August farm tour will feature manure processing and conservation practices

Participants in the “What’s New with Poo” bus tour will visit four farms implementing cutting-edge technologies and utilizing unique conservations practices.

On August 18, 2015 Michigan State University Extension and the Clinton County Conservation District will be hosting a farm tour for livestock farmers and cash crop farmers who utilize manure in their crop nutrient program. This event will feature manure processing technologies and conservation practices that help retain manure nutrients in the rootzone for crop utilization. The “What’s new with Poo” bus tour will originate from Providence Agriculture’s Carson City location at 9650 Roosevelt Road at 8:15 a.m., space is limited and pre-registration is required, which is available online or by calling the Clinton County Conservation District at (989) 224-3720 or the Gratiot County MSU Extension Office at (989) 875-5233. The registration fee, which covers the tour, lunch and all materials, is $25 per person or $40 per farm up to four individuals. Please be sure to pre-register early for this event. 

“What’s New with Poo” promises to be an informative event. The tour will provide the opportunity to see firsthand practices being implemented on Michigan farms, time to network with fellow producers and learn from University and company researchers.

The processes and four farms featured on this tour include:

  • Manure handling and processing at Double Eagle Dairy. This innovative manure handling system processes manure into three or more components, each with a different nutrient composition. This system is designed to reduce the cost associated with manure application, improve manure nutrient utilization and reduce environmental risk.
  • The harvestable buffers planted by Nobis Dairy. Harvestable buffers protect water quality without taking land out of production. Buffers are planted to a grass mixture of Orchard grass, Timothy, Perennial Rygrass and Brome grass and annually provide three cuttings of dry hay. 
  • The cover crop rotation used by Dutch Meadows Dairy. A unique cover crop rotation of triticale and sudan grass, which are also harvested as feed, increases the opportunity for manure application, reduces runoff and increases available feed.
  • Manure separation at Vanderploeg Holsteins. Separation improves manure nutrient management and reduces application costs. This visit will include a discussion on cow management and health when bedding with manure solids.

Amber Radatz, the codirector of the Wisconsin Discovery Farms, will be the event’s lunch time keynote speaker. Discovery Farms is a cooperative effort of Wisconsin farmers, University of Wisconsin Extension and University of Wisconsin, Madison. The farmer led program gathers and disseminates creditable and unbiased water quality information for the agriculture community, consumers, researchers and policy makers.  Amber focuses on assisting farmers with manure related issues, water quality and nitrogen efficiency. More information on Discovery Farms is available online.

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