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Manure management differs state-to-state
Indiana Correspondent

RENSSELAER, Ind. — Everyone knows manure happens. But the problems created by manure from state to state, along with differing regulations, can have everybody in a slurry.

Farmers in northern states face this dilemma: How can they keep up with manure application without affecting water quality or offending tourists who come for water-based recreation or winter sports.

Wisconsin is considering a ban on winter application, a problem for older farms without adequate storage capacity.

Kip Edelman is a commercial manure applicator who owns Waste Galore in Rensselaer, Ind. As a member of the steering committee for the Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo in July, Edelman said the Expo will help farmers understand the regulations in various states.

“In Ohio, if there’s a 50 percent chance of rain, I can’t haul manure,” he said. “Every state has their hot points to satisfy the public.”

Edelman believes that regulations are getting so complicated that smaller farms are not able to keep up or may not have the equipment required.

Commercial applicators fill that need.

The Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicator Assoc. was established to provide training for commercial haulers and keep them on top of new issues. The association is also working on a certification process for waste haulers, which is already required in some states.

A similar association was established in Wisconsin.

“They actually have the regulatory agencies coming to them, asking if something is logical or does this make sense,” Edelman said. He said commercial applicators take the pressure off of farmers, doing most of the paperwork.

“We trying to get ahead of the game,” he said. “If we’re in the forefront, we can actually make it better for the farmer. Past history shows the farmer doesn’t always know all the regulations.”

Experts see a trend for commercial applicators to increase. Professional applicators can haul as much as two million gallons of manure a day, said Dennis Lasiter of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Indiana does not have a certification program for haulers, but Lasiter said IDEM supports and appreciates these professionals who are seeking the proper training and knowledge in the field.

This farm news was published in the June 7, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.