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 the Iowa Manure Management Action Group on Twitter at @iowamanure.
Check out this new blog, “The Manure Scoop”, written by Dr. Dan Andersen at ISU. You can also follow Dan on Twitter at @DrManure. Dan has been writing weekly articles on all kinds of things related to manure including the following piece about commercial manure applicators.
The Manure Business
As you may be aware Iowa has a Manure Applicator Certification Program that is mandatory for all commercial manure applicators (businesses that are paid to transport and haul manure) and confinement site applicators (farmers who apply their own manure and have more than 500 animal units raised in confinement buildings). This is an annual training where attendees learn about safety aspects of handling, transporting, and land applying manure, how to best utilize their manure resources, and how to minimize the impacts that manures can have on the environment.
Iowa is number one in both pork and layer production, and this leads to lots of manure; somewhere around 8.6 billion gallons of liquid/slurry manure and another 1.5 million tons of solid manure. Although this may sound like a lot, crop production in Iowa has plenty of capacity to utilize all these nutrients. Using these resources is just a question of getting the manure to the right place at the right time, that is where our commercial manure applicators come in. In 2014 we had over 600 business certified as commercial manure applicators representing over 90 counties in Iowa and six of the surrounding states.
A recent survey of these businesses suggests that our commercial manure applicators are applying more than 3 billion gallons of our liquid/slurry manure, or at least 30% of our slurry manure, and over 1.5 million tons of solid manure or 25% of the solid manure in Iowa. With an average price of about $0.02 per gallon of slurry applied or $6 per ton applied that means these companies are doing about $70 million worth of business annually, while moving and applying the equivalent of about $250 million worth of fertilizer value!
As Thanksgiving approaches, I think these businesses give us something to be thankful for as they do their part to keep the animal agriculture business in Iowa thriving.
News from DNR
During Thanksgiving break the Iowa DNR websites and all applications will be off-line for maintenance. Also please note, the number for Colleen Conroy with the DNR licensing bureau and the manure applicator certification program has changed to 515-725-8268. If you have questions about the status of your manure applicator certification license, please call Colleen.
Winter Application of Manure
So what’s the scoop with all the news on winter application of manure you ask? Yes, it is true that our winter application rules have not gone into effect yet for this year, but last week’s conditions led to a very high risk scenario for manure runoff and consequently nutrient runoff to Iowa’s waters. With snow cover in most of Iowa, some places several inches of snow, frozen ground and the warming temperatures and forecasted rain for over the weekend, it is not hard to imagine what happens when we get rain on frozen ground. It can’t infiltrate so it runs off taking our valuable manure nutrients (and commercial fertilizer) with it. Surface application of manure only exacerbates this situation as the manure is not mixed with soil and has an increased chance of moving off site. We do understand that many folks were caught short in getting manure applied this fall with the late harvest and early freeze. See the following news releases for advice and regulations regarding manure application this time of year.
- November 2014 Special Edition of IMMAG Update “Winter Application Tips”
- Early freeze has manure applicators looking to DNR for advice
If you are a confinement site applicator and have not attended your required two hours of training for 2014, make plans to do that prior to the end of the year by contacting your local County Extension office to schedule time to watch the training video. If you do not attend 2 hours of training each year of your 3-year license you will have to take the remedial exam prior to renewing your next 3-year license.
Dates for the 2015 Confinement Site Applicator Workshops have been scheduled and are available here.
Commercial Manure Applicator training is scheduled for January 6, 2015. Click here for a list of county Office hosting this event.
The IMMAG Events page is a compilation of manure management related events. Please check the events page often for new listings.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the IA NRCS, and IMMAG are hosting a RUSLE2 and Iowa P-Index workshop on December 18, 2014 at the Polk County Extension Office in Altoona. Registration is currently open and is limited to 30 people. The registration fee is $200 prior through December 12, after that date it is $225. For more information please click here.
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