March 6 Nutrient Management Conference Looks at Ins and Outs of Dairy Operations

Friday, February 10 2012


JEROME, Idaho – A promising technology to reduce dairy odors, “designer manures,” and other presentations about using animal wastes and fertilizers will be the focus of the 2012 Idaho Nutrient Management Conference planned March 6.

Sponsored by University of Idaho Extension, the conference offers updates on the latest federal and state agencies and University of Idaho researchers.

Lide Chen, a University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty member assigned to the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, will address the use of biofilters to reduce dairy odors.

Chen, who also serves as Twin Falls-based Extension waste management engineer, will review projects to outfit a hog farm and a dairy farm with biofilters to reduce odors.

Mario E. de Haro-Marti of University of Idaho Extension’s Gooding County office said conference organizers have expanded the original focus from those preparing and managing nutrient plans to farmers and others who make the plans reality.

The conference now offers information that will help farmers and others learn the ins and outs of nutrient management, including designer manures and cover crops.

Most dairies, for example have three diets they routinely feed cows in different stages of the milking cycle, from shortly after they freshen with the birth of a calf to the peak of milk production to when they’re dry. Reviewing the nutrient content of each diet to strike a balance between proper cow nutrition and excess nutrients can significantly reduce emissions, de Haro-Marti said.

Many dairy operators err on the side of giving a cow too much protein and phosphorus in their feed to make sure she has enough for optimum health and milk production, he said.

That can mean too much nitrogen and phosphorus coming out, which present additional challenges for farmers trying to keep soil chemistry in balance in fields where the manure is spread.

Other conference topics will include:

• Managing chaff and nitrogen fertilizer in strip-till sugar beet production

• Efficiency of corn crops in taking up nutrients from manure and fertilizers in calcium-rich soils

• Using cover crops and green manures to manage soil fertility

• Managing nitrogen to enhance irrigated barley value

• Managing water during the growing season on fields with manure applications

Additional information about the conference is available from Amber Moore, Extension soil specialist at the Twin Falls Research and Extension Center at (208) 736-3629, amberm@uidaho.edu; or de Haro-Marti at the University of Idaho Gooding County Extension office at (208) 934-4417 or mdeharo@uidaho.edu.

The 2012 Idaho Nutrient Management Conference will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. at the Best Western Sawtooth Inn at 2653 South Lincoln Ave. in Jerome, Idaho. The formal program will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at about 4:30 p.m.

Conference registration is $40 until Feb. 24 and $50 afterward. Checks made out to University of Idaho Bursar may be mailed to the UI Nutrient Management Conference 2012, Twin Falls R&E Center, PO Box 1827, Twin Falls, ID 83303.