AMES, Iowa -- Iowa’s beef producers may at times feel overwhelmed when it comes to feedlot regulations, permits and improvements. Many different programs, requirements and funding opportunities make it seemingly impossible to make decisions that will improve waste management as well as work towards the producer’s long-term goals, all while working within a budget.
As a result, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension has created the Iowa Feedlot Management publication series to offer a practical, non-technical perspective on how a producer can take simple steps to protect water quality and comply with regulators, and at the same time, keep the bottom line in mind.
“These publications are designed to help producers think through permitting and construction process,” says John Lawrence, director of the Iowa Beef Center at ISU.
“For example, when working with an engineer, there are steps that can be taken and questions that can be asked that will result in projects that reflect not only the EPA’s will, but the producer’s own goals and priorities as well,” says Lawrence. In the end, the producer has to live with and pay for the changes that are made.
There are three publications currently available on-line from ISU Extension:
Common Feedlot Problems and Options: Practical Solutions for Everyday Situations (PM 2008) http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2008.pdf
Many Iowa open feedlots are either constructed or located such that they may cause water quality problems. The current operator may not have been involved in either the location or design decision, but is responsible if problems occur. This publication identifies a set of problems often seen at feedlots, and discusses a variety of options that producers should consider when finding an effective and economical solution for their operation.
Customizing Your Feedlot: Resources for Open Feedlot and Environmental Advice and Funding (PM 2009)
Iowa cattle feeders are making changes to their feedlots to improve cattle performance and stewardship, and meet environmental compliance. While each feedlot and farm site is unique, producers can often learn from the experience of other producers and professionals. There are also federal and state programs to help offset or finance some of the cost associated with facility design and construction. This publication identifies and discusses these resources and how to find out more about them.
Managing Your Plan: I Have My Permit. Now What? (PM 2010)
The application process for a NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit can be a lot of work. Additionally, developing and implementing your CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan) and applying for other feedlot waste management programs can be cumbersome. However, once the permit or approval has been given, the work does not end there. This publication offers suggestions and things to consider when planning for permit maintenance.
For more information and to download the free publications, visit the Feedlot Management page at www.iowabeefcenter.org.
The Iowa Beef Center began operation in 1996 to support the growth and vitality of the beef cattle industry of the state. A part of Iowa State University Extension, the Iowa Beef Center is the central access point for Iowa State University programs and research related to the beef industry. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.iowabeefcenter.org or call (515) 294-BEEF.