IMMAG Updates

March 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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Manure application on snow in late winter is an environmental and agronomic risk.  (click on photo to enlarge)I have received a lot of phone calls and emails as of late regarding application of manure on snow-covered or frozen ground. 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. Even if the snow is gone, but the ground is still frozen, application of liquid manure from confinement feeding operations with more than 500 animal units is prohibited unless it can be appropriately injected or incorporated. This means manure is injected below the soil surface and does not come up out of the injection slot or the manure is incorporated with the upper 4 inches of soil. DNR evaluates these situations on a case-by-case basis.

This is a risky time of year to apply manure. 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 soils are frozen and rain is forecasted. Avoid application on snow, period, but for certain when warming temperatures will cause rapid snow melt. Not all livestock operations are regulated by the winter application laws and generally speaking, the public does not understand that when they call DNR to complain. Just because it is legal for your operation does not mean it is the right thing to do from an agronomic or environmental perspective. If runoff occurs, you will be responsible for any water quality violations. 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.


Commercial Manure Applicators: Did you miss attending your required 3-hours of annual training? Commercial manure applicators have two options to meet certification for the remainder of 2014. Commercial manure applicators can make an appointment at their County Extension office to watch the training video. Most Extension offices do not allow walk-in clients for training so please call in advance to determine the reshow schedule or to schedule an appointment. The second option to meet certification requirements is to contact a DNR field office to schedule time for the certification exam. These opportunities are available during business hours throughout the year. Because it is after March 1st,  any applicator that was certified in 2013 and is renewing his/her license for 2014 will now be required to pay the $12.50 late fee to DNR.

Confinement Site Applicators: Did you miss one of the 77 workshops held in January and February? You also have two options for meeting your required 2 hours of annual training.  Confinement site manure applicators can make an appointment at their County Extension office to watch the training video. Most Extension offices do not allow walk-in clients for training so please call in advance to determine the reshow schedule or to schedule an appointment.  If you are renewing your license your second option is to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam at a DNR field office. If you choose to do this, attendance at the annual 2-hour training is not required.


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

March 21 at 1:30 p.m. (central), the LPE Learning Center will host the monthly webinar titled “Making Maximum Use of Nutrients in Liquid Manure". For information on how to access the webinar please click here.

March 24. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting a beef manure field day starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Earnie Anniss farm south of Dysart. Extension staff will be discussing how to collect manure samples, how to interpret the manure sample results, how to use those results in determining application rates and how to calibrate a solid manure spreader. Valuing manure, stockpiling requirements, potential impacts on water quality will also be discussed. Get the most from your manure! For more information please click here.

Hoping for spring to arrive soon!

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

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