AMES, Iowa –- With tight profit margins and environmental regulations, growing a feedlot operation in Iowa might not seem to be an option. Not so, according to a field specialist with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, and a central Iowa feedlot operator. A field day is planned to demonstrate how beef producers may use alternative technology to manage open feedlot runoff.
“Producers are invited to visit and learn from Bill Couser and personnel from ISU Extension who will illustrate how Couser Cattle Company has put alternative technologies for runoff management to use and to meet DNR and EPA requirements,” says Kapil Arora, ISU Extension agricultural and biosystems engineer.
Couser is an enterprising Story County producer who worked with ISU, DNR and EPA to develop alternative technology systems to meet environmental requirements and manage his operation. Improvements and additions to his Nevada farm include vegetative infiltration basins, vegetative treatment areas, and solids settling basins, instead of a settled effluent basin to manage runoff that allowed him to expand the feedlot from 800 head to 2,200 head capacity.
This alternative technology system and several others around the state will be monitored by Iowa State University to measure the effectiveness of the system in managing nutrients in feedlot runoff according to Russ Euken, ISU Extension livestock specialist. “Although the monitored systems are being used at feedlots over 1,000 head capacity to meet environmental regulations, smaller feedlots may be interested in using a similar system to manage nutrients in their feedlot” says Euken.
The field day, at Couser’s farm north of Nevada, is scheduled for Friday, June 16 at Noon, immediately following the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association’s summer conference at the Ag Information Center east of Nevada. Go north from the Ag Information Center to the Lincoln Highway and turn right (east) and proceed to Nevada. Turn north (left) on County Highway S14 (5th Street), proceed 5 miles. Couser Cattle Company is on the east (right) side of the road. No pre-registration is required and there is no attendance fee. A free lunch will be served to attendees.
The field day is sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Beef Center at ISU. For more information, contact Kapil Arora at (515) 382-6551 or Russ Euken at (641) 923-2856. For more information about the Alternative Technologies field day or other Iowa Beef Center events, visit the Calendar page at www.iowabeefcenter.org.
Rachel E. Martin, Iowa Beef Center, (515) 294-9124, firstname.lastname@example.org