Over the last 20 years, manure management has moved from a secondary planning issue to a primary consideration for livestock operations. Environmental awareness and economic value has increased public and producer interest in how manure is managed on farm operations.
Manure management for a large number of farms includes hiring a custom manure application service. More than 100 custom application firms serve Wisconsin livestock farms. These firms apply approximately six billion gallons of dairy manure alone per year. Companies range from applying a few hundred thousand gallons to as much as 500 million gallons per year. This industry capacity makes custom applicators an integral and significant component of success in nutrient management on Wisconsin farms.
In 2000, state applicators formed the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW). The Association sponsors ongoing professional development to assist members in staying abreast of regulation changes and advancements in manure handling. UW-Extension assisted PNAAW in development of a three-tier training and certification program for Association members.
As part of the professional development program the Association holds an annual winter conference and in 2001 held a manure handling expo as a demonstration and education forum dedicated to the custom application industry. The expo, begun as the Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo, has travelled to six states including Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Nebraska and returns to Wisconsin in 2012 as the North American Manure Expo.
The 2012 show is being held Aug. 22 at the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center near Prairie du Sac. Expo demonstrations will include manure pit agitation and pumping with propellers, boats, and barges. This session will also feature demonstrations of pump monitoring and control with mobile computer and communication devices.
Field demonstrations will include solid and liquid manure application equipment. A dragline hose demonstration will include use of bladder or frac tank temporary field storage and a "hose bridge" used to cross active roadways. A manure spill response session will demonstrate practices that help avoid environmental contamination during manure application and procedures to follow in event a manure spill does occur.
PNAAW members keep abreast of new regulations, research and equipment technology to aid in regulatory compliance and operational efficiency and to meet requirements of client nutrient management plans. Education topics at this years' Expo include Nitrification Inhibitors for Manure, Timing of Manure Application to Reduce Phosphorus Loss in Runoff, Manure Nutrient Availability, Impact of Application Method on Corn Yield and Nitrogen Utilization, Manure Equipment Effects on Rural Roads and Bridges, OSHA Regulations, Handling and Separation of Sand Laden Manure, Variability of Manure Nutrient Content, Using Precision Ag Technology in Manure Application, Manure Application Methods to Improve Nutrient Utilization and Reduce Environmental Impact, Manure application through Irrigation, Phosphorus and Nitrogen Loss in Manure Application, and Economics of Manure Application.
The North American Manure Expo is the largest manure handling show in the U.S. and features exhibitors with the latest manure handling equipment and technology and members of the scientific community with the latest research results on manure management. Show visitors view the Expo as a one-stop opportunity to gain information to improve manure management from the farmstead to the field. The 2012 Expo opens at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. The Expo is open to the public at no charge.
Bay is the Extension crops and farm management agent for Grant and Lafayette counties.