Prior to the launch of Crystal Decisions, the Crystal Valley team heard from countless growers that the industry lacked support in manure management. As Crystal Decisions was developed, our team worked to ensure that both manure management and CSP support were integral parts of the overall data-driven approach to precision technology solutions. Led by Precision Ag Consultant, Alee Larson, manure management ties directly into the overall sustainability and conservation solution provided by the Crystal Decisions team.

Alee’s Expertise

Born and raised on a cow calf operation in Belle Plaine, Minnesota, Alee graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018, and passed her Minnesota and International Certified Crop Advisor boards in 2019. This certification allows her to submit NPDES permits and annual reports on behalf of owners/operations. She works directly with Crystal Decisions customers on both annual reports and NPDES permit renewals.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Requirements for Feedlots

Comprehensive information around permitting and regulations for feedlots can be found on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. There are two types of permits:

  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit
    • This is required for feedlots with greater than 1000 animal units (1 hog = 0.3 animal units, so feedlot would need 3300 hogs to qualify for a NPDES permit).
    • Feedlots are required to obtain this permit if the facility will be adding pollutants to the water (i.e. release of manure, application of manure to fields etc.).
  • State Disposal System Permit
    • Required if the feedlot has over 1,000 animal units

For a detailed comparison between the two permits, view the NPDES and SDS Permits for Feedlots document.

Recent Changes

Last week, changes in regulations were made due to the addition of pollutants to the waters within the United States, and the new NPDES permit is proposing several stricter guidelines for the application of manure to fields.

A few of these changes include:

  • The addition of a cover crop if application occurs during September (previously June, July & August).
  • Application of manure in October would need to occur when the soil temperature are 50 degrees or less.
  • Other October proposed changes would be the use of a cover crop, nitrification inhibitor or split nitrogen applications.
  • Prohibit the application of solid manure during March.

For details around all changes, view this document by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

2021 Preliminary Application

As of right now, the preliminary application for the 2021-2026 NPDES permit is available. Feedlots that have the intention to reapply for the 2021-2026 NPDES permit should fill out this basic application. The full application is expected to be released early 2021 as the MPCA finalizes the details of the new permit.

For more information and to assist in mapping out your strategy for the year ahead, connect with the Crystal Decisions team today.