Fertilizer License and Poultry Litter

Source: Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, OSU Extension (edited)

 

This winter there have been a few questions  about fertilizer license and spreading poultry manure.  According to Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), passed a few years ago, any farmer handling, receiving, or applying poultry litter (or any other manure) from a PERMITTED farm in Ohio must have either a fertilizer license or a Certified Livestock Manager certificate or be a Certified Crop Advisor.  If you have nay questions, call the Knox County Extension Office at 740-397-0401.

Ohio Agricultural Law Blog–In the Weeds: Taking a Closer Look at the Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program

If You Are Involved in Agriculture – You Need to Read This!!

Lake Erie once again made headlines when the Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” (LEBOR) initiative could be placed on the Toledo ballot on February 26, 2019.  The decision raised alarm in Ohio’s agricultural community and fears that, if passed, the measure will result in litigation for farmers in the Lake Erie watershed.

The OSU Extension Agricultural and Resource Law Program took a close look at LEBOR.  Specifically, we wanted to know:

  • What does Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights petition mean?
  • What does the petition language say?
  • What happened in the legal challenges to keep the petition off the ballot?
  • Have similar efforts been successful, and if not, why not?
  • Who has rights in Lake Erie?
  • What rights do business entities have?

We examine all of these questions, plus a number of frequently asked questions, in a new format called “In the Weeds.”  While many of our readers know of our blog posts and law bulletins, explaining this issue required something different.  Using “In the Weeds” is a way for us to dig into a current legal issue more in depth.

For answers to the questions above and more, CLICK HERE to view the new “In the Weeds: The Lake Erie Bill of Rights Ballot Initiative.”

Watersheds in Distress – New Reg’s Coming

Governor John Kasich signed an executive order on July 11, 2018 directing the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to “consider whether it is appropriate to seek the consent of the Ohio Soil and Water Commission (OSWC) to designate” certain watersheds “as watersheds in distress due to increased nutrient levels resulting from phosphorous attached to soil sediment.”  Since that time, ODA has submitted a proposed rule dealing with Watersheds in Distress.  Amendments were made to the proposed rule after evaluating the first set of public comments, and ODA is now resubmitting the rules package.

 Highlights of the Department’s revisions include the following changes:
  1. Make the proposed rule mirror the existing standards in the Revised Code that govern the application of manure and fertilizer on frozen, snow-covered and rain-soaked ground in the Western Basin.  These standards were enacted in Senate Bill 1 of the 131st General Assembly;
  2. Remove the manure application prohibition window for Grand Lake Saint Marys;
  3. Give the Director more flexibility in establishing the deadline for the submission and approval of nutrient management plans;
  4. Allow farmers to attest to the completion of their nutrient management plans by the deadline, while maintaining Ohio Department of Agriculture oversight to verify the completion and incorporation of a nutrient management plan.

A draft of the newly amended proposed rules is available here.

Timing Manure Application to Avoid Neighbor Nuisances

As we move closer to fall harvest and begin to plan for fall manure applications I thought this article “Timing Manure Application to Avoid Neighbor Nuisances” by Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska might be of some interest.  The biggest complaint I hear from neighbors near livestock facilities is the manure smell during and after spreading. In “today’s world” ( see whats going on in North Carolina) anything we can do to maintain good neighbor relations will be a benefit to our operations!  As farmers we need to do our part to be a good neighbor as well.  This article provides some useful insight and options to consider when making manure applications throughout the year.

Agricultural nutrients targeted in Clean Lake 2020 bill and Kasich Executive Order

by: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

Recent actions by the Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich will affect the management of agricultural nutrients in Ohio.   The Ohio General Assembly has passed “Clean Lake 2020” legislation that will provide funding for reducing phosphorous in Lake Erie.  Governor Kasich signed the Clean Lake 2020 bill on July 10, in tandem with issuing Executive Order 2018—09K, “Taking Steps to Protect Lake Erie.”  The two actions aim to address the impact of agricultural nutrients on water quality in Lake Erie.

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Reduced Cost Manure Samples and Soil Samples Available to Pork Producers

By Glen Arnold, CCA
The Ohio Pork Council, Brookside Labs, Menke Consulting Inc., and OSU Extension are teaming up to encourage pork producers to learn
more about livestock manure and soil sampling by offering discounts on manure sample analysis and soil sample analysis through the end of 2018.
Soil sample bags and manure containers have been mailed to approximately 18 county Extension offices in central and western Ohio. Sample
containers are also available by stopping in at Brookside Labs. For pork producers to participate they need to follow these steps.
1. Online Survey: All participating pork producers must complete an online survey. If they are unable to complete an online survey they are
encouraged to work with their local Soil and Water Office or OSU Extension to complete the survey. The survey is here: http://www.ohiopork.org/soilsample
2. Unique Identifying Code (UIC): Within 24 hours of completing the survey, participants will receive an email from Remington Road Group
containing a soil sample worksheet with a unique identifying code that qualifies them for the discount with Brookside Labs.
3. Appropriate paperwork will also be available online for the participants to print and complete to attach with their manure and soil
samples.
4. All soil samples must include a swine manure sample to qualify.
5. Samples and accompanying worksheets will be delivered by the pork producer to Brookside Laboratories in New Bremen (200 White
Mountain Drive) M-F between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Appropriate fee will accompany samples when delivered to Brookside (check or
credit card). Checks should be made out to “Brookside Laboratories, Inc.”
6. Soil and manure test results will be sent to the producer directly from Brookside to the customer’s address. Sample identification on the reports
will be a code number that will link the customer to soil tests. Only Brookside Labs will have record of the customer’s identification. The discounted cost of a soil sample analysis will be $3.00/sample. The discounted cost of a manure sample analysis will be $20/sample.

By participating, pork producers agree to allow the Ohio Pork Council to utilize the information provided at their discretion in an aggregated format (no personal or individual farm information).Tom Menke is serving as a point of contact for individuals who need assistance sampling, interpreting
results or questions. For the greatest accuracy, manure samples should be collected when manure storages have been properly agitated and the manure is being land applied. For more information please contact the Ohio Pork Council at 614-882-5887.

Hauling Pen-Pack Manure

Since spring has arrived, both large and small livestock owners with pen-pack manure are looking to apply the manure as soon as field conditions allow. Across the state I have seen stockpiles of pen-pack manure outside of sheep, horse, cattle, and dairy buildings. The nutrients and organic matter in pen-pack manure are an excellent addition to farm fields.

While the nutrients and organic matter in pen-pack manure are an excellent addition to farm fields, we always want to keep water quality in mind when handing manure.

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eFields Report Now Available

eFields represents an Ohio State University program dedicated to advancing production agriculture through the use of field-scale research. This program utilizes modern technologies and information to conduct on-farm studies with an educational and demonstration component used to help farmers and their advisors understand how new practices and techniques can improve farm efficiency and profitability. The program is also dedicated to delivering timely and relevant, data-driven, actionable information. Current projects are focused on precision nutrient management strategies and technologies to improve efficiency of fertilizer placement, enable on-farm evaluation, automate machine functionality, enhance placement of pesticides and seed, and to develop analytical tools for digital agriculture.

 The results from Knox County Seeding Trials are included on page 86.  The entire report can be downloaded at https://fabe.osu.edu/programs/eFields

The Economic Value of Applying Fall Poultry Litter

by: Jordan Shockley, University of Kentucky Assistant Extension Professor

Spring application of poultry litter is ideal for maximizing the economic value of poultry litter but faces challenges that include wet soil conditions, lack of time to spread litter near planting, and availability of poultry litter in the spring. Therefore, it is a common practice in Kentucky to apply poultry litter in the fall. While not optimal from an economic, agronomic, or environmental perspective, producers still need to understand the economic value from applying poultry litter in the fall.

Poultry litter applied in the fall to fallow cropland will suffer from ammonium volatilization and leaching resulting in little to no nitrogen available to the crop come spring. This results in an economic value less than if applied in the spring. To evaluate the economic value of poultry litter applied in the fall, first assume that soil test recommendations indicate the need for phosphorus and potassium. Also, assume that “as received” poultry litter has a nutrient content of 50 lbs of nitrogen, 56 lbs of phosphorus, and 47 lbs of potassium (average for Kentucky). With current fertilizer prices of $399/ton for anhydrous ($0.24/lb N), $418/ton for DAP ($0.36/lb P2O5) and $316/ton for potash ($0.26/lb K2O), the expected value of poultry litter applied to fallow cropland in the fall is $29/ton. This value should cover the price paid for the poultry litter, transport, and application to compete with commercial fertilizer when applied in the fall. The value of poultry litter increases to $33/ton if it is spread in the fall to cropland that has a cover crop planted. Both fall poultry litter prices are lower compared to 2016. This is directly attributed to the decrease in nitrogen prices from $0.32/lb to $0.24/lb. This decrease value was slightly offset by small increases in both phosphorus and potassium prices.

If availability of poultry litter in the spring is a concern, stockpiling litter purchased in the fall can be an option if local, state and federal regulations allow. With the correct storage techniques and a properly staked litter pile, producers can expect minimum nutrient loss for spring application. If the same commercial fertilizer prices hold, the average poultry litter in Kentucky would have a value of $36/ton if properly stored and applied in the spring.

The value of poultry litter differs in the fall if applied to pastures or land for hay production. If applying poultry litter to an established stand of alfalfa with a legume mix of <25% of the stand, the average poultry litter in Kentucky at current commercial fertilizer prices has a value of $40/ton. The value of poultry litter will vary based on grass type, established stands vs. new seeding/renovation, and whether the land is used for hay, pasture, or silage.

Since the value of poultry litter is dynamic and always changing, decision tools have been developed so producers can enter soil test data, nutrient content of measured litter, commercial fertilizer prices, and management practices of poultry litter applied to determine the value. Tools for applying poultry litter to both grain crops and land in hay/pasture/silage are available and can be found on my website at the following link: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/shockley_jordan.php