Farm Horizons, April 2014

Land application of manure record-keeping focus increases in 2014

By Lori Brinkman
Assistant Carver County Feedlot Administrator

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency feedlot program recently released the 2014 annual county feedlot officer annual performance credit document.

This document is released each year, and serves as a guide for county feedlot programs to direct resources toward activities which will gain counties funding for their feedlot programs. Activities which are favored by the MPCA and the legislature are worth more performance credits, thereby resulting in more funding.

The top three performance credit yielding items in 2014 are:

1) completion of a 100 percent environmental upgrade at a feedlot;

2) preparing an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW); and

3) conducting a Level 2 Land Application of Manure inspection at a non-NPDES/SDS site.

Because most feedlot sites in Carver County are in compliance with open lot runoff requirements, the focus of 100 percent environmental upgrades will include working with dairies to find solutions to address milk house waste direct discharge issues. Unfortunately, many milk house waste funding opportunities have expired; however, low-cost fixes remain a possibility.

EAWs are driven by large feedlot expansions. They are conducted when required by law.

In Carver County, Level 2 land application of manure inspections will be a large focus of staff time in 2014, as well as Level 3 land application of manure inspections.

Up until 2013, county feedlot programs received credits for conducting Level 1 inspections. There is a lower amount of information expected in a Level 1 inspection.

In 2014, Level 1 inspections receive no credit. That change simply means that they have upped the ante on land application of manure expectations.

Non-compliance with Level 2 inspections will result in efforts to return a feedlot operator to compliance, especially at feedlots greater than 300 animal units.

Record-keeping requirement expectations are not going to go away.

If you would like to view a Level 2 land application of manure inspection form, go to www.pca.state.mn.us, and search Level 2 Land Application of Manure.

By working with an agronomist, you will be able to easily organize all of the information that is required for compliance.

Level 3 land application of manure inspections focus on maintaining the required setbacks to sensitive areas. Efforts are being made to not only test for fecal contamination in streams, but also identify the host of the source of contamination.

One would expect to identify livestock as a source in agricultural areas. The question that will be determined is how much is being contributed by each source. By following setbacks, the amount of fecal contamination due to surface application of manure should be less.

If you operate a feedlot in Carver County and have any questions about the management of your feedlot, contact Lori Brinkman at (952) 361-1811.

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