Dane County expands farm manure partnership
By Marg Land
May 28, 2014, Madison, WI – Dane County officials recently announced an expanded partnership with local farm families and the Sand County Foundation to provide additional resources to manage manure, prevent the need for winter manure spreading, and reduce the amount of phosphorus entering area lakes.
The county is offering interest-free loans and cost sharing funds to help interested farmers pay for increased storage capacity. Farmers who participate will also agree to avoid spreading manure in the winter and at other less than ideal times, implement other phosphorus reduction practices, and help the county evaluate the water quality impact of the new program.
Up to 50 percent of the phosphorus that enters area lakes during the year does so in February and March when the ground is still frozen and snowmelt and rain events have more impact.
Phosphorus is the main cause of smelly, unsightly algae that forms on area lakes and comes from urban and rural sources. Eliminating one pound of phosphorus prevents 500 pounds of algae from forming.
The county is offering $500,000 for the new program and applications will be accepted in early summer. Proposals will be evaluated based on the projected impact on water quality and the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the project.
Interested farmers are encouraged to call Kevin Connors, director of the county’s Land and Water Resources Department at (608) 224 – 3731 for more information.