Manure Certification Training Helps Producers Protect Environment

Kris Kohl, Ag Engineering Field Specialist, Northwest Area


Livestock producers with confinement units need to follow environmental regulations and proper management of their manure to protect our environment.  Proper application of the manure will produce good yields and economic returns and a safe work environment.  Improper applications can pollute streams, waterways and the groundwater.  New requirements to convert current manure management plans from nitrogen crop needs to phosphorus index were adopted by the legislature. 
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas produced when manure is agitated in a pit and can cause death to livestock and humans.  Each year about 4 to 6 producers die from being overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas. 

Producers with manure management plans must have certified personal apply the manure from their confinements.  This program is provided as an educational way of meeting the certification requirements for producers families and their hired help.  The program is designed to address the accidents, hazards, and Environmental problems that have accrued so that they can be avoided in the future.  The program also includes current research on the results of proper manure application on crop production.  
This years program looked at some new data on how to prevent hydrogen sulfide poisoning during agitation and pumping.  We also evaluated how many producers developed emergency plans and spill kits to reduce the impact of a spill.

This year 454 livestock producers and their employees attended workshops in Northwest Iowa with 359 filling out an evaluation of the program. The producers responded most favorably to the hydrogen sulfide presentation with over 98% reporting a good or excellent presentation.  Ninety-six percent responded that the presenters were prepared and knowledgeable.  The information presented was useful to 86% of the participants.  Additional outcomes of the program were:
        82% had or planned to adopt safety measures to prevent hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
        90% were planning soil testing for the new P-Index manure plans.
        65% adopted biosecurity measures to reduce disease transmission.
        88% were implementing strategies to meet the P-index requirements.
        55% developed emergency action plans or spill kits.
This program has helped reduce the number of fish kills from about 15 per year prior to the training to about 5 while the number of large livestock operations has continued to increase.

September 30, 2005
103 -- Nutrient Management

Page last updated: July 4, 2006
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