Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 01, 2000, Image 37

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    Conference Addresses Key Issues In Nutrient Management
Lancaster Farming Staff
Co.) Nutrient management
will play a key role in practices
and goals implemented by farm
ers in the 21st century.
To learn how to help farmers
deal with nutrient management
issues, more than 300 people at
tended a conference called
“Managing Nutrients and
Pathogens from Animal Agri
culture” held in Camp Hill this
Designed to provide a forum
for recent research, field experi
ence, and government regula
tions on nutrient management,
the conference drew people from
all sectors of the agriculture and
environmental industries.
Douglas Beegle, Professor of
Agronomy at Penn State, was a
member of the planning com
mittee for the conference.
“We wanted to draw the mul
tipliers as our audience,” said
Beegle. “We wanted to hit those
people who help farmers ad
dress nutrient management
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issues so they can take the infor
mation back and implement it
Beegle was one of 10 people
representing universities and
government agencies who
served on the planning commit
tee for the conference, which
they started planning early last
“The committee wanted the
conference to address key issues
that we saw in the different
areas where we work,” said
Beegle. “Based on the turn out
for the conference, it seems like
we hit the mark pretty well.”
Two of the hottest issues at
the conference were phos
phorus-based nutrient manage
ment plans and new policy
initiatives affecting farmers.
“The conference provided the
opportunity to share ideas and
find out what others have done
so far,” said Beegle.
“The phosphorus issue has a
lot of people talking, and both
Maryland and Delaware have
already moved on the issue. We
learned more about ways farm-
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ers can deal with the new regula
tions that may be coming down
the pike.”
Although the conference pri
marily targeted service provid
ers in nutrient management
planning, about five percent of
the conference attendees were
farmers. Jamie Beaumont of
Beaumont Farms, Ltd., in On
tario, Canada, was one of those.
“I came to the conference to
get a greater overview of riu
trient management and differ
ent technical perspective on the
issues,” said Beaumont. “I
learned a lot about programs
that the United States is using to
deal with nutrient management
and got to see how we could put
it in perspective for what we’re
facing in Canada.”
Beaumont farms 1,200 acres
and milks 150 cows. He found
the sessions on nitrogen and
phosphorus leeching and land
applications to control those two
nutrients the most beneficial at
the conference.
“I plan to take the informa
tion back to improve manure
application timing, rates, and
soil testing for my farm,” said
Beaumont. “Nutrient manage
ment is really paramount to a
farmer’s operation. It’s half the
equation with the other half
being economics.”
Leon Ressler, Lancaster
County extension agent, also at
tended the conference. “It was
an opportunity for me to get a
lot of information about nutrient
management in a short time
span,” said Ressler.
“The conference seemed to
particularly focus on the North
east, and it covered a lot of new
research and pathogen issues,”
said Ressler. “A bonus for me
was that it was located so close
to home.”
Ressler has attended these
type of conferences in the past.
“You get to meet with people
from all over the country who
have worked with the key issues
in nutrient management,” said
Ressler. “It allows us to share
ideas and network with each
Richard Strite of Agri-
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 1, 2000-A37
Service, LLC, in Maryland came
to the conference because he
provides manure equipment and
does custom manure hauling for
farmers in southern Pennsylva
nia and Maryland. He was part
of the six percent of the atten
dees who represented industry
“I came to see what other
people are doing in nutrient
management and find out what
regulations are coming down the
road,” said Strite. “Although
some of the sessions were more
technical, a lot of the material is
information I can use to advise
my customers. Farmers are
always looking to suppliers for
information on nutrient man
36 experts from universities,
government agencies, and pri
vate companies spoke about key
issues in nutrient management.
Some of the topics addressed in
cluded water quality, feed man
agement to reduce excess
nutrients, manure management
practices, phosphorus-based
plans, site management, and nu
trient management plans.
More than 35 percent of the
attendees were from universities
and extension offices, while
more than 30 percent were from
government agencies and soil
conservation districts. Six per
cent of the attendees were from
Canada, while 28 states across
the United States were repre
sented at the conference.
The Natural Resource, Agri
culture, and Engineering Ser
vice, a division of cooperative
extension funded by 14 different
universities, hosted the confer