IMMAG Updates

September 2017

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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Putting Farm Safety into Practice. National Farm Safety and Health Week. September 17-23, 2017

This week is recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week and with harvest and manure application beginning, now is a great time to review safety practices when pumping manure. Ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide can be released when organic matter in manure decomposes, with hydrogen sulfide tending to be the gas that causes the most concern.

Find the latest hydrogen sulfide safety information in a series of recently released publications. The publication Hydrogen Sulfide Safety – Monitoring discusses the importance of monitoring hydrogen sulfide and the types of monitors available for purchase. Best management practices for safe manure agitation are covered in Hydrogen Sulfide Safety – Manure Agitation. Proper barn ventilation in both beef (Barn Ventilation at Cattle Facilities) and swine barns (Hydrogen Sulfide Safety – Swine Barn Ventilation) discuss how to set up a ventilation strategy when working with manure. Additionally, lock-out tags, which are available from National Pork Board, can be placed on doors during agitation to alert others of the danger during agitation.

Manure Sampling and Utilization

Harvest and manure application season is arriving quickly and ISU has resources available to help you make your manure decisions. Remember, manure can be a valuable commodity to your farm and the first step to getting the most from it is to collect a manure sample. Make sure it is a good one by following the steps in “How to Sample Manure for Nutrient Analysis.” Believe me, this is worth your time and effort, offering a potential value of around $8 an acre.

Once you have the sample collected, use that information to help you make a better manure application decision. ISU has two great resources to help you, “How to Interpret your Manure Nutrient Analysis” and “Using Manure Nutrients for Crop Production.” Most manure plans are written using a yield goal method, but some of you are thinking about or are using maximum return to nitrogen to determine application rates. You can get more information on how these approaches compare at The Manure Scoop.

Finally, the last steps are getting the manure in the ground. Big things to think about are; the timing of application, the method of application, and then making sure you are getting the most from your equipment. When it comes to manure, it doesn’t have a guaranteed analysis, but there are things we can do to make sure the nutrients in it are available for our crops. When it comes to equipment, there are two things to check; make sure we are hitting the rate we want and then making sure the application is as uniform as possible.

When it comes to timing, delaying until the soil is 50°F and cooling helps ensure nitrogen will be there next year for our crops, but lots of factors come into play. Information on the science behind the recommendation shows why this is recommended, but remember all manures aren’t created equal. This is more important on ammonium-rich manures like liquid swine manure where the nitrogen is more readily available.

dipping a manure sample

The Manure Scoop – Manure Logistics

As another application season comes around, have you thought about the logistics of getting all the manure applied? How much manure do we need to apply every day? How much manure can one tank or one hose apply? To learn more, check out the logistical and engineering challenges the manure application industry faces.

Manure Applicator Certification

Before you apply manure this fall, make sure that you have completed your certification training requirements for the year. If you are in a commercial manure business (hauling or applying manure) or a confinement site applicator (a confinement operation with more than 500 animal units) you must complete certification prior to hauling or applying manure.

If you still need to complete training, three options are available:

tank wagon manure application

Find us on Instagram

Check out @IowaManure on our recently launched Instagram page where we are featuring #manuremonday and #waterqualitywednesday posts.


September 27, 2017, 10:00 am
Concrete Wall Design for Animal Waste Management Structure webinar

September 27, 2017, 1:00 pm
Side dressing crops with liquid manure


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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