IMMAG Updates

February 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.


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 application rules prohibiting manure application on snow-covered ground went into effect on December 21 and continue to April 1. Winter application rules prohibiting application on frozen ground started on February 1 and continue to April 1.The recent weather pattern of snow, followed by warmer temps and melting, does not bode well for manure application this time of year. Keep an eye on the forecast. Avoid application when ground is frozen and rain, or snow followed by rapidly warming temperatures, is predicted. Avoid application on snow. Be savvy and protect and preserve those manure nutrients for crop production. For more details, please refer to this article: Manure Management: Preparing for Winter Part 2.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Did you know the pictures included in this newsletter and the pictures posted to the IMMAG homepage actually get more “clicks” then some of the links and articles we post? The goal in using photos in the newsletter and on the web page is to help educate specific points. We take a lot of photos as we travel around the state to Extension meetings. Some of the photos show good manure practices and management, some show situations that are not ideal. By showing the less than ideal situations we can educate folks on management practices or conditions that may be so second-hand to the owner they don’t realize the negative environmental impact that might be occurring.  We make every attempt not to disclose location unless we have permission. To that end, here is a discussion of two photos.

Keep winter feeding areas high on the landscape and away from water sources.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)The current photo on the IMMAG homepage and also included in this newsletter shows finishing pigs in an open lot type situation. Many people have asked me why show that photo when we don’t raise pigs in those types of facilities any more in Iowa. Well, there are still small farms in Iowa that raise pigs this way.  Generally speaking, these operations are fairly small and are not subject to construction, manure plan or applicator certification requirements.  However, these farms are still required to settle solids from the runoff coming off these open lot facilities and are subject to any water quality violations that may occur. If you have questions about these types of facilities or are looking to upgrade your facilities or manure handling system contact your ISU Extension and Outreach Swine or Ag Engineering Specialist, or the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers.

Pasture or feedlot? (CLICK TO ENLARGE)The second photo in the newsletter is one of cattle feeding along a stream bank.  I took this photo while traveling through a neighboring state last spring. As you can see, this farm sits in a narrow valley with a stream running through it and a state highway to the left in the photo.  There is no doubt about it. This situation is ugly.  What concerns do you have with this situation? The impact on the stream is not only one of manure moving off the feeding area to the stream, but soil erosion from the denuded pasture and stream bank erosion.  Given the fact there is no vegetation in the feeding area from the fence to the stream, I wonder if EPA or the state regulatory agency would consider this a CAFO and not a pasture-based livestock operation. The so what message is the need for communication, on-going education efforts to reach small livestock producers and regulations that make sense and are clear and consistent. This is about protecting water quality folks, and this situation clearly does not make the grade.


The third in a series of new publications has been posted to the Small Feedlot web page as a resource for small beef and dairy feedlots to address manure control practices.  PM 3059, Settling Basins for Open Feedlots, details considerations for design, sizing, cleaning, dewatering and management of settling basins.


Commercial Manure Applicators: Did you miss the statewide training on January 7?  Commercial manure applicators have two options to meet certification for the remainder of 2014. They can make an appointment at their County Extension office to watch the training video or they can contact the DNR field offices to schedule time for the certification exam.  These opportunities are available throughout the year, however, to avoid paying the late fee, annual certification must be complete by March 1st annually. 

Confinement site applicators may attend any one of 5 remaining two-hour workshops scheduled for the remainder of February to meet manure applicator certification requirements.  A complete list of dates and locations can be found on the IMMAG web page by clicking here

Considering the predicted weather of the next 24-36 hours, please contact your county extension office in advance of travel to determine if your confinement site applicator workshop will be offered.  If your workshop is cancelled, you can still make arrangements with your county office to watch the DVD training prior to March 1st. 

NOTE:  The dry manure applicator workshop scheduled for Thursday, Feb.  20 in Greenfield has been postponed to Wednesday, February 26 from 1-4 p.m.

The Confinement Site manure applicator workshop scheduled for Cerro Gordo and Worth counties that was originally scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17 and then rescheduled for Thursday, Feb 20 at 2 p.m. has been cancelled.  Please contact either the Cerro Gordo office (641-423-0844) or the Worth County Extension office (641-324-1531) to make alternative arrangements for meeting training requirements prior to March 1st if you must meet that certification deadline to renew your confinement site license.

The confinement site manure applicator meeting scheduled for Jasper County on February 20 has been postponed to Friday, February 21 at 1:30 p.m.


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

Check out the Iowa Pork Regional Conferences locations and dates on the IMMAG events page.


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

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