IMMAG Updates

May 2018

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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Iowa NRCS Information for Cost Share for Feedlots

Mark Garrison, NRCS Environmental Engineer (515) 323-2226,
Storage basins can be used to contain liquid feedlot runoff. click to enlarge

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financialassistance to eligible livestock producers to assist with manure and nutrient management for their operations. This article provides information to producers, who may be interested in or are pursuing assistance from NRCS, to treat runoff issues from feedlots.

Open feedlots are an inexpensive, but environmentally risky way to operate an animal feeding operation. Iowa NRCS offers potential incentives to producers to decommission/remove open lots and convert to a roofed, confinement operation. For feedlots currently in operation, there are several options for producers to explore.

These include:

  • Maintaining the current open lot and treating the runoff with solids settling basins and storage basins to contain the liquid runoff.
  • Convert to a bedded pack housing system with the appropriate solids stacking areas for manure scraped from feed alleys, etc. and close the remaining open lots.
  • Convert to a deep pit (underfloor pit) housing system and close the remaining open lots.
  • If the situation is such that the open lot runoff concerns cannot be treated and a building is not feasible, then it may be possible to provide assistance to close and move the lot to a better location.

Depending on each individual situation, Iowa NRCS may be able to assist with solid settling basins, waste transfer equipment, waste storage facilities, roof structures, and heavy use areas as appropriate for waste handling. Please contact your local Iowa NRCS field office for more information.


Figure 2. Water quality is important to all Iowans. click to enlargeThe Manure Scoop

In this month’s Manure Scoop, we take a second look at how municipal waste treatment systems and farms differ in their nutrient management methods and make a comparison about their effectiveness.


$50 Million Nuisance Verdict in North Carolina

A recent lawsuit in North Carolina found Smithfield Foods subsidiary, Murphy Brown, LLC, liable for nuisance and awarded $50 million in damages to 10 neighboring landowners. The landowners claimed their quality of life, property values, and use of their property was affected by the odors, traffic, and pest associated with the hog farms. Murphy Brown plans to appeal the verdict. This was the first of 26 lawsuits Figure 3. vegetative environmental buffer. click to enlargefiled by over 500 neighbors to go to trial; the second case will go to trial next month.
In this case, though the farm operated in accordance with applicable laws and permits, they were found to have interfered with the use and enjoyment of the plaintiff’s property. The verdict highlights the importance of finding ways to handle odor and dust emissions at livestock facilities. One resource available to help find mitigation practices is The Air Management Practices Assessment Tool (AMPAT). This tool allows you to compare practices related to animal housing, manure storage and handling, and land application. Find fact sheets and presentations about each practice at the AMPAT website.

Side Dressing Manure into a Growing Crop Generates Interest

Recent research at Ohio State University is looking at new ways to apply manure into growing crops. In addition to providing another window for manure application, nutrients are better utilized by the crop during the growing season, which in turn reduces the potential for nutrient loss. Learn more about side dressing manure at the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center.


RUSLE2 Workshop

An Introductory RUSLE2 and Iowa Phosphorus Index Workshop is scheduled for June 7, 2018, at the Polk County Extension and Outreach Office in Altoona, Iowa. Last year, USDA Headquarters in Washington D.C., had indicated a new model, Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) would be implemented in the USDA field offices. This implementation has not taken place and its date of implementation is not known at this time. It was decided earlier this year by Iowa NRCS to keep efforts focused on RUSLE2 as the current model being used and there are folks needing training in its use. As such, this training has been scheduled in a collaborative effort between Iowa NRCS, Iowa DNR, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This introductory level workshop provides hands-on RUSLE2 software orientation and uses real field examples to determine risk calculations of the Iowa Phosphorus Index and how to incorporate these numbers into manure and nutrient management planning requirements. Manure management planning, soil sampling requirements, common errors, and the DNR’s review process also will be discussed in this workshop. Anyone interested in this training can access additional information regarding how to register, agenda, fees, requirements, and directions at the RUSLE2 Workshop Website.




May 18, 2018, 1:30 pm
Animal Manure’s Impact on Soil Properties Webinar

June 6-8, 2018
Des Moines, Iowa
World Pork Expo

June 7, 2018
Altoona, Iowa
RUSLE2 Workshop

June 28, 2018
Ames, Iowa
Iowa Swine Day

August 15-16 2018
Brookings, South Dakota
Manure Expo


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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