For its 13th year, the North American Manure Expo will be held in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, July 14-15. Thus far, this event has been in eight states and one province. This is the second time Pennsylvania has hosted the show.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

“The decision on manure expo placement was very strategic. We wanted it in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and accessible to producers from across the region. The site is just off of Interstate 81 and an easy reach for all of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

I expect to see a number of attendees from the Eastern Shore, Shenandoah Valley and New York’s dairy centers,” says Robb Meinen, North American Manure Expo co-chairman from the Penn State Department of Animal Science.

Jennifer Bratthauar, North American Manure Expo co-chairwoman from Franklin County Conservation District, adds, “When we knew that we wanted to hold the expo in Franklin County, due to its easy accessibility and large amount of agriculture, Lesher’s Poultry was kind enough to offer up one of their fields as the expo site.”

A miniature manure city will be set up in the field to allow for a number of equipment demonstrations, a trade show and educational seminars.


“The 2015 manure expo will offer something for everyone,” Meinen says. “Attendees should choose carefully from our many agenda options. We will be providing ‘Manure than you can Handle!’ However, at the root of all manure expos across the years and locations is the ability to visit with vendors to see where technology is heading and the opportunity to ‘kick the tires’ at the solid and liquid manure application demonstrations.”

dan ludwig

On-site on Wednesday, several different types of manure spreaders will take to the field to demonstrate how each one applies liquid or solid manure. There will also be a live-action manure spill response demonstration and a calibration exercise.

Among the demonstrations, there will be educational seminars for manure management – some witha focus on dairy, poultry or equine, road safety, gassafety and regulations.

virginia ishler

Progressive Dairyman asked some of the presenters with a dairy focus to comment on their seminars. Here are the responses:

Factors affecting manure P excretion on Penn. dairy farms

Dan Ludwig and Virginia Ishler


Why is this topic important?

Ludwig and Ishler: Nutrition and feeding management practices are integral in controlling the amount of phosphorus excreted in manure. This has implications on how much manure can be spread on fields based on soil tests.


What do you hope attendees will take away from this presentation?

Ludwig and Ishler: Implementing precision feeding can benefit the producer financially and environmentally.

rachel milliron

Utilizing fall manure to double-crop winter and summer annual forages

Rachel Milliron


Why is this topic important?

Milliron: Due to limited manure storage, fall manure applications are required on many farm operations with livestock. Although necessary, there is a high risk for nutrient pollution leading to water quality impairment when manure is applied in the fall. By using multiple nutrient conservation strategies, farmers can not only reduce the potential for pollution but also conserve nutrients for cash-crop utilization.


What do you hope attendees will take away from this presentation?

Milliron: After harvesting crops in the fall, a winter crop should be planted as soon as possible to ensure an established winter cover. Using the winter crop as a cover crop, injecting the manure and delaying manure applications until later in the fall will conserve more nutrients for the following summer cash crop than when manure is applied to a winter crop that is taken for silage, surface-applied without incorporation or applied earlier in the fall.

There is some flexibility of management based on individual farm operation needs. If no additional feed is required, the winter crop can be left on the field as a cover crop, and the conserved nutrients can be used by the following summer cash crop.

If farmers need more forage in the spring, the conserved nutrients are available for the winter crop and can be harvested as silage. Although fewer nutrients will be available to the following summer cash crop, total harvested forage would be greater than an operation with a winter cover crop and summer cash crop.

A feature of this traveling event is that it can highlight the diversity of manure management across the U.S. and Canada.

“The scope of the manure expo allows us to highlight local practices but also allows us to bring technology and expertise from across the continent for our local attendees to see. The farm tours are always great because you get to see how people are using manure nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay area,” Meinen says.

He continues, “For example, the dairy and agitation tours will allow people to learn about conservation through cover crops, which is something we’d like to see implemented at a larger scale in states to our west.

The same tour stops will expose attendees to dragline and agitation boat technologies, which are items used more commonly in the Midwest. Smaller producers and graziers may wish to attend the equine and beef small-farm tour. This tour will go beyond showcasing existing farm management practices but will also provide education on pasture management and manure nutrient retention.”

The tours will be held on Tuesday, July 14, and will depart from the expo location.

Equipment advances will be highlighted by the exhibitors with both equipment displays and Tuesday evening seminars led by company representatives.

“Nowhere else does the manure and nutrient handling and application industries come together to share information and highlight industry advancements,” Meinen says.

For those familiar with past manure expos, this event has really grown to now encompass two days, tours, a larger trade show and more seminars and demonstrations.

Meinen has helped with the planning of the manure expo for the past 10 years. He says, “We have seen the event continually grow and act as a driver of advancement in technology. Not only can producers and custom operators learn from each other, but we see that the vendors learn from each other too. The end result of this is that it raises the bar across the industry.”

For more information or to register for this free event, go to the website . PD

Karen Lee