UNION CITY, Ohio -- Manure Science Review this year will have a clear focus on water.
The annual learning event will present more than a dozen sessions on getting the most from the nutrients in manure while limiting the chance of them reaching lakes and streams. It’s for farmers and others in the industry.
“Manure is an excellent soil amendment and provides nutrients for crop growth,” said Glen Arnold, an organizer of the event and manure nutrient management systems field specialist for Ohio State University Extension.
“Every positive step we take in properly applying manure is a positive step in the direction of better water quality,” he said.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
Curbing farm nutrient runoff is in the spotlight due to the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys and other water bodies.
The issue made headlines last summer when toxins from a western Lake Erie algal bloom caused a two-day water use ban in Toledo.
Experts think the blooms are fueled by excess nutrients in the water, especially phosphorus from farm runoff.
In western Ohio
Manure Science Review is 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 12 at Mississinawa Valley High School, 10480 Staudt Road, in Union City, Ohio, on the border with Indiana.
The speakers at the event will come from the college; from county, state and federal agencies; and from the farming community and agricultural industry.
Arnold will be one of them, presenting “Extending the Application Window” together with farmer Tom Harrod of Darke County’s Harrod Farms. They’ll discuss using swine finishing manure on emerged corn as a substitute for side-dressed nitrogen.
Other sessions, for example, will cover how to meet Ohio’s new fertilizer regulations, including the ban on applying manure to frozen or snow-covered ground; how to minimize runoff based on a recent statewide study of nutrient movement in fields; and how to prevent manure spills and respond to them if they happen.
Another session will look at lessons learned last winter in western Ohio. A thaw after farmers had spread manure on snowy fields caused a rash of runoff problems in streams.
Smoke test, other field demos
Afternoon field demonstrations will feature composting manure, calibrating a solid manure spreader, using a new subsurface poultry litter injector, planting and applying manure to cover crops, and using a smoke test to show nutrient runoff risks through subsurface tile drainage.
Find full details on the speakers, topics and continuing-education credits in the event flier, which can be downloaded at go.osu.edu/MSR2015.
Registration is $25 by Aug. 4, $30 after that date, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.
Register using the form in the flier at go.osu.edu/MSR2015, or send your name, contact information and check for payment to Mary Wicks, OARDC/OSU, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Make checks payable to OARDC/OSU.
Clean water, productive farms
In response to Toledo’s water crisis, the college last year established a new comprehensive water quality program. Called Field to Faucet, it aims to ensure safe water for all Ohioans while keeping the state’s farms productive and profitable.
Columbus had its own water scare in June, when heavy rains and subsequent runoff of sewage, manure and fertilizer led to unsafe nitrate levels in the city’s tap water and a water-use advisory for infants and pregnant women.
Co-hosting Manure Science Review are the college, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio’s soil and water conservation districts, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Soil and Water Resources, the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Farm Bureau, Cooper Farms, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The event’s sponsors include Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Livestock Coalition, Ag Credit-Country Mortgages, Cooper Farms and Quellz Products Inc.