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Need to Spread
on a High Risk Day?

Contact Dakota Stranik at (360) 526-2387 for guidance on high risk manure spreading activities.


Need to spread manure on a high risk day?

Follow the current guidance:

If you need to apply manure during a high risk time (after October 31, early season, lagoon is on verge of breech, etc.), follow the guidance below. If you do not have any low risk fields to go to, find a neighboring field that is appropriate or haul manure to an additional storage lagoon.

  1. Check the ARM Weather Map - The ARM Weather Map shows the current runoff risk associated with manure application for your specific location and can help you identify the most appropriate day to apply. If the risk is high, but you still need to apply today rather than have a lagoon breach, follow the following steps.

  2. Identify your low risk fields to apply to - Apply only to low risk fields during high risk times. If you have any low risk fields they will be identified on your Winter Application Map in your Nutrient Management Plan. Haven't had a field risk assessment? Not sure what your low risk fields are? Contact Dakota Stranik at Whatcom CD dstranik@whatcomcd.org (360) 526-2387) to have a custom field risk assessment done. Your custom assessment will identify those fields that are appropriate for application during high risk times. Typically, low risk fields are those that do not have a waterbody nearby, are a well-drained soil type, and have a vigorous forage crop growing. Get ahead of the game by preparing for winter while your fields are dry and you still have plenty of storage. Don't wait until your storage is full to make a plan. 

  3. Determine agronomic rate - This lets you know if and how much manure is necessary to apply to a field. Even if you are applying due to storage restrictions, you need to do an agronomic rate assessment to understand how much nutrient you are applying and what effect that will have on your crop. You can then adjust later applications to account for this additional nutrient application. In the early season, this is less of a concern and can be accounted for in later applications. After August it is more difficult to avoid over-application, which can lead to leaching issues. For assistance in determining agronomic rates please contact Whatcom CD. 

  4. Fill out an Application Risk Management (ARM) Worksheet for each specific field you would like to apply to. This must be conducted if the ARM Weather Map shows as high risk. The ARM worksheet will identify those factors that have high risk for runoff and provide guidance on how to mitigate that risk.  If the worksheet says the risk is high, but you still decide to apply, you may be at risk for a discharge event. Link to the ARM Worksheet HERE

  5. Apply manure following the current Manure Application Setback Guidance - It is imperative that you follow the current manure application setback distance for all areas that have potential to discharge into a waterbody (i.e., swale, ditch, adjacent stream, etc.). This guidance is in place to help you prevent having a runoff/discharge event. Find more setback information HERE

          Manure Setback Distances:

*This is a floating date and should be evaluated based on current weather and forecast information.
†A big gun applicator should NEVER be closer than 40 feet at any time of the year due to drift.