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 set for March in Effingham and Princeton, Ill.
           
“Inspecting manure storage structures to make sure they’re in good shape needs to be an ongoing thing,” says Randy Fonner, Extension specialist. “Because 2008 was a wet year, weather-related manure releases have been a concern.”
           
Fonner said whether you have an earthen storage, an above-ground concrete storage or a lagoon, some type of depth gauge is crucial.
           
“A depth indicator in the storage can tell you when to start (and stop) pumping it down,” he noted. ”If the storage is almost full, and you know there’s rain coming up from the Gulf in the next week, draw it down. If you can’t apply it to your field, maybe there’s a neighbor’s field you can get into. It’s all about planning, as opposed to crisis management.”
           
A panel has been assembled to discuss manure storage planning, and several producers will talk about how they dealt with rainfall and full storages.
           
“We’re going to be talking about good manure management practices for keeping those lots clean,” Fonner said. He added 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 manure management workshops will be held Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Effingham and Thursday, March 26, 2009 at the Wise Guys Bar & Grill in Princeton. The workshop costs $40, with registration beginning at 8:15 a.m. and the first session starting at 9:00 a.m.  Lunch will be provided and the workshops adjourn at 4:00 p.m.
           
Because lunch is included, pre-registration is necessary. To register, call ACES Marketing and Distribution at 1-800-345-6087 before March 18 to guarantee your space. You may access the conference brochure at http://www.livestocktrail.uiuc.edu/manure/.