The drought is not only affecting crops and feed prices, but could also have an impact on open lot manure management. Low water flow and hot temps make our streams vulnerable to nutrient flows if we do get a heavy rain. Reduce that potential by using this dry weather to scrape open lots and remove nutrients prior to potential rainfall. See the comments from Angela Rieck-Hinz.
Managing runoff from an open lot can be challenging, but the first step is to test the water below the lot to determine if there is a problem. With the potential for rain in the forecast, now is a good time to test.
ISU Extension and Outreach has partnered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to place water quality testing kits for ammonia in 20 county extension offices. These counties host kits: Allamakee, Buena Vista, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Delaware, Dubuque, Floyd, Johnson, Lyon, Mitchell, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Pottawattamie (east), and Story. These kits are available for livestock producers to use to check water quality in streams below their feedlots and cow yards. The test kits come with an instructional video and a fact sheet on water quality testing and impacts, links to both resources are available on the Small Feedlots webpage. The results of this water testing are confidential and livestock producers are not required to share this information. This testing can help identify if runoff is reaching a stream and the potential impact on aquatic life.
The “Water Quality Initiative for Small Iowa Beef and Dairy Feedlot Operations”, also called the “Small Feedlot Project” is now available. This initiative is an educational outreach plan supported by the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, the Iowa State Dairy Association, the USDA-NRCS and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The objective is to assist operators of small open feedlots and small dairies in assessing feedlot and outdoor pen areas for potential runoff of manure and nutrients and to implement practices and strategies to mitigate potential manure impacts on water quality.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach developed the educational materials, hosts these materials on a dedicated Web page, and coordinates and hosts field days/demonstration sites where producers can learn about practices and management strategies to reduce runoff impacts on water quality. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has partnered to place water quality testing kits in 20 counties. These kits are available for livestock producers to use to check water quality in streams below their feedlots and cow yards. The test kits come with an instructional video and a fact sheet on water quality testing and impacts. The results of this water testing are confidential and livestock producers are not required to share this information. This testing can help identify if runoff is reaching the stream and the potential impact on aquatic life.
Good sanitation is important to preventing injection site abscesses. Here are a few tips from Dr. Grant Dewell, our Extension veterinarian.
“Syringes should be cleaned after every use. Do not use disinfectant solutions especially for syringes that are used for vaccines. I recommend that you label your syringes for different products (viral, clostridial, dewormer, antibiotic, etc.).
To clean a reusable syringe, clean the outside of the syringe first, removing any dirt or manure. You can wipe the outside of the syringe with a disinfectant wipe. Then take the syringe apart and clean the inside parts with hot water. Lubricate the plunger with glycerin or cooking spray. Re-assemble the syringe and then rinse a metal syringe with boiling water or microwave a plastic syringe with water. Store syringes in a plastic ziplock bag to keep clean. I prefer to make sure syringes are dry before storing.”
For more advice on cleaning syringes check out this great instructional video from Dr. Dee Griffin, Great Plains Veterinary Center, Clay Center, NE on how to sterilize reusable syringes.