University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Extension News

September 04, 2015

Prevent flash fires and explosions: watch for deep-pit manure foam

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, (612) 626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/3/2015)—Manure deep-pits under swine barns in the Upper Midwest are getting full in this time of year, and concern over pit foaming is especially high. Pork producers should be vigilant.

Although the frequency of flash fires or barn explosions in deep-pit pig buildings has been significantly reduced since the peak of this problem in 2009, foam still can occur. Tragically, that resulted in two fatalities earlier in 2015.

To prevent an explosion or a flash fire, ventilate or exchange air in the barn to dilute the concentration of methane gas in the air.

The presence of foam bubbles on top of liquid manure in a deep pit contains about 70 percent methane. Any activity that disrupts the foam releases this stored methane or natural gas can be dangerous. Methane is extremely explosive when between 4 and 15 percent of the air by volume. If you are not sure if foam is present or if there is only a thin layer, take precautions.

Always check for foam when there is any interruption in normal activities. This includes changing (turning) groups of pigs, running soaking nozzles or power washing, agitating and pumping liquid manure in the pit, or any maintenance work (such as welding) inside the barn. These activities disrupt the foam and release methane.

If foam is detected in the manure pit prior to any of these activities, immediately take these precautions:

Run the exhaust fans in the barn to at least the mild weather or fall/spring ventilation rate. This will provide roughly 25 to 35 air exchanges per hour in the barn or, for a grow-finish barn, 30 to 40 cfm/pig. Use of wall fans are preferable in addition to pit fans, since the airflow rates from pit fans are commonly compromised or reduced significantly by high manure levels in the pit and duct transitions on pit fans.

When foam is present, eliminate all ignition sources inside the barn: pilot lights or electrostatic spark on water and space heaters, sparking switches on lights and non-enclosed electric motors, welding, grinding, cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Extension and research personnel from the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and University of Illinois developed warning stickers in English and Spanish to post inside pig barns. Stickers will be available from pork producer associations in all three states.

For more information, visit http://z.umn.edu/manurestorage.

-------
Any use of this article must include the following credit line:

From Chuck Clanton, PE, professor, University of Minnesota, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and Larry Jacobson, PE, agricultural engineer and professor, University of Minnesota Extension

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, (612) 626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu

U of M Extension Ag News Wire is a service of University of Minnesota Extension, Communications, 240 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55113.

Ag News Wire sends columns about the University’s production agriculture research and outreach for use in your publication.

To unsubscribe from U of M Extension Ag News Wire, please email extnews@umn.edu.

For more news from U of M Extension, visit www.extension.umn.edu/news or contact Extension Communications at extnews@umn.edu.

University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.


August 18, 2015

Learn from U of M Extension at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair!

If you go to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," be sure to participate in fun and educational U of M Extension opportunities. Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education and engages Minnesotans to build a better future.

August 13, 2015

New Extension fact sheets on farm legal issues now online

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu


ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/12/2015)—A new eight-part series of fact sheets on farming and agricultural legal issues is now available online.

The new topics cover entity selection and restrictions, trusts, landowner liability, water rights and drainage, mitigating counter-party risk, labor law and the Affordable Care Act. The fact sheets are from the University of Minnesota Extension Agricultural Business Management team and attorney Phillip L. Kunkel and others from the Gray Plant Mooty law firm.

The eight new fact sheets are part of a 24-part farm legal series aimed at protecting business viability and regulatory compliance for farmers.

“The new fact sheets cover topics that producers have been asking questions about, so we were excited to work with Phil and his team to add them to the series,” said Bob Craven, University of Minnesota Extension economist. “The updates to the existing fact sheets assure the series is current with changes in Minnesota and federal law.”
  
Sixteen existing online resources in the series have been updated to reflect regulatory changes.
The revised fact sheets cover topics including farm leases, agricultural production and marketing contracts, financing the farm operations, mortgages and contracts for deed, tax considerations of liquidations and reorganizations, and bankruptcy.
 
The complete series of fact sheets can be found at http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business/taxation/


----

For more news from U of M Extension, visit
www.extension.umn.edu/news or contact Extension Communications at extnews@umn.edu. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.


July 30, 2015

Take advantage of crop education this summer and fall


By Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist

ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/30/2015) — Learn about the University of Minnesota's research in crop production at educational events this summer throughout the state. Crop producers, their advisors and other ag professionals are encouraged to attend. Register early; space is limited for some events.

Aug. 18: Producers Field Day
Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton
The program will include hands-on sessions in several topics including weed management, entomology, soil fertility and the impact of stress on crop development.

Aug. 25: U-More Park Rosemount Research Center Field Day
Rosemount Research and Outreach Center, Rosemount

A field day tour to include current research projects at the Rosemount Research Center:

  • Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) and corn goss’s wilt research and management
  • Recent corn rootworm research and management
  • Soybean aphid research and management via soybean genetics
  • Forage and cover crop research on-site

Sept. 10: Tillage Technology and Residue Field Day
West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris
See the newest variable depth tillage equipment and watch side-by-side field demonstrations. Learn how to build soil structure for maximum soil productivity.

Sept. 15: Cover Crop Learning Tour - Interseeding into Row Crops
Near Lakefield
Attendees will have the opportunity to tour research and demonstration plots, hear from farmers currently planting cover crops, and see interseeding equipment in action.

For more information on these events and how to register, visit http://z.umn.edu/crops2015.

---

Any use of this article must include the following credit line:

From the University of Minnesota Extension: Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, (612) 626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu

U of M Extension Ag News Wire is a service of University of Minnesota Extension, Communications, 240 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55113.

Ag News Wire sends columns about the University’s production agriculture research and outreach for use in your publication.

To unsubscribe from U of M Extension Ag News Wire, please email extnews@umn.edu.


For more news from U of M Extension, visit www.extension.umn.edu/news or contact Extension Communications at extnews@umn.edu.

July 28, 2015

Extension offers resources for families facing financial uncertainty

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu


ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/15/2015)—For families confronted by potential financial hardships, University of Minnesota Extension resources offer help.

A wide variety of helpful information is available online. This page features information applicable both to families dealing with the impact of avian influenza as well as hardships such as layoffs and other events that place pressure on families. Information is available on topics including:

  •          Adjusting spending when family income may be reduced or lost;
  •          Helping children when parents face financial stress;
  •          Stretching grocery budgets without sacrificing healthy eating; and
  •          Dealing with pressure on mortgage and rent funds. 


The site indicates which resources are available in Spanish. 

In addition, Extension staff are available via the Answer Line to connect callers with resources on family finances and dealing with stress that can arise. The toll-free number is 1-800-854-1678; the Answer Line is staffed from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions also can be directed via email to answer@iastate.edumailto:answer@iastate.edu.   

In social media, information on resources comes with the hashtag #avianfluimpact.

The site is a collaboration between Extension programs at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and South Dakota State University.


----


For more news from U of M Extension, visit
www.extension.umn.edu/news or contact Extension Communications at extnews@umn.edu. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

July 15, 2015

2015 Farm Families of the Year honored by University of Minnesota

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/14/2015) — Eighty families from throughout Minnesota are being honored as 2015 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

June 22, 2015

4-H Science of Ag helps pave way to careers for youth

ST. PAUL, Minn. (6/22/2015)—The first-ever 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge brought 12 teams of youth from across the state to the University of Minnesota last week to present their research on important agricultural issues, including soil preservation, public opinion on genetically modified organisms, food waste and more.
  • Copyright 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy