Farm Horizons, August 2014

Heavy rains limit liquid manure storage

By Lori Brinkman
Assistant Carver County Feedlot Administrator

We can thank English Tudor farmers for the idiom, “Make hay while the sun shines.”

If you operate a farm with a liquid manure storage basin, you may want to take heed; or in the words of another idiom, you might be up a creek without a paddle, to state it politely.

July feedlot site inspections are revealing basin levels that exceed the recommended 1 foot of freeboard.

We’re finally enjoying some much-needed warm and dry weather, but with late planting, we’ve got a long way to go before harvest and the typical pumping season.

If your basin is at capacity, some of the manure should be removed to allow storage of additional manure before it is emptied in the fall.

If it is surface applied near open water or drainage intakes, the manure should be tilled into the soil within 24 hours. Do not surface apply manure near sensitive features if there is a significant chance of rain within 24 hours.

If you know of a farm with excess storage, you could also pump or move some manure to land-apply at a later date.

If your basin has overflowed due to excessive rains, contact the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798, or Lori Brinkman at (952) 361-1811.

It is also important that you document any efforts you have made to control manure discharges from basins.

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