IMMAG - Iowa Manure Management Action Group

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(515) 294-9590 or e-mail

September 2009 IMMAG Update

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.


CURRENT NEWS: The Current News page on the IMMAG site is updated weekly. Please check this site often for the latest news regarding animal feeding operations and manure management issues.

The last edition of the IMMAG Update included a link to the article “A Top Ten List: Preparing for Fall Manure Application”. We received many positive comments about this article and it was picked up for distribution by many farm magazines and newsletters. It should be noted however, the materials developed for the IMMAG Update are developed specifically to address issues in Iowa and are not always applicable to other states or provinces. With that being said, and at the risk of doing another Top Ten List, it is also time to start thinking about winter application of manure. This past spring SF 432 was signed into law in Iowa and prohibits the surface application of liquid manure from confinement feeding operations (over 500 animal units and totally roofed facilities) on snow-covered ground from December 21 to April 1 and on frozen ground from February 1 to April 1 except in emergency situations. The law became effective on July 1, however the DNR is currently preparing to commence rule-making to address this legislation. It is important to note that even in the absence of rules, the law is effective and you should plan accordingly to avoid surface application of liquid manure in these situations. Failure to have adequate storage volume will not warrant emergency application. If emergency application is required these steps must be followed:

  1. Notify the DNR. This includes owner’s name, facility name, facility ID, reason for emergency application, application date, estimated number of gallons to be applied, and the size and legal description of the application field.
  2. The manure must be applied on land identified for emergency application in the current manure management plan. The land must be identified in the plan prior to application and must also be indentified in the next annual update or revised plan submitted to DNR and the local Board of Supervisors.
  3. The liquid manure must be applied on fields with a P Index of 2 or less.
  4. Surface water drains (tile inlets) located down gradient of the application must be temporarily blocked.

The above list is not all inclusive of the proposed rules so you should take time to study the proposed rules when they are put out for public comment. Going into this fall application season you should take some time to identify those fields that could be used for emergency application, update your manure management plan to reflect those available fields and avoid application this fall on fields that may need to be used for emergency application. Other things to consider include indentifying available back-up storage facilities that could be used to temporarily store manure until land application can be made.

As stated, this law applies to liquid manure application coming from confinement facilities that are required to have a manure management plan. However, regardless of the source of manure, or the size of operation, application of manure under these conditions is not recommended due to the increased risk of nutrient loss and movement to surface waters.

We have been receiving questions about use of the nitrification inhibitor Instinct™ in liquid manure. The active ingredient in that product is nitrapyrin, the same active ingredient as in N-Serve™ (nitrification inhibitors slow the conversion of ammonium to nitrate). Unfortunately we are not aware of university research data on the efficacy of this product with liquid manure in Iowa conditions.

MANURE APPLICATOR CERTIFICATION: Don’t forget to meet manure applicator certification requirements prior to land application of manure this fall. Please contact your County Extension Office to schedule time to meet the required annual training or contact your local DNR Field Office to schedule time to take the certification exam. If you need to determine you current certification status, contact the DNR Licensing Bureau at 515-281-5918. Please ask for the Licensing Bureau and state you are a manure applicator. Additional information can be found on the ISU Manure Applicator Certification Web Page at: or on the DNR’s Web page at:

EVENTS: October 16. The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Center’s Webcast for October is titled Pasture Management for Water Quality. Grazing livestock and their management can have a major impact on water quality. Management of streams and riparian areas to maximize production and manage environmental risks will be discussed. To participate in this Webcast please see:

January 6, 2010. Iowa Commercial Manure Applicator Certification Training. This training will provide the necessary 3 hours of annual training for commercial applicators to meet certification requirements.  More details will be included as we get closer to this date.



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

Manure sampling - Click on photo to enlarge

Manure sampling.


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