Manure storage and livestock regulations are topics that will be addressed at the 2009 Livestock Manure Management Conference workshops, sponsored by the University of Illinois. The workshops are scheduled for March in Effingham and Princeton, Ill.

“Inspecting manure-storage structures to make sure they’re in good shape needs to be an on-going process,” says Randy Fonner, University of Illinois Extension specialist. “Because 2008 was a wet year, weather-related manure releases have been a concern.”

Fonner points out whether a producer has an earthen storage, an above-ground concrete storage or a lagoon, some type of depth gauge is crucial.

“A depth indicator in the storage facility can tell you when to start (and stop) pumping it down,” he notes. ”If the storage is almost full, and you know there’s rain coming up from the Gulf in the next week or so, it’s time to draw it down.”

A panel has been assembled to discuss manure-storage planning, and several producers will discuss how they have dealt with rainfall and full storage systems.

“We’re going to be talking about good manure-management practices for keeping those lots clean,” Fonner says. He adds that the workshops will discuss how to prevent nutrients and any pathogens from reaching a roadside ditch and, potentially, a stream or a creek.

Each workshop will also host a trade show that features vendors who offer the latest in manure-management equipment and services.

The workshops will take place March 24, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Effingham and March 26, at the Wise Guys Bar & Grill in Princeton. The cost is $40, with registration beginning at 8:15 a.m. and the first session starting at 9:00 a.m., and adjourning at 4:00 p.m.

To register, call ACES Marketing and Distribution at (800) 345-6087 before March 18 to guarantee your space. You may access the conference brochure at www.porkmag.com/news.