IMMAG Updates

October 2015

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 Follow the Iowa Manure Management Action Group on Twitter at @iowamanure.


Stockpiling Manure
As a livestock producer, or as someone who uses manure as a nutrient source, it is important that you know the differences in the rules and how they apply to you if you stockpile manure to be land-applied at a later time. There are four different sets of rules governing stockpiling manure in Iowa.  These rules differ by source of manure and whether the manure is regulated by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
These rules differ by source of manure and whether the manure is regulated by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

A new article by Angela Rieck-Hinz helps explain the differences in types of solid manure and which stockpiling rules apply to your situation.

photoRoad Safety & Collisions with Manure Spreaders
Daniel Andersen, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Iowa State University

Iowa roads play an important part in our agricultural system. Whether it be transporting grain or moving animal manure from the barn, fall ends up being a time when lots of farm vehicles are present on the road. Most collisions with farm vehicles happen during this time of year, with October having nearly twice as many collisions as any other month. Avoiding these accidents involves both the operator of the farm equipment and the driver of the other vehicle. The farm operator’s best protection on public roads is the use of slow-moving vehicles emblems.  The slow moving vehicles sign provides a quick alert to other drivers that they need to be aware and react accordingly. Despite this, nearly ¼ of all traffic accidents involving farm equipment are rear-end collisions, i.e., accidents where the car runs into the back of the farm equipment. This type of accident with a manure spreader can be especially dangerous, as the injection equipment can quickly rip through a car.

Rear-end collisions typically occur because the driver misjudged the speed of the slow-moving vehicle, and before they knew it they are in the back of the farm equipment. Think about a car traveling 55 mph approaching a tractor and spreader traveling 20 mph, if the car is 360 feet behind (the length of a football field from the back of the end zone to the back of the end zone), the driver will catch the spreader in 7 seconds. This might sound like a lot, but a typical car traveling at 55 mph requires about 224 feet to stop (average reaction time, braking, and good road conditions, this means that you only really have about 2.5 seconds to identify the hazard, decide how to proceed, and start braking to avoid the hazard. These accidents can also occur when a driver crests a hill to find themselves right on top of a slow moving vehicle that they hadn’t identified yet, or because the driver took their eyes off the road.

What can you do to reduce your risk of these accident? Make yourself visible: make sure you have your slow moving vehicle sign and that it is clearly visible. Is your lighting working properly? Often times the rear lighting and reflectors is the least well maintained of all our safety lighting. Check reflectors and lights between loads and clean any mud, snow, ice, or manure off as necessary. Plan your trips to and from the field - look for routes that avoid steep sudden hills that could obscure you from view, instead look for routes with more gradual hills where you can be seen more easily.

Another common accident, left turn collisions, these occur when a farm vehicle is about to make a left turn when the motorist behind decides to pass. This occurs because often times large farm equipment makes wide left turns. In doing so the farm operator might swing to the right just a bit before making a left turn. This can be misinterpreted by the motorist thinking that the farm operator was moving over to let them pass. What can you do to help avoid these accidents? Make your intensions clear – use turn signals or hand signals to alert the driver behind you what you are doing. Maintain the gates, drives ways, or places you turn so that other motorists can identify that is a place you may turn.

Finally drive defensively. All roadway travel is a team effort between yourself and the other drivers, do your best to pick routes and travel times to limit your time on roads during high traffic times, be sure to check your lighting and safety reflectors to increase your visibility. Be aware of the most common accident types and use this information to assess your surroundings and stay safe.

Other Resources:

PM 1563E Reduce farm accident risks on roads - Safe Farm
PM 1265J Use SMV emblems for your safety - Safe Farm

Foaming Swine Manure
Daniel Andersen, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Iowa State University

Fall has arrived with full manure pits. We are seeing foaming pits once again. Below are an assortment of tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with foam.
Before washing your barn, removing the manure, or completing repair activities, please perform these precautionary measures.

Any attempt to break-up foam WILL release explosive levels of methane.

Don’t disturb foam until the following steps have been completed…

  1. Turn all ignition sources OFF (i.e. pilot lights, any repair work, smoking)
  2. Ventilate! (see *Ventilation Strategies below)
  3. Make sure ceiling inlets are operational
  4. Make sure no personnel are in barn during foam break-up
  5. Foam/pit can be disturbed. That is agitation and manure removal started or water sprinkling to break the foam.
  6. It is recommended that you Do Not AGITATE until there is at LEAST 2 feet of headspace available in pit

ventilation strategies

Iowa DNR Spill Number
Manure application season is here, have you updated the spill number in your phone? If you have not already my sure you get that number updated in your phone or where you keep it posted in your manure application tractor so you’ll have it handy should you need it this manure application season. The new number is: 515-725-8694.

Barnyard Runoff
Check out the newest video from ISUEO on how cattle producers employ practices to protect water quality.
This video can be found on the IMMAG Manure Video page or the Small Feedlot and Dairy Operations web page.


photoFall manure application season is here, are you certified? Just a reminder that if you are in the business of applying manure (a commercial manure applicator) or have more than 500 animal units and apply manure from your  farm (a confinement site applicator) you must complete your annual manure application certification training. You can get certification by: 1) contacting your County Extension Office to make an appointment to watch the appropriate training video; or 2) contacting your local DNR field office to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam, or 3) completing your training on-line!

That’s right, on-line manure applicator certification training is here! The MAC on-line option provide similar topics and information as the in-person and DVD training, but will be available to the applicator from the comfort of their own home or office. To utilize the on-line option, the applicator will need a computer, smartphone, or other internet capable device and an internet connection that will support streaming video. This on-line training has several advantages in that it will allow the applicator to stop-and-start the training models to fit their schedule and bring the information to them, eliminating the need to travel. The MAC website will track the applicators progress through the training modules, which consists of a series of videos and activities for them to complete. After finishing all the module requirements for training, the website will direct the applicator on how to submit the proper information and pay the licensing fee so they will be certified. The applicator can print off their certificate, keep a copy of it for themselves, and then attach it to their online payment. If applicators want to mail in their certification and the fees, they can do that too. If more than one person needs certification, they need to have multiple computers, or schedule time in the County Extension Offices to watch the DVDs or plan to attend a workshop. Only one applicator will be able to get certification credit when participating with the online option.

To find the online training site, please go to MAC E-Learning.


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

USDA NRCS will be hosting a webinar on the "Use of Solid-Liquid Separation Alternatives for Manure Handling and Treatment" on October 27 at 1 PM. This webinar will be led by Jeff Porter, P.E. and a member of the national Animal Manure and Nutrient Management Team in Greensboro North Carolina. He will discuss different solid-liquid separation alternatives and provide some guidance on selection for different farms. More information on the webinar is available here.


Angie Rieck-Hinz
(515) 231-2830
Twitter: @iowamanure

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

Iowa Manure Management Action Group

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