Preview: Case Study – Environmental Issues in the Livestock Industry

April 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment

Here’s a little idea of what this case study entails.  We’ll try to post the entire presentation soon!

Case Study:

Thomas Bass (Montana State University) & Jill Hoemstra ( U of Nebraska – Lincoln)

Navigating Environmental Issues: Beginning Livestock & Poultry Producers

US Senator Jon Tester

–          3rd gen farmer, butcher, and teacher

–          1500 + acres primarily organic wheat and barley

–          Big Sandy, MT: pop 703

Quotes from letter from Sen. Tester:  “There will always be challenges. There will also always be opporutnities.  Be an innovator.  Most of the successful farmers I know today took chances no one else would…. The future of agriculture is bright, and you are the future.”

Environmental Concern

–          Primarily non-point source water pollution

  • Collective run off from an area
  • In animal ag: run-off could be from confinement areas, manure, and feed storage, or land application areas.

–          Livestock and poultry operations have the potential to contribute the following to waters of the US:

  • Nutrients,
  • sediment,
  • pathogens,
  • organic matter

–          Existing Regulations

  • Primarily water quality driven
    • Clean water act (CWA< USEPA< 1972, 77, 87)
    • CAFO Permitting
  • State rules and delegated authority
    • State rules and delegated authority
      • State enforce on behalf of federal government
      • Local ordinances
        • Zoning, setback, air quality, other

–          Animal Feeding Operations

  • Most detailed an descriptive rules apply to Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs and CAFOs)
    • Permitting: federa and/or state level
  • Animals in confinement in area with no vegetation (or inside), feed delivered
  • Permits are size based

–          Base of permit and documentation

  • Nutrient Management plan (NMP)
    • “Nutrient and Manure Checkbook”
    • Document and supporting records that account for fertilizer and manure; needs, inventory, use (land application) and export
    • Based on: soil tests, manure tests, yield goals and crop nutrient needs
    • Also documents other

–          Benefits Beyond Compliance

  • NMP or similar environmental plan can:
    • Allow for better use of on-site manure nutrients; save on fertilizer purchases and improve soil
    • Reduce liability of spills/water pollution
    • Document/defend against environmental accusation
    • Improve access to credit & insurance

–          Pasture and Range

  • Little regulation exists
  • Many options for voluntary conservation and stewardship
  • Poor management could attract unwanted attention
  • Clean water act can still apply

–          On the horizon: air and emissions

  • Green House Gasses (CH4, CO3, N2O)
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Entry filed under: Agriculture's Promise 2010, Case Study. Tags: , , .

Excerpts from Michael Scuse, FAS/USDA So what does Twitter have to do with farming?

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