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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New EPA CAFO rules

By Janette Swartz - Soilright Consultant.
I attended the EPA’s meeting on the updated CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) rules. I thought I would give an update on the notes I took from the meeting.  If there is anything to take away from the meeting it would be recordkeeping.  If you have a Certified Manure Management Plan keep records when applying manure to the fields. The first thing the EPA will ask for if they show up at your farm are your records.
They discussed some best management practices that you should implement:
·       It’s important to have the proper crop information.
·       Use realistic crop yields.
·       Know the nutrient values of your manure.
·       Use the proper agronomic manure application rates.
·       Properly dispose of any chemicals.
·       Protocols for proper spill prevention and control.
·       Annual reviews of practices.
·       Maintenance of records.
·       Maintain Soil Analysis.
·       Test manure at least once a year.

The land application fields should now be sampled twice within five years. The phosphate levels need to be maintained at levels lower than 300 pounds per acre. The new rules state manure applications are to be 50 feet from a grass waterway when applying manure unless there is a vegetative buffer. The setback from a residence for manure applications are a quarter of a mile, two hundred feet for surface waters, and a hundred feet from a tile inlet. Applications of manure on snow covered or frozen ground will require a written notice to the EPA by December 1st of that year.

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