CSIF Tips of the Month – January 2016

01-13-2016 in Through The Gate

Happy New Year!

Here at the Coalition, 2016 is off to a fast and furious start. The Coalition’s Farming for the Future conference will be held in Ames next week (keep reading for more information and how to register).

At the end of the month, CSIF is hosting a windbreak workshop for Iowa landscapers, exhibiting at Iowa Pork Congress January 27-28 (booth #1212 – come see us), and presenting a breakout on enhancing neighbor relations at Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer conference.

This year, the Coalition has 2016 wall calendars available for Iowa farm families with timely farm tips and fun facts about agriculture in Iowa. If you’d like one for your home or office, please email rcook@supportfarmers.com.


Rules & Regs Highlight:

Now is the Time to Prepare for Spring Inspections

Winter has certainly arrived in our state and with it has come some challenges – particularly for cattlemen and dairy producers. An extremely wet fall and early winter followed by sub-zero temperatures has led to some potential issues on farms all across Iowa. Now would be a good time to take a look at your farm and check for any potential runoff concerns when warmer temperatures return.

In addition to potential runoff off from your feedlot, be sure to look at your manure stockpiles, feed storage areas, compost areas and silage bunker. Another item to pay close attention to is your winter feeding areas. These include areas where cattle are wintered on corn stalks or other crop residue that have the potential for manure discharges that reach a water source. The amount of crop residue remaining on the field will need to be looked at to determine if it is a “feedlot” or “winter feeding area.”

Please give the Coalition a call if you would like someone to stop out and make certain that your farm would pass a DNR or EPA inspection. The visit is free and completely confidential.

For more information, call the Coalition at 1-800-932-2436.

Manure Management Plan Reminders

Across the state, increased scrutiny is being placed on manure management plans (MMPs) and their compliance. There’s a few things you should keep in mind moving into the New Year.

On an annual basis, review the fields listed in your manure management plan. If fields need to be added or other changes made, be sure to update the MMP and submit the changes to DNR.

Remember that any field in the MMP that is not owned or rented for crop production by the owner of the confinement feeding operation needs to have a written agreement on file with DNR.

Finally, keep in mind Iowa law requires that all manure from animal feeding operations be land applied in a manner that will not cause surface or groundwater pollution. There are specified separation distances that must be met when land applying manure.

No matter the size, all animal feeding operations have some manure application setback distances that must be followed, including separations to sinkholes, wells, wetlands, water sources and high quality water resources. There are different requirements for dry and liquid manure and reduced requirements if the manure is incorporated on the same day it is applied.

For more information, refer to DNR’s fact sheet on manure application separation distances. (Note: the link will take you to a downloadable PDF from DNR.)


Windbreak Design Tip: Adding Ornamentals

Over the last several months, the Green Farmstead Partner program blog has delved further into evergreen and deciduous trees. But, those aren’t the only types of trees that can be beneficial in windbreaks.

Consider some ornamental or flowering trees to add a pop of color and visual appeal! Read more over on the blog.


Farmgate Quotables

“I would definitely recommend the Coalition to anyone looking to expand, build or bring anybody back to the farm. It’s a very good resource to have.” – Allison Brown, Wayne County farmer

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