Confinement site manure applicators and anyone else interested in learning about applying manure should plan to attend a two-hour workshop offered this winter by Iowa State University Extension. "Iowa law requires confinement site manure applicators to attend two hours of continuing education each year of their three-year certification period, or they can take and pass an exam once every three years," says Angela Rieck-Hinz, ISU Extension program specialist. She is coordinator of the state's manure applicator certification program. Confinement site applicators who need to be certified to legally apply manure in Iowa include those farmers who apply manure from any livestock operation that has more than 500 animal units. Workshops are offered at various locations during January and February 2008. You can attend the workshop nearest you.
Meetings are set for 73 counties
There is no fee to attend one of these workshops but certified applicators fulfilling their continuing education requirements will pay an annual education fee of $25.
A total of 85 workshops will be held in 73 counties this winter. Also, a series of five dry poultry manure certification meetings will be held in February. ISU Extension county offices have a complete list of workshop dates and locations, or you can view the list at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/certification/08confdates.html
Workshop participants will learn about land application rules, mortality management and investigate confinement site issues, says Rieck-Hinz. This is the 10th year ISU Extension has offered the training in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
"By investing two hours of time each year, producers are much more aware and better educated about the way their actions affect not only their land and animals but how it affects worker safety, their neighbors and Iowa in general," says Jeff Prier, a DNR environmental specialist. "The workshop is a great way for anyone to learn about regulations and how we can work together."
Who needs to be certified?
The workshop also serves as initial certification for manure applicators who are not currently certified to apply manure in Iowa. If a confinement livestock operation has more than 500 animal units the operator must be certified to apply manure unless the manure is applied by a commercial manure applicator, she explains. The certification fee is $100 for a three-year certificate.
Due to uniform certification deadlines, applicators are encouraged to attend workshops prior to March 1 to avoid being assessed a late fee of $12.50.
If you would rather take the exam instead of attending a workshop, you can prepare for the exam by viewing the training video tapes which are available for viewing by contacting the local ISU County Extension Office and scheduling a viewing time. Applicators renewing their license cannot apply manure until they have met the certification requirements and have submitted the correct forms and fees to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Contact your local ISU Extension County Office for more information about the Manure Applicator Certification Program or visit: www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/mac.html.