Farm Horizons, December 2013

Winter manure management basics

By Lori Brinkman
Assistant Carver County Feedlot Administrator

If you’ve ever taken a multiple-choice test, you’ve probably heard the rule of thumb – when in doubt, pick C.

When it comes to winter application of manure, there is another saying, “When in doubt, maintain a 300-foot setback.”

You’ll be right every time, because 300 feet is the golden rule when it comes to winter application.

Vegetated buffers mean very little on frozen, snow-covered ground, and mean a lot less during a January thaw or spring melt when runoff is inevitable.

For those of you who must winter haul, the following sensitive features also require a 300-foot setback: lakes, steams, wetlands (10+ acres), ditches (no berms), and open tile intakes.

If you are in Carver County surface applying manure, the setback is 100 feet from a residence, though permission may be granted to spread closer. There is no spreading in a road right-of-way or road ditches.

In addition, in Carver County, all commercial manure haulers are required to inject or incorporate liquid manure within 24 hours. Since that is impossible on frozen soil, the spreading of liquid manure on to frozen ground by commercial haulers is prohibited during the winter. Violations will result in a Notice of Violation to both the hauler and the land owner.

Manure record keeping requirements include any person applying or receiving manure from a facility capable of holding 100 animal units or more. This is a state rule.

In addition, it is never a good idea to spread directly onto grassed waterways, intermittent streams and waterways, or on steep slopes where runoff will reach sensitive features.

If you have any site specific questions regarding land application of manure, feel free to contact your local feedlot inspector, or in Carver County, contact Lori Brinkman at (952) 361-1811.

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