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Extension Programming for Teaching Manure Management to Farmers
Richard A. Levins, Michael A. Schmitt and D. Wynn Richardson
Review of Agricultural Economics
Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 275-280
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1349439
Page Count: 6
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Minnesota's feedlot ordinance requires every farm with at least 10 animal units to have an operating permit. There are over 40,000 farms requiring a permit, and each will need a land application plan for manure as part of the permitting process. This has created both challenges and opportunities in educational programming for the Minnesota Extension Service. For the past four years, the Minnesota Extension Service has been working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop and update a computer program called Manure Application Planner (MAP). The program has become a centerpiece for statewide educational programming. Educators, agency personnel, and consultants are trained in how to work one-on-one with farmers in developing land application plans that are practical from both environmental and economic perspectives. The MAP program guides the user through collecting information on manure sources, manure nutrient content, and nutrient demand by crops to be grown. A linear programming routine generates an initial plan from this information. Then a spreadsheet format is used to further tailor the solution to individual circumstances. MAP has been used to develop hundreds of manure management plans for individual farms. Experience has shown that educational efforts can be especially effective in three areas: (1) the economic value of manure; (2) methods of determining application rates; and (3) the economic value of manure nutrient testing. Within MAP, the economic value of manure is assumed to be the value of commercial fertilizer; however, hauling and application costs are also included. The software can be easily adapted for conditions encountered in other states. MAP is distributed and supported by the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. To obtain the software, contact the Center at 1-800-234-1111.
Review of Agricultural Economics © 1996 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association