Before you Apply Manure
1 - Does your crop need manure right now?
Avoid over application of manure nutrients by only applying what the crop needs. Take annual soil tests, seasonal manure tests, and know your crop yields to help calculate agronomic rate for each application throughout the year.
Have a plan for your farm:
Dairy Nutrient Management Plan- A plan for utilizing your on farm nutrients (manure) in a way that maximizes forage and crop growth, protects natural resources (soil, water, and air), and increases the efficiency and productivity of your farm.
Farm Plan- A farm plan is created with you and a resource specialist to help you maximize use of your manure nutrients and land while protecting your natural resources, fostering good animal health, and increasing crop profitability.
2 - Is it safe to apply manure right now?
Look at the Manure Spreading Advisory, and/or rain and wind speed forecast to minimize manure transport from your field. Know before you go!
Manure Spreading Advisory (MSA)- Looking at the MSA is the first step in assessing if weather conditions are suitable for manure application and should be followed up with observation of your field characteristics to determine if application is appropriate at any time of the year.
Sign up for manure spreading advisory text alerts to be notified of weather and spreading conditions:
Text "EZManure" to 797979
3 - Is your field in good condition to apply manure?
Fill out an ARM worksheet before each application event to assess your field conditions and risk level. Do not apply to saturated. frozen or snow covered ground. Limit application to fields with a high water table, limited infiltration, and/or potential of flooding.
Application Risk Management (ARM)- ARM is a system that allows you to assess the risk of applying manure at any given time of the year by helping you identify field characteristics that have a lower risk associated with application, while also guiding you through the process of properly assessing, managing, and reducing application risks for all of your fields.
4 - What things can you do to minimize your risk?
Know your landscape and avoid application to high risk areas during high risk times. Follow Manure Application Setback Distances and Monitor your field after application for any discharge. If present. deal with immediately (see Spill Response Protocols).
Manure Application Setback Distances-Application setbacks are recommended seasonal distances from waterways for sediment and nutrient removal based on seasonal precipitation and soil saturation conditions. These guidelines vary throughout the year and apply equally to both liquid and solid manures. If you have sloped land or high risk soils, your setback distances may need to be greater in high risk seasons.