Manure management assistance
by Paul Miller, USDANatural Resources Conservation Service, Des Moines
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical assistance in the planning, design, and construction of animal manure management systems. This assistance includes the collection, storage, treatment, and use of manure that is consistent with the principles of conservation of natural resources. Financial assistance also is provided through various state and federal cost-sharing programs to help producers implement components and practices of a system.
The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that provides cost-share to install structural practices, such as a manure storage facility, and incentive payments for certain management practices such as nutrient management and filter strips. EQIP funds are directed to locally led project areas and are used to address statewide resource concerns. Manure management has been designated as a statewide concern and eligible for cost-share. To be eligible for EQIP funding, a livestock operation needs to be less than 1,000 animal units, which is approximately 6,600 finishing hogs; 2,200 sows and litter; 700 dairy cows; and 1,000 beef cows, depending on the animals weight.
EQIP applications are ranked and selected for funding based on environmental benefits and costs of applying the planned conservation practices. Producers selected for funding enter into 5- to 10-year contracts to implement a plan that addresses the resource concerns and treats the land to a sustainable level.
Practices needed, as part of a manure management system, may vary from one operation to another, depending on the operations objectives. Practices for a solid manure system include earthen or concrete sediment basins, solids stacking facilities, and solids settling terraces. A concrete floor and ramp to accommodate solids cleanout are recommended for sediment basins and stacking facilities. Sediment basins also may include a stop log or intake structure to slowly release liquids and allow time for solids to separate from the liquid. To prevent water source contamination, liquids released from a basin, terrace, or stacking facility need to be treated or stored until used by crops.
Private consultants are available statewide to provide nutrient and manure management planning and storage facility design assistance. For a listing of consultants see the Iowa Manure Management Action Group Web site at extension.agron.iastate.edu/immag/.
For details about technical assistance and federal- and state-funded programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center, NRCS, and Soil and Water Conservation District office.
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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