March 2012 Newsletter, Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Webcast Series

Looking Ahead to the April Webcast: Adaptive Management

After a short spring break, the webcast series will return in April with “Adaptive Management”. Adaptive management is gaining traction as farmers seek ways to proactively monitor their system to quickly identify changes. A flyer will be posted at Upcoming Webcasts as soon as it is available.

Future Topics

May-Nitrate Leaching
June-Climate Change
July-Swine Greenhouse Gas
August 10-Phosphorus Bioavailability in Dairy Cattle

Webcasts are generally held on the 3rd Friday of each month at 2:30 pm (unless otherwise noted)

What’s Going On In the LPELC?

Air Quality Publications

Air Quality Publications. New fact sheets are now available on. Dust (Particulate Matter) IntroductionDust (Particulate Matter) Mitigation | Ammonia (Introduction). These materials were developed by the Air Quality Education in Animal Agriculture project which is publishing curriculum materials for classroom and extension educators.

These join the previous recent releases in the series: Airborne Emissions | Mitigating Ammonia | Litter Amendments | Wet ScrubbersManure Storage Covers | Biofilters | Manure Additives | Dust (video)

Best Guess. What happened to the grass in this pasture? Play the short (20 seconds) video and post your best guess in the comments section (or email them directly to Jill). More… Winners will be recognized in next month’s newsletter. Good luck! The EnvAgLeaders facebook page is part of the LPELC Beginning Farmer team.

National Resources

Feed Management, World Livestock 2011, USGS Phosphorus

Feed Management. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has published a new technical note on “Animal Diets and Feed Management”. Managing feed inputs to reduce waste and reduce nutrient excretion is on part of a comprehensive nutrient management plan. More… | Related: LPELC Feed Management website

World Livestock 2011. A new United Nations FAO report examines the role of animal agriculture in world food security.  “As it stands, there are no technically or economically viable alternatives to intensive production for providing the bulk of the livestock food supply for growing cities,” FAO’s report says. But such systems are a source of concern due to environmental impacts such as groundwater pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as their potential to act as incubators of diseases, warns the report, cautioning: “an urgent challenge is to make intensive production more environmentally benign.” Based on existing knowledge and technology, there are three ways to do this, according to FAO: reduce the level of pollution generated from waste and greenhouse gases; reduce the input of water and grain needed for each output of livestock protein; and recycle agro-industrial by-products  through livestock populations. More…

USGS Phosphorus. The US Geological Survey has released a new report “Phosphorus and Groundwater: Establishing Links Between Agricultural Use and Transport to Streams”. Agricultural use of inorganic phosphorus has increased 24% since 1964 in the United States. While this compound is mostly associated with surface water quality, areas with excess phosphorus can experience significant phosphorus movement to ground water. More… | Related: LPELC “Benefits & Impacts of Manure: Phosphorus

Spotlight On

Manure Advisory, Road Study, Chesapeake Comments, NMP Study

Manure Advisory. Wisconsin’s “Manure Advisory” System More…

Road Study. A collection of presentation materials on how farm equipment, especially manure handling equipment, affects roadways under different conditions. More…

Chesapeake Comments. The Chesapeake Bay fiscal year 2012 federal agency action plan is open for public comment. The comment period closes March 16, 2012. More…

NMP Study. A new multi-year study published in the Agronomy Journal examined the implementation of nutrient management plans on four dairy farms. More…

Events & Announcements

Climate Change Series. Michigan State University Extension’s Webinar Series on Climate, Water and Agriculture will include the results from a study exploring the best management practices for addressing future climate variability and change. The series begins March 9, 2012. More…

National Water Conference.  The Land Grant and Sea Grant National Water Conference will be held May 20-24 in Portland, OR.Poster abstracts are being accepted until the session is filled. Registration is now open. More…

Animal Mortality Symposium. 4th International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortality, Products, By-Products, and Associated Health Risk will be held in May 21-23, 2012 More…

Have your state/regional/national event added to our calendar of events. Send them to Jill at

Manure In the News

A look at animal agriculture and manure in the news, both the funny and the controversial. Inclusion here does not constitute LPELC endorsement. In other words, we don’t create this stuff, we just link to it.

Washington State to Exempt Two Anaerobic Digesters from the State Clean Air Act More…

“Road Weight Limit Exemption for Manure Hauling Passed” (Wisconsin) More…

“Methane Digester Helps Dairy Farmer Convert Manure Into Moolah” More…


If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact Jill Heemstra