management from NRCS need to carefully review their plan, as that does not allow winter application except in designated emergencies.

While the snow and frozen ground rules do not apply to open feedlots or poultry operations, manure application during winter months presents tough management decisions. If winter application is unavoidable, be sure to follow our Top Ten List of winter manure application considerations to ensure minimal nutrient loss and water quality impacts.

Top Ten Winter Manure Application Considerations:

  1. Take into account soil and weather conditions, avoid applying immediately prior to a precipitation or snowmelt event.
  2. Follow all separation distances (available here); even if separation distances are followed a water quality violation may still occur so if possible increase the set back.
  3. Apply on the flattest slopes as far from water sources as possible.
  4. Avoid application on areas that drain to surface tile intakes.
  5. Do not apply manure in a grassed waterway.
  6. Apply to areas where soil erosion is controlled.
  7. Store or stockpile manure in a way that does not cause runoff.
  8. Apply to areas of less snow cover.
  9. Update your Manure Management Plan to reflect surface application rates.
  10. Figure 3. Winter manure application; what’s the science behind our best winter manure application recommendations.Receive approval for surface application if subject to Master Matrix requirements for injection or incorporation.

What’s the Science behind Winter Manure Application?

For more information about winter manure application, the latest Manure Scoop post dives into the science and studies behind the recommendations.

Registration Now Open for 2017 Soil Health Conference in Ames, Iowa

Building on the success of the Inaugural Soil Health Conference in 2016, the second Soil Health Conference will be held in the Scheman Building at Iowa State University on February 16-17, 2017. This conference is organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Department of Agronomy.

Figure 4. Happy Holidays to you and yours from Iowa State UniversitySoil health is the foundation for a vibrant and stronger agriculture system and economy. Healthy soils are essential to healthy environments, including clean air and clean water for sustainable agriculture and livelihoods. The theme of the 2017 Soil Health Conference is “Building Soil Health for Healthy Environment and Farm Profitability” in Iowa and the Midwest.

Register Now

Please register online. View a preliminary conference program, and catch highlights from the 2016 Soil Health Conference in this video. Join the discussion on Twitter and keep up on conference announcements using the hashtag #2017SHC.

Happy Holidays

As the year draws to a close we want to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for letting the IMMAG, Iowa State Univesity, and Team Manure be a part of your manure information network.


January 2017 - The Crop Advantage Series of workshops will be held at 13 locations around the state in January.
January 20, 2017 - The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center will be hosting a webinar at 1:30 pm on Planning for Climate Resilency. More information about this webinar and how to participate can be found here.
January 31-February 2, 2017 - International Poultry Expo, Atlanta, GA
February 16-17, 2017 - Soil Health Conference, Ames
February 22-23, 2017 - Midwest Manure Summit, Green Bay, WI

Dan Andersen
(515) 294-4210
Twitter: @DrManure

Rachel Kennedy
(515) 294-6685

Melissa McEnany
(515) 294-9075


Iowa Manure Management Action Group
Twitter: @iowamanure

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