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Stockpiling Manure Part 2: Deep-bedded Manure Systems
By Angela Rieck-Hinz, Extension Program Specialist, ISU Department of Agronomy

AMES, Iowa -- The focus of this article will address stockpiling regulations for deep-bedded cattle barns.  Part 1 in this series addressed stockpiling regulations for open feedlots.  If you are distributing or selling dry cattle manure, a different set of regulations will apply to your operation.  In general you should understand there are four different sets of stockpiling regulations, each applicable to different manure sources, so you should determine how your operation is defined and which set of rules will affect your operation.

Based on the four different sets of stockpiling regulations, deep-bedded cattle barns fall under the category of stockpiling dry bedded manure.  This type of manure is defined as  1) the manure does not flow perceptibly under pressure, 2) the manure is are not capable of being transported through a mechanical pumping device designed to move a liquid, and 3) the manure contains bedding.

Stockpiles from deep-bedded barns must be land applied as soon as possible but no later than six months after they are established.  Land application of dry bedded manure from stockpiles must not cause any water quality violations. And, must meet any specific requirements outlined in your NPDES permit.  Do not stockpile manure in a grassed waterway, where water pools on the soil surface or anywhere surface water will enter the stockpile. Do not stockpile dry-bedded manure on land with slope of more than 3% unless methods, structures or practices are implemented to contain the stockpiled solids. These methods can include the use of hay bales, silt fences, temporary earthen berms, or other measures.  Dry bedded manure can’t be stockpiled on karst terrain or above an alluvial aquifer unless there is at least 5 feet of low permeability soil or rock above the limestone in the karst terrain or the sand and gravel in an alluvial aquifer and is on reinforced concrete at least 5 inches thick.  At least two soil borings must be completed and a report submitted by a professional engineer or NRCS qualified staff person to determine the vertical depth of separation.

Stockpiles from dry bedded manure sources must be at least:
                1,250 feet from a neighbor’s residence, business, church, school or public use area
                800 feet from a high quality water resource;
                400 feet from a known sinkhole, cistern, abandoned well, unplugged agricultural drainage well, ag drainage well surface intake, drinking water well, designated wetland or water source;
                200 feet from a terrace tile inlet, surface tile inlet unless the stockpiles are located such that any runoff from the stockpile will not reach the inlet or sinkhole.
A list of high quality water resources can be found in the publication DNR 117 High Quality Water Resources.

Looking back at what's ahead

By Dan Loy, interim IBC director

Later this month many of us will congregate around a large table of family and friends and give thanks for the blessings of the past year. For some, the list includes better prices, good health, friendly neighbors, good friends, decent yields and plenty of winter feed. Even for those of you who have faced challenges the past year, I hope you find some things to be thankful for. Personally, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the cattle people of Iowa on a daily basis.
(Read the rest of Dan's column for the November Iowa Cattleman magazine)

IBC Staff to offer Risk and Margin Management Workshops

Cattle feeders in northwest, north central and northeast Iowa are invited to a risk and margin management workshop next month. Learn about risk management tools like futures, options, and livestock insurance, and how to use those tools in your operation.
You'll be guided through using actual market prices from a two-year period to make marketing and feeder cattle and corn purchase decisions. Also, you'll explore the concept of locking in a margin between the selling price of fed cattle and the cost of corn and feeder cattle.
The workshops run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and are sponsored by IBC, Land O’Lakes and local cooperatives. Fee is $25 per person and payable at the door. Preregistration is required to ensure each workshop location has at least eight and no more than 26 attendees. Contact the appropriate person listed below no later than 3 days before the workshop you will attend.
Continue to check the IBC website for additional dates and locations
Dec. 9. Wall Lake, ISU Extension beef specialist Beth Doran, doranb@iastate.edu OR ISU Extension beef specialist Clint McDonald, clint@iastate.edu
Dec. 10. DeWitt, ISU Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab, dschwab@iastate.edu 
Dec. 13. Osage, ISU Extension beef specialist Russ Euken, reuken@iastate.edu 
Dec. 15. Estherville, ISU Extension beef specialist Beth Doran, doranb@iastate.edu OR ISU Extension beef specialist Russ Euken reuken@iastate.edu 
Dec. 17. Waukon, ISU Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab, dschwab@iastate.edu
January 2011(sessions run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Jan. 11 Pella, ISU Extension beef specialist Byron Leu, bleu@iastate.edu 
Jan. 12 Fairfield, ISU Extension beef specialist Byron Leu, bleu@iastate.edu

New IBC Fact Sheet on Feed Efficiency

Production efficiency is one goal in the selection and  development of livestock; however, there are two underlying philosophies from which one may define “efficient” and direct future outcomes.
The first is maintenance efficiency. This is of primary importance in those cow herds where an efficient cow is considered one that can subsist on low inputs and yet provide a respectable calf each year. The second is production efficiency which generally is applied to feedlot cattle where the goal is minimal pounds of feed and maximum edible pounds of output.

These two efficiencies may not be the same because low maintenance cows might tend to be easy fleshing and earlier maturing while the feedlot efficient counterparts may be larger, leaner and faster growing.
Feed efficiency is defined in many ways including the newer terms of RFI (residual feed intake) and R-ADG (residual average daily gain.) In a new fact sheet from IBC, "Phenotypic Feed Efficiency: Understanding Data Outputs" a discussion of these methods follows descriptions of the simpler efficiency evaluations.