DES MOINES ? It?s been more than a year since the Iowa Department of Natural Resources partnered with groups to develop a better way for farmers to file annual manure management plan updates, and now the DNR will introduce the project at Pork Congress Wednesday and Thursday in Des Moines.
An educational seminar is set for noon Thursday or stop by the DNR?s booth, number 1511, to learn more.
Called the eMMP, the online application will go live early in March when DNR sends letters to livestock and poultry producers who must file annual updates to their MMPs.
Farmers and consultants can save time, effort and mileage by filing the required plans from their home, office or smartphone instead of driving to each county office where manure will be applied. If everyone uses it, DNR estimates the online solution will save driving at least 178,000 miles per year.
Participating farmers and consultants will receive emailed reminders 60 days before the plans are due. Then they can file and pay fees for multiple plans at one time.
The eMMP frees up county staff from signing each of the 7,000-plus plans, signing corrections to those plans and storing the paper forms. Instead, counties will receive an email when plans are completed. Filing online will reduce the number of file cabinets needed to store paper records in county and DNR offices.
?It took a group effort and was sometimes challenging to meet the needs of producers, their consultants, 99 counties and the folks at DNR who process these plans,? said Ted Petersen, DNR coordinator of the project. ?Not everyone got exactly what they wanted, but the final product will benefit everyone.?
The process is relatively simple: producers must use their secure DNR-issued PIN number to log in to a State of Iowa account, fill out the annual MMP short form online, and choose one of several options to pay annual compliance fees.
The public will continue to have access to information about the status of individual plans, statewide or county-by-county.
Producers who prefer paper forms will still have that option.
For more information, see www.iowadnr.gov/emmp. While visiting the DNR?s eMMP web page, subscribe to AFO eNews, a newsletter for livestock and poultry animal feeding operations, and sign up for a Feb. 28 in-depth ?how-to? webinar, ?Save Time and Money ? File your MMP Online.?
Manure management plans are required of confinement site (totally roofed) facilities with more than 500 animal units or 1,250 finishing hogs. Farmers use the MMP to plan the amount of manure that can be land applied based on nitrogen and phosphorus needs of the upcoming crop.
Every four years, producers are required to test soils for nutrient levels and update their complete MMPs. Three out of four years, they can file a simplified annual MMP short form. Starting in March, they can file the annual short form electronically.