2008 Iowa Confinement Site Manure Applicator Training

Larry K. McMullen, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

State law requires confinement site manure applicators to be certified to handle, haul, transport, or apply manure coming from a confinement facility with more than 500 animal units.  Applicators must attend 2 hours of training each year of their 3 year certification or pass an exam once every three years.  The certification training program alternates between crop and livestock topics each year.  The 2008 training was with a livestock training emphasis.  The challenge for 2008 was to find a livestock topic that would be unique and a different approach than in the past training programs.  This was necessary to create applicator interest during the manure training program.

Programmatic Response:

Larry McMullen, Iowa State University Extension Swine Field Specialist, accepted the challenge to develop a livestock training topic for the certification program.  The developed topic was a one hour segment entitled CSI Confinement Site Investigation.  This was a training module of 10 scenarios that would review the topics that were previously covered in past training programs.  Each scenario required the participant to make calculations, supply correct answers, or make sequential answers to the stated problems or concerns.  Calculators were available at the meeting for participant use.  Ten scenario questions were employed to cover calculating manure volume, water flow rates, animal units, odor concerns, catastrophic fire loss of a building, selling manure, calibrating a manure spreader, adjusting a manure plan, adjusting diets for odor control, and poultry manure applications.  During the training program, the ISU livestock field specialist and/or the ISU Ag Engineer would review and discuss with the applicators the scenarios and explain the reasoning to solve the problem.  At the end of the meeting a correct answer sheet with a listing of additional resources was handed out. The goal was for the applicator to have a hands-on approach to manure management problems solved by them, rather than a lecture approach on a specific topic.  A secondary goal was to review livestock topics presented in past years.  The developed materials included a text of the scenarios for participant use, a power point presentation for use by the ISU specialist, a discussion point bulletin for use by the ISU specialist, an answer sheet with resources for the participant, and a one hour video tape for the county walk-in applicator.

Impact / Outcome: 

Applicator acceptance of the CSI segment was excellent.  Ninety-six percent (96%) rated the CSI Scenarios either excellent or good.  From the CSI exercises 40 % will change manure application rate due to change in manure nutrient analysis, 40 % with employ different feeding strategies for odor control, 23 % will develop a neighbor relations plan to address neighbors concerns, and 32% will calibrate manure application equipment. Other change comments include:  I would consider bio-filters for my buildings, Adjust water nipple flow for less wasted water, and use water meters in buildings.  Other comments included liked the hands on calculations, liked the hands on problems, and pictures added a lot to presentations.  As one applicator stated to me personally this was the first time I did not fall asleep during the certification program.

May 1, 2008

153  Manure Testing and Utilization

Page last updated: June 13, 2008
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu