Chapter 6: Record Keeping

Records Management

Growers who use waste materials as fertilizer or a source of lime must maintain records of the analytical results, application rates, and soil tests for each application site. This section will address the importance of Records Management as a vital part of an animal waste management system. Recommendations for the land application of animal waste should be based on actual laboratory analysis from a sample of your waste lagoon, storage pond, or solids dry stack. In Chapter 3, you determined the amount of waste to be handled. Then, with an analysis of the waste, you determined how much of the waste you could apply to a given crop or crop system over a year’s time. When combined with the calibration section, you determined how long you should operate your equipment to apply just the right amount as prescribed in your waste utilization plan, and to apply the waste at no greater than agronomic rates as required by law.

Describe the importance of record maintenance.

A certain amount of record keeping is needed to keep up with the management of the waste application system. The record keeping forms provided here will help you document site specific data which is currently limited on many animal operations. These forms will allow you to easily track your waste applications and provide you with an easy resource to ensure that you do not exceed waste applications to any fields.

These forms, when combined with your site specific data such as your waste analysis, plant analysis, soils analysis, crop yields, and other farm plan items, will provide evidence that you are managing your waste application properly and not exceeding agronomic rates.

Keeping accurate records, along with the implementation of proper BMPs on your farm, is the primary way you prove to the Division of Water Quality (DWQ), the Division of Soil and Water Conservation (DSWC), and to the general public that your animal waste management system is not causing an environmental impact. Assistance with record keeping can be obtained from a Certified Technical Specialist or the Cooperative Extension Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the local Soil and Water Conservation District, or the Agronomic Division of NCDA.

Describe what records need to be maintained to show compliance with environmental regulations.

In order to satisfy the Division of Water Quality’s and Division of Soil and Water Conservation farm inspection procedures, the following items need to be available at the individual farm:

  1. Waste application records

  2. Map of farm fields including waste application fields and acreage

  3. Certified Waste Management Plan (if applicable)

  4. Waste sample analysis

  5. Annual soil analysis for each field receiving waste applications
Describe what is to be done with records.

These records must be maintained for a period of five years at the individual farm.

It may be beneficial for you to maintain the additional following records for verification of conditions on your farm (you should review your general permit to see if there are any of these or other items which may be required to be maintained to be compliant with DWQ guidelines):

  1. Daily farm rainfall records

  2. Weekly lagoon level (freeboard) records

  3. Plant analysis

  4. Animal population

  5. Crop yields

  6. Surface water and groundwater quality records

Forms included here are:

  1. IRR-1: Lagoon Liquid Irrigation Field Record is to be used to record each irrigation event.

  2. IRR-2: Cumulative Lagoon Liquid Irrigation Field Record is to record the total annual waste application to one field per crop cycle. It provides for calculating the total nitrogen application to the field and comparing it to the recommended nitrogen loading rate.

  3. SLUR-1: Liquid Manure Slurry Field Record is to be used to record each waste application event if the producer is using a slurry or pump and haul  system.

  4. SLUR-2: Cumulative Liquid Manure Slurry Field Record is to record the total annual waste application to one field per crop cycle with a slurry or pump and haul system. It provides for calculating the total nitrogen application to the field and comparing it to the recommended nitrogen loading rate.

  5. SLD-1: Solid or Semisolid (dry stack) Field Record is to be used to record each waste application event if the producer is using a manure/box spreader.

  6. SLD-2: Cumulative Solid Field Record is to record the total annual waste application to one field per crop cycle. It provides for calculating the total nitrogen application to the field and comparing it to the recommended nitrogen loading rate.
Calculate and verify application rates through the use of waste application records.

The record forms IRR-2, SLUR-2, and SLD-2 require the operator to make calculations to determine the amount of N that has been applied to a given crop. The necessary formulas to complete the forms are provided in the first row of the form.

Note: For recording purposes, field size is that portion of the field that receives waste applications (often referred to as the "wetted area" when using irrigation). Wetted area is equal to or less than field size due to irrigation system layout and use of required buffers, or due to accessibility with spreader equipment.

 

Review Questions

  1. Explain what waste management records must be maintained at an animal operation.

  2. Describe what is to be done with waste application records.

  3. Describe the difference between the field records (example IRR-1) and the cumulative total records (example IRR-2).

 

Example Problems

Example:

Irrigation Records using Forms IRR-1 and IRR-2:

Joe Pigford maintains a 3,000 head feeder-to-finish operation. His estimated volume of lagoon liquid generated annually is approximately 2.8 million gallons. He conducted a waste analysis on February 8, 1996 and April 10, 1996. Both analyses showed that the waste contained 2.5 pounds of plant-available nitrogen (PAN) per 1,000 gallons. He irrigates two crops with wastewater using a traveling gun that applies 300 gpm.

 

His waste utilization plan shows that his anticipated yield for corn is 100 bushels per acre and he should apply 1.0 pound of PAN per bushel yield. His yield of bermudagrass is estimated at 6 tons/acre and he should apply 50 pounds of PAN per ton of yield. His PAN application rates are as follows:

Tract T1004: PAN needed for corn:

 

Tract T1005: PAN needed for bermuda hay:

Joe’s Lagoon Liquid Irrigation Field Record (Form IRR-1) follows. Transfer the information for Fields 1 and 5 each onto a separate Form IRR-2 and complete the calculations to determine whether Joe has met his nitrogen requirement for his corn crop and bermuda hay.

Round off to one decimal point on the plant-available nitrogen applied shown in Column 10 on Form IRR-2.

 

Example:

Slurry Application Records Using Forms SLUR-1 and SLUR-2:

Milky Smith maintains a 120-head dairy operation and produces an estimate of nearly 1,000,000 gallons of waste slurry per year. He conducted a waste analysis of his slurry on March 1, 1996 and it showed that the material contained 8.2 pounds of plant-available nitrogen per 1,000 gallons of slurry. He makes waste applications to 4 fields, which are:

Field 1: corn — 24 acres
Field 2: corn — 14 acres
Field 3: bermudagrass — 16 acres
Field 4: soybeans — 18 acres

His waste utilization plan shows that his anticipated yield for corn is 100 bushels per acre and he should apply 1.1 pounds of PAN per bushel of expected yield. Therefore his PAN application rate is as follows:

Field 1: PAN needed for corn:

Milky’s Slurry Application Field Record (Form SLUR-1) follows. Transfer the information for Field 1 onto Form SLUR-2 and complete the calculations to determine whether Milky has met his nitrogen requirement for his corn in Field 1. His application equipment is a tractor-drawn tanker (honeywagon) which holds 2,000 gallons.

 

Example:

John Manurehauler maintains a 80-head dairy operation and utilizes a dry stack waste storage system. He conducted a waste analysis of his dry stack on April 1, 1996 and it showed that the material contained 4.2 pounds of plant-available nitrogen (PAN) per ton of waste. He land applies the manure to two fields, these being:

Field 1: corn — 12 acres
Field 2: fescue pasture — 27 acres

His waste utilization plan shows that his anticipated yield for fescue pasture is 4 tons hay per acre, and he should apply 50 pounds of PAN per ton of expected yield. He also must reduce his application rate by 25 percent due to grazing. Therefore his PAN application rate is as follows:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Since the application rate for grazed land is 75 percent of the application rate for hay:

John’s Manure Solids and Sludge Application Field Record (SLD-1) follows. Transfer the information for Field 2 onto Form SLD-2 and complete the calculations to determine whether John has met his nitrogen requirement for his grazed fescue pasture. He utilizes an 8-ton manure spreader and surface applies (broadcasts) the manure.


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