Designer Manure: Customizing Manure Nutrients to Meet Crop Needs

What if we could create ‘designer’ manures to meet crop needs? This webinar ways to blend commercial fertilizers with manure to balance nutrients. This presentation was originally broadcast on February 21, 2020. More…

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Introduction to Designer Manure

Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota (3 minutes)

Prescription Manure with Growing Crops

Glen Arnold, The Ohio State University (18 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Organomineral Fertilizer: What it is and how to use it

Paulo Pagliari, University of Minnesota (13 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Custom Fertilizers from Composted Turkey Litter

Blaize Holden, Sustane Natural Fertilizers (20 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Questions and Answers

All Presenters (13 minutes)

Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz. Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Checking Ambition with Reality: The Pros and Cons of Different Approaches to Site Assessment

Purpose

This talk is intended to spark discussion over options related to site assessment for nutrient management. It will include a brief presentation followed by open discussion.

What did we do?

The revision of the USDA-NRCS national standard for nutrient management in 2011 was driven, in part, by inconsistencies in state phosphorus (P) indices, rekindling debates over standardizing indices at regional or national scales. Reasonable arguments exist for maintaining the status quo, which allows for state specific site assessment approaches, as well as for regional and national P Indices, which would take advantage of expertise, resources and technologies that may not exist locally. In addition, a diversity of site assessment approaches have now been proposed that differ from the original P Index. Understanding the benefits and limitations provided with these approaches is key to advancing site assessment for P management.

All site assessment tools are intended to identify critical source areas of P loss that should be targeted for improved management. The original P Index provided an elegant reduction of key factors affecting P loss from agricultural fields by categorizing factors into “transport” and “source.” More than a decade after the wholesale implementation of state P Indices in 47 US States, critiques of this approach range from inconsistency in their rating of P loss vulnerability, to differences in their recommendations, to poor or “clunky” links to site management.

What have we learned?

A variety of alternative approaches to site assessment have been proposed, most relying upon simulation models that produce an array of off-site metrics, most importantly, runoff P loads. These alternatives have been strongly advocated by their developers and by others interested in quantifying the effects of changing management, but have not yet replaced the original P Indices. Strong rhetoric has been employed in favor, and in opposition, to site assessment approaches. In general, supporters of the P Index argue that it is more of an educational tool, that should be “directionally correct” to affect change in management. Supporters of the modified fate-and-transport models argue that they too can be packaged to be educational and that they have the added benefit of projecting off site benefits. Concern exists over the ability of all site assessment tools to accurately quantify P loss or P loss potential.

Inconsistencies in site assessment approaches at geo-political boundaries (typically state lines but also physiographic and watershed divides) have led to proposals for regional or national approaches to P site assessment. Legitimate tension exists between the representation of unique, local conditions (physiographic or regulatory) and consistency to ensure fairness and accuracy. Past proposals to develop a national P Indexing framework from which local P Indices could be developed were intended to overcome this tension, but were unsuccessful due to local opposition and their top-down nature. Real conflicts are inevitable when state regulations are impinged, even in the name of regional consistency

Future Plans

While the P Index is decided strategic in its approach, a new crop of site assessment tools is emerging to address the day-to-day decision support tools of farmers. These tools employ short-term weather forecasting to identify the potential for runoff to occur following manure application, and range in their sensitivity from field scale to large watershed scale. In general, it is seen that these tools are complementary to the strategic site assessment tools, but, undoubtedly, opportunity exists for a merger of strategic and tactical approaches.

Authors

Peter Kleinman, Research Leader, USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit peter.kleinman@ars.usda.gov

D. Beegle, Pennsylvania State University; D. Osmond, North Carolina State University; J. Lory, University of Missouri; P. Vadas, USDA-Agricultural Research Service; and A. Sharpley, University of Arkansas.

Additional information

This presentation is intended to underscore open discussion at the meeting on the subject of site assessment.

Acknowledgements

This presentation is the product of a national Conservation Innovation Grant aimed at promoting better coordination in nutrient management planning

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Wisconsin Professional Manure Applicator Education

Why Look at Manure Applicator Educational Programs?

Based on 2013 statistics, Wisconsin has a dairy herd of 1.2 million cows that produce 12,000,000,000 gallons of manure and waste water. Custom manure haulers in Wisconsin handle an estimated fifty percent of the dairy manure and forty per cent of all livestock manure generated in Wisconsin. Because custom manure applicators are a critical component of nutrient management plan (NMP) implementation, University of Wisconsin Extension initiated manure hauler education across the state in the early 1990’s. In 2000, the applicators sought UW – Extension advisory support in forming the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW). This began a long term relationship between UW – Extension and the professional applicators in Wisconsin and across the upper Midwest.

Following a needs assessment of the industry, the board of directors of PNAAW expressed an interest in a voluntary training and certification program. The overall goal of the training was to educate the custom manure haulers and their employees in safe handling and application practices, spill response, regulations and nutrient management. Road safety, neighbor relations, and confined space safety education modules were added later.

What did we do?

In March of 2002, the board of directors of the PNAAW and a group of Michigan manure applicators independently approached Extension in each state to initiate a voluntary certification and training program. Over the next 5 months, applicators and Extension staff examined the 5 existing manure applicator certification programs and created the program currently in use in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

Field photo 2012

Manure expo 2012, checking out a new dragline applicator.

The UW – Extension Nutrient Management Team’s Custom Manure Hauler Workgroup joined with Extension faculty in Illinois and Michigan to develop a three-state certification program with three levels of training/certification. The certification includes a partnership with the insurance industry to provide a market-based incentive to participate. Business and employee management issues are addressed during an annual multi-state regional symposium coordinated by UW-Extension.

Certification: The program is segmented into three certification levels. Firms must meet level 1 requirement to gain level 2, and meet level 2 requirements to achieve level 3.

  • Level 1: Requires each employee to be trained and tested on spill response techniques, state specific regulations (including CAFO regulations) and common sense application techniques. Firms that document compliance are eligible for a 10% vehicle liability premium reduction. Training is ~3 hours in length and is completed annually.
  • Level 2: Requires crew supervisors and business owners to attend 6 hours of continuing education over a 2 year period. Classes are offered at field days and the annual conference. Once a firm has achieved Level 2, they may conduct Level 1 training in-house.
  • Level 3: Develop and implement an EMS (Environmental Management System). The EMS requires the firm to document their process and ensure all employees know their job responsibilities. Insurance auditors will evaluate each firm’s EMS annually to insure compliance. Premium reductions include 10-40% on vehicle liability and 50% on environmental liability.

Not your typical Wisconsin “boat” show. PNAAW 2014 manure boat agitation demonstration, organized with UW-Extension.

All certification levels also require that the firm complete the PNAAW Performance Standards Checklist at least once per year.

Membership in the state’s applicator association is required for certification, as certification is granted by the association and not by Extension. Each state association may also require additional performance standards, such as documentation of equipment calibration, to grant certification.

One area of continuing education began in 2002, when UW – Extension with permission from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), conducted manure spill response training using actual manure. The basic educational focus was containing, controlling, cleaning up, and then meeting reporting requirements of a spill. Since 2002, 20 live action demonstrations have occurred. Training has expanded to include calibrating of manure equipment and determining manure application rate per acre.

What have we learned?

PNAAW requested that Extension assist in filling an educational need not met by current farm shows – being able to compare different manure agitation and application equipment side by side in the field (using actual manure) to help determine which best meets individual needs. The result was the first Manure Expo in August 2001, which drew 432 people from 5 states and Canada.

The Manure Expo has grown to an annual 2-day educational and demonstration event. 2015 is the 13th Expo; the event has been hosted by Extension and custom applicators in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania in the US and Guelph, Ontario, Canada. An average Expo will draw over 1,000 people from industry, university, farm, and application professionals.

PNAAW 2014

PNAAW 2014

The pit before the boat demonstration begins 2014.

The voluntary certification program has saved Wisconsin and Michigan over $100,000 annually because regulatory mandates require state finances for staff and office to run mandated programs. In addition to the sharing of curriculum in multiple Midwestern universities the training and educational sessions are a success in the formation/enhancement of three state associations in Michigan (now inactive), Pennsylvania, and Indiana/Ohio.

Applicator and industry partnerships contributed to a multi – state agriculture weight study based at the Minnesota DOT/University of Minnesota, MN Road Research Center. Over $640,000 was pooled from applicators and Applicator Associations (WI, MI, MN, IA, and OH), industry and agencies to fund research on the impact of larger manure hauling and agriculture equipment on pavement.

Custom manure applicators are a key component in the environmental application of manure. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has tracked crop acres managed with a NMP. In 2004, 0.7 million crop acres were managed using a NMP; in 2014 the NMP managed acres increased to 2.58 million acres in Wisconsin.

Future Plans

Each year a new need will arise. Education will be provided for employee relations, business planning, family/work balance and the need to review new technology. A few projects that began in 2014: manure boat agitation field day and precision manure application. Education will be developed in the future as a need arises from the manure application industry.

Authors

Richard Halopka, CCA, Clark County UW-Extension Crops & Soils Agent richard.halopka@ces.uwex.edu

George Koepp, Columbia County UWEX Agriculture Agent, Jerry Clark,Chippewa County UWEX Crops/Soils Educator, Ted Bay, Grant County UWEX Crops/Farm Management Agent, Kevin Erb, UWEX Conservation Professional Devp. & Training Cord., Becky Larsen, UW Biowaste Specialist, Jim Leverich, UW On Farm Research, Kim Meyer, UW Arlington ARS, Cheryl Skjolaas, UW Agriculture Safety Specialist

Additional information

In 2014, over 400 custom manure applicators in Wisconsin were certified in at least one level of the program. Eight PNAAW member application firms revised their level 3 status in 2013 and are saving $44,000 annually on pollution insurance policies, while PNAAW firms achieving level 1 and level 2 certification reduced pollution insurance policies premiums by an additional $78,000 per year.

The collaboration of PNAAW, University of Wisconsin Extension, University of Wisconsin Specialists, WDNR, DATCP and UW – Extension County Agents has provided the foundation of a proactive approach to education and training, leading to problem solving results from a knowledgeable application industry.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Professional-Nutrient-Applicators-Association-of-Wisconsin-2223955430983054/  

2009 U.S.A. water quality poster, manure spills

2009 U.S.A. water quality poster, manure spills

Bulletin for manure spill response developed by UW-Extension nutrient management team PNAAW workgroup.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Managing Dairy Nutrients for Stewardship: Washington State Science Symposium- May 2, 2014

The Science Symposium was focused on the principals and science supporting dairy nutrient management planning in Washington State. Speakers were from UC Davis, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-British Columbia, Oregon State University, Washington State University, WA Department of Ecology, Sunnyside Irrigation District and Whatcom Conservation District. Presentations related to WA NRCS Tech Note 14 (Winter Spreading) and the WA NRCS 590 (Nutrient Management Standard). The symposium ended with a panel discussion with the speakers, and concluded with a summary of expected next steps.

The goals of the symposium were to:

1. Learn the latest research regarding the winter spreading of dairy manure on water quality.

2. Identify areas of scientific agreement

3. Develop next steps

 

Please click on the highlighted presentation name below to view the recorded presentation from the symposium.

Presentation Presenter
Nitrogen Mineralization: Short and Long Term Considerations Dan Sullivan, Oregon State University
Perspectives on Wintertime Nitrogen Losses Shabtai Bittman, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Understanding and Managing Groundwater Impacts from Dairies in California Thomas Harter, University of California, Davis
A Productive Approach to Water Resource Management Jim Trull, Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District
Nitrogen Dynamics at a Grass Field Overlying the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer in Whatcom County

Joe Harrison, Washington State University

Barb Carey, WA Department of Ecology

Charles Pitz, WA Department of Ecology

Protecting Puget Sound from Agricultural Pollution Using a Progressive Manure Application Risk Management (ARM) System Nichole Embertson, Whatcom Conservation District

Winter Application of Dairy Slurry on a Grazing Based Dairy
Joe Harrison, Washington State University
Speaker Panel: Continuing the Conversation Symposium speakers and audience

 

Additional Resources:

NRCS 590 Practice Standard.pdf

WA NRCS Technical Note 14 (Winter Spreading).pdf

Contact Information:

Karla Heinitz- WA State Conservation Commission, kheinitz@scc.wa.gov

 

Phosphorus Indices: Taking Stock of Where We Are and Where We Need to Be

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Abstract

The inconsistency among P Indices in terms of level of detail and scientific underpinnings among states, as well as in recommendations and interpretations based on site risk, prompted a review and possible revision of the 590 Standard and P-Indexing approach.  The need for revision has been heightened by a slower than expected decrease in P-related water quality impairment and, in some cases, an increase in soil P to levels several fold greater than agronomic optimum due to the inability of the P Index to prevent the continued over-application of P to soils.  While the basic scientific foundations of the P-Indexing approach are sound, these concerns are real.  In this presentation, we propose the use of lower and upper boundaries of P Index use and describe an approach to evaluate individual State P Indices.

An aerial shot of the FD-36 watershed in south-central Pennsylvania (defined by the dashed white line), where soil chemistry, hydrologic, and agronomic research by USDA–ARS at University Park and Klingerstown locations identified areas of the watershed (in red) at great risk of contributing phosphorus to the stream (the blue line). This research was key to framing the application of the Phosphorus Index in Nutrient Management Planning.   See N.O. Nelson and A.L. Shober, “Evaluation of Phosphorus Indices after Twenty Years of Science and Development,” p. 1703. Photo: Andrew Sharpley.

Why Is It Important to Review the Phosphorus Index?

 Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, the phosphorus (P) Index has morphed from an educational tool to a Best Management Practice targeting and implementation tool, a manure-scheduling tool, and in many cases, a regulatory tool.  A great deal of research has been conducted across the U.S. to derive, validate, and support components of the P Indexing concept, particularly those related to source factors.  As different versions of the P Index have emerged, ostensibly to account for local topography, hydrology, soils, land use, and individual state policies and agendas, so too have differences in the P management recommendations that are made using the P Index.  As a result, there are many variations in P Indices now in use as part of the NRCS 590 Nutrient Management Conservation Standard.  This variation is both a strength and weakness of the P Indexing concept. 

Author

Andrew Sharpley, Professor, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas System.  Sharpley was one of a core group of scientists that back in the early 1990’s developed the scientific foundation of the Phosphorus Indexing approach.  Since then he has conducted extensive field research to justify source and transport factors included in Indices, which have been adopted in 49 of 51 States to guide nutrient management planning as part of the 590 Standard.  He was instrumental in changing USDA and US EPA nutrient management planning strategies away from single numeric soil phosphorus environmental thresholds to the Indexing approach for risk assessment of phosphorus management and land application.  In the last year, he coordinated a group of researchers and extension folks from diverse backgrounds to review and propose revisions to Phosphorus Indices in compliance with the 2011 590 Standard.

The author can be contacted at: sharpley@uark.edu

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Nutrient Management Standards – Making Them Work Where We Work

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Abstract

The economics and environmental impacts of livestock production cross watershed boundaries and affects both rural and urban populations. In particular, the issue of manure management has been the subject of debate and new policies in recent years as the non-point source discharge of nutrients and bacteria can be substantial if manure is not managed properly. Like most policies and rules, every five years the National Conservation Practice Standard (590) on Nutrient Management undergoes review and revision. This year, 2013, marks the initial year for adoption and implementation of state-specific and/or revised 590 standards across the United States. Despite “guiding” national standards and policies, there are different, unique approaches and tools used for nutrient management within different states and regions.

Why Discuss Nutrient Management Standards?

This session explores how different states are moving forward with nutrient management policies, standards and practices, and in particular, related to the NRCS 590 Standard. This session will include a panel discussion on unique adaptations by states to phosphorus indices, nitrogen leaching indices, winter application guidelines, air quality, and general nutrient management planning. The panel will also discuss if and how stakeholders have come together to develop these standards and practices. The discussion is also open to audience members wishing to share approaches and ideas. The session will conclude with a planning session to identify how we can, cooperatively, prepare for future policy and standard development, including discussion of collaborative research opportunities. This is a great opportunity to start building multi-state research projects to provide answers to manure management questions and issues that we might face in another five years.

Presenters

Erin Cortus, Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University erin.cortus@sdstate.edu and Nichole Embertson, Nutrient Management and Air Quality Specialist, Whatcom Conservation District, Lynden, Washington nembertson@whatcomcd.org

All presenters were invited to speak on the panel as experts on their State’s 590 revisions and/or adoption and implementation process. Their unique perspectives and processes will shed light on the regional differences in Nutrient Management and how it is affected by policy, social considerations, and regional resource concerns.

Laura Pepple, Livestock Extension Specialist, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Melony Wilson, Animal and Dairy Science Public Service Representative, University of Georgia

Bonda Habets, Certified Crop Advisor, Washington State

James Sharkoff, State Conservation Agronomist, USDA-NRCS Colorado State

Handouts

Summary of Responses from National Survey

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.