BROOKINGS, S.D. - Livestock manure nutrients are a valuable resource available to crop farmers in South Dakota.
When obtaining manure from an outside livestock facility, especially from an out-of-state facility, crop farmers are encouraged to ask about environmental permits at the state and county level, explains Erin Cortus, SDSU Extension Air Quality and Waste Management Specialist.
"There are a couple different things that need to be considered when purchasing manure and hauling it across state lines. Is the facility you're buying the manure from considered a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) or not? If this out-of-state facility is not considered a CAFO, then the general permit restrictions don't apply," said Cortus, during a recent iGrow Radio Network interview.
However, she adds, if the livestock facility is permitted, then the permitted livestock operation must include the partnering crop farmer's acreage in their nutrient management plans, and have all needed documentation in place with the state to ensure the manure is being used properly. This includes a written agreement, Cortus explains.
"If your land is included as part of another producer's nutrient management plan, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources will need a written agreement from the land owner," said Cortus, adding that similar steps need to be taken when manure is hauled from a permitted facility within South Dakota. This responsibility falls on the livestock producer.
She also encourages farmers, before purchasing manure, to ask if the manure has been manipulated so they understand what they will be receiving. Manipulated manure can be considered a soil amendment or fertilizer and different distribution and storage rules therefore apply.
"Manipulating manure can include drying, cooking, grinding, adding other materials, pelletizing or composting, according to South Dakota Department of Agriculture," she said.
Cortus advises anyone dealing with livestock manure to handle and apply the nutrients in a responsible manner.
For more information on this topic, visit iGrow.org. The iGrow Radio Network and SDSU Extension bring listeners an informative show each day. For more information on the iGrow Radio Network, or to listen to archived shows, visit iGrow.