By Angela Rieck-Hinz, Department of Agronomy
Confinement site manure applicators and anyone interested in learning about manure issues should plan to attend a two-hour workshop offered by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension in January or February 2011. These workshops are offered in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There is no fee to attend the workshops, but applicators will need to pay certification fees to complete certification requirements.
“Iowa law requires confinement site manure applicators to attend two hours of continuing education each year of their three-year certification period, or take and pass an exam once every three years,” said Angela Rieck-Hinz, ISU Extension program specialist and coordinator of the manure applicator certification program.
A total of 72 confinement site manure applicator workshops will be held in 63 Iowa counties. In addition, a series of seven dry/solid manure certification meetings will be held in February. ISU Extension county offices have a complete list of workshop dates and locations, or view a list at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/certification/11confinementsitebrochure.pdf
Workshop participants will learn about land application rules, separation distances for land application of manure, new rules regarding winter application of manure on snow-covered and frozen ground and manure nitrogen management issues. In addition, a video highlighting safety practices from pumping out deep-pits will be shared.
The workshop serves as initial certification for those applicators who are not currently certified, recertification for those renewing licenses and continuing education for those applicators in their second or third year of their license. If a confinement livestock operation has more than 500 animal units, the operator must be certified to apply manure unless the manure is applied by a commercial manure applicator. The certification fee is $100 for a three-year certificate. Confinement site applicators also must pay the $25 annual education fee. All fees are submitted to Iowa DNR.
Due to uniform certification deadlines, applicators are encouraged to attend workshops prior to March 1 to avoid being assessed a late fee of $12.50. Those unable to attend one of the workshops need to schedule a time with their ISU Extension county office to watch the training DVD. Many extension offices will no longer accept walk-in appointments to watch these DVDs due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, county offices offer scheduled dates and times to provide this training.
Beginning March 1, applicators unable to attend training during one of the scheduled reshow dates at a county extension office will be charged a $10 fee to view the training at their convenience. There will not be a fee charged for scheduled training dates and live workshops. If attending the workshops or watching the two-hour training DVD is not convenient, confinement site manure applicators may contact their local DNR field office to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam to meet certification requirements.
Contact an ISU Extension county office for more information about the Manure Applicator Certification Program or visit www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/mac.html.
Angela Rieck-Hinz is an extension program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and is the coordinator of the Iowa Manure Management Action Group (IMMAG). Rieck-Hinz can be reached at (515) 294-9590 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.