STORM LAKE, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Center will host a three-site tour for beef producers in Lyon County early next month. Extension ag engineer Kris Kohl said the northwest Iowa half-day tour on Aug. 7 will provide an opportunity for feedlot operators to look at different manure control structures and management options for small open feedlots, and hear from extension staff on costs associated and related to each system.
“Two of the locations feature effluent pumping and are part of a demonstration project funded by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State,” Kohl said. “The third shows an alternative technology of a settling basin with grass infiltration strip, and is funded with EQIP dollars.”
The tour starts at 1 p.m. at the Brian Mogler farm located two miles south of Lester at 1695 Dove Ave. (K30). This location demonstrates how producers can collect manure effluent below settling basins and pump the effluent to nearby cropland, redirecting the nutrients away from water sources.
The second stop begins at approximately 2:15 p.m. at the Perry Mogler farm located at 2027 100th St., Larchwood. This site demonstrates the use of a settling basin with a grass infiltration strip.
The third stop will start at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the Gary Twedt farm located at 1652 Beech Ave., Larchwood. The Twedt farm will demonstrate an effluent pumping system.
The pumping demonstrations at the first and third sites are part of an IBC-funded project to look at the cost-effectiveness of using pumps to manage effluent from settling basins at small feedlots under the permit threshold size of 1,000 beef animals. Iowa law requires all feedlots, regardless of size, to settle the manure solids coming off a feedlot. Once the solids are settled, the effluent can be released as long as it does not cause a water quality violation. One effective solution is to use small pumps to divert the effluent runoff from drainage pathways and distribute it on crop fields where growing crops can use the water and the nutrients.
This tour also is supported in part by the Water Quality Initiatives for Small Iowa Beef and Dairy Feedlot Operations. The primary objectives of this project are to 1) educate producers to better understand the pollution potential of open feedlots; 2) train producers to accurately assess the water pollution potential of their feedlots; 3) assist producers to identify and evaluate appropriate runoff control alternatives; and 4) provide technical assistance to producers to implement solutions that improve the environmental performance of their feedlots. More information about this initiative can be found at: http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/smallfeedlotsdairy.html.