Friday, October 11th, 2013
By Nancy Allen
SWCD reviews invalid manure application allegations
  Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District board members reviewed three invalid allegations of improper manure application during their regular meeting Thursday.
The first allegation was reported on Sept. 10 at the corner of Harrison and Brockman roads. The liquid steer manure from a holding pond was applied at a rate of 14,000 gallons per acre, reported soil and water technician Matt Heckler. The field had been worked with a disc prior to application and all setbacks had been followed, Heckler said. Very little pooling was evident and there was no evidence of any discharge.
The second allegation was reported Sept. 12 on State Line Road south of Winkler Road. The liquid swine manure was applied at a rate of 5,000 gallons per acre and setbacks were followed. The field had been worked prior to application and before any rain. There was no runoff, Heckler said.
The third allegation reported Oct. 7 wasn't manure, but rather unfinished compost made from dead dairy cattle, Heckler said. An Ohio Department of Agriculture inspector reported large bones in a field on the north side of Indian Trail Road. The landowner said the bones were from an old compost pile he had moved to the field about two weeks ago and had not worked into the soil. The landowner no longer composts his livestock; it is sent to a rendering facility. Heckler said no runoff was observed and the landowner was given until Oct. 14 to work the compost into the soil.
Newly-hired Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance Coordinator Abbey Tobe reported she plans to remove floating wetlands from the Prairie Creek Treatment Train and from channels at two private residences next week. The plants will be housed over the winter at the Tri Star horticulture program greenhouse at Coldwater High School. Tobe said she also will start reworking the watershed action plan to focus on more specific objectives.
Board members Brother Nick Renner and Jeff Johnson were appointed by consensus to serve on a local work group with federal Natural Resources Conservation Service officials working in Mercer County. The group's job is to prioritize conservation projects. The group will meet after NRCS employees return to work. They currently are furloughed due to the partial government shutdown.
The board scheduled its next meeting for 8:45 a.m. Nov. 7 at the SWCD office in the county central services building in Celina.
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