Manure Applicator Certification

Terry L. Steinhart, Field Specialist/Swine, Southeast Area  

Roughly 50 million tons of manure is produced annually in Iowa.  Land application provides one of the best alternatives for utilizing manure from livestock. Manure is not harmful when applied to land according to plant needs and in a way that prevents movement into surface water and ground waters. Manure provides essential crop nutrients and increases the organic matter in the soil. Increased organic matter improves soil tilth and increases the soils water holding capacity. Animal manure contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium needed for healthy plant growth. If these nutrients are applied in excess of crop needs, either from manure or commercial fertilizer sources, they can build up in the soil and potentially cause soil nutrient imbalance concerns or move offsite to cause water quality concerns.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is the regulatory agency charged with enforcing manure management laws the Iowa Legislature has passed. Three major bills have been passed since 1995 that govern livestock and poultry facilities in Iowa. House File 519 was passed in 1995 and required manure management plans for new confinement facilities.
In 1998 House File 2494 passed, requiring more manure management plans; adding separation distances between land application of manure and certain buildings, public use areas and protected waters such as wellheads; and requiring manure applicators to be certified to land apply manure.
In April 2002, the third major livestock bill, Senate File 2293 was enacted. This 69-page bill added some additional separation distances between land application of manure and protected areas, and increased some separation distances.
Iowa State University Extension state and field specialist develops and delivers the program to certify commercial and private manure applicators.
This evaluation information pertains to three locations that I helped deliver the program.  One hundred percent of the participants said that the information on rules update and manure sampling strategies was either good to excellent.  Eighty eight percent of the participants said the information on feed management and biofilters was good to excellent.
Eighty percent of the participants agreed with the statement that the information presented was useful for their farm operation.  Ninety seven percent of the participants agreed with the statement that the presenters were prepared and knowledgeable.
Thirty one of forty participants said that as a result of MAC training they either adopted or plan to adopt a manure sampling plan.

March 10, 2006
103 - Nutrient Management

Page last updated: July 8, 2006
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