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Herd of cattle

Pre-Application Field Assessment and Application Steps

Farmer looking into field

Prior to application of manure at any time fo the year the following steps should be taken:

  1. Check the weather forecast and Manure Spreading Advisory. If no significant (>0.5 in) rain has occurred for 2 days, and not more than 0.25 inches is forecasted in any one event for the day of or 2 days following application, you may continue with the application assessment. If rain has occurred, check soil conditions thoroughly prior to application. If more than 0.5 inches of cumulative rain is expected in the 72 hours following application, postpone application until more favorable conditions arise.

  2. Go out and physically examine each of the fields that you intend applying manure to. Only consider those fields that have been included in your Nutrient Management Plan. Do not apply to fields not in your plan prior to consulting with your WCD Planner. If conducting early season application, only apply to fields approved by WCD planners. Visually examine fields for: frozen soils, standing water/ponding, level of ditches, vegetation cover (grass or cover crop), tiles, and any other note worthy characteristics. Note these areas for non-application if appropriate. Record all this information on your ARM Worksheet.

  3. Determine water table depth. If it is <12 inches from the surface, do not apply. If greater than 24 inches, application will not be limited by water table, but still be aware of applying over tiles and limit application amount if you are in a groundwater recharge area.

  4. Determine the field soil moisture content. This can be done with determination equipment or by hand. If greater than 80%, application may be limited. If soil moisture is over 90%, postpone application until a more favorable time.

  5. Record all of the above information on the ARM Field Assessment Sheet then transfer the data to the ARM Worksheet. The ARM Worksheet will help you determine if application is appropriate and what the maximum volume of manure that should be applied is.

  6. Once you fill out the ARM Worksheet and determine that application is low risk, send it to WCD prior to application. This will help you verify the process and alert us of your application event if necessary.

  7. After assessment and submittal of application Worksheet, apply manure at recommended rates following guidelines on the ARM worksheet and in your Nutrient Management Plan.

  8. Monitor your fields after application for any signs of runoff, discharge of tiles (if applicable), or ponding of manure. Take appropriate and immediate action to resolve any of these issues.

  9. If you have questions at any time, please feel free to call us (360) 526-2381 x 108.

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