MAHONING VALLEY Agriculture program looks at environment

Managing manure for profitability will be a topic.
SALEM -- The Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District is accepting reservations for a Dec. 11 workshop on environmental issues in agriculture.
The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the family life center of Trinity Friends Church, 33937 U.S. Route 30 west of Lisbon.
The workshop is sponsored by the Columbiana and Mahoning conservation districts, the Mahoning and Columbiana county farm bureaus and the Ohio State University Extension.
Anyone wishing to participate in the workshop may call the district office at (330) 332-8732 to receive an agenda and a reservation form. Participants must register and pay a $5 fee for the workshop by Nov. 30.
On the agenda: Mitch Cattrell, Columbiana County soil conservationist, said the workshop is designed for livestock and crop producers as well as agricultural consultants who deal with crop production and nutrient management. The main topic will be managing manure for profitability and environmental protection.
Participants will also discuss environmental regulations related to agriculture, and various nutrient management strategies, he said.
Speakers will include private consultants; farm bureau, extension and conservation district personnel; and a panel of local farmers.
Cattrell said producers who attend the workshop will receive certification under the Livestock Environmental Assurance Program, a voluntary self-certification for beef or dairy producers. The program was started and supported by the beef and dairy industries to help producers comply with environmental regulations in dealing with manure, he said.
"Producers want to be good neighbors, but there are economic issues as well," he said. "Manure is not just waste. It can be profitable."
Cattrell said part of the workshop will also include a discussion on the status of the Ohio Department of Agriculture's livestock environmental permitting program. ODA is creating regulations regarding livestock operations and the environment, he said.

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