Manure Manager

Features Business/Policy Environment Protection Protection Regulations State United States
IDEM reminds farmers about winter manure limits


January 21, 2015, Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) recently reminded farmers that IDEM’s permitted confined feeding operations (CFOs) and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are prohibited from surface applying manure on frozen or snow-covered ground. Injection or incorporation of manure into the soil on the same day is not considered surface application and is not prohibited.

When applied properly, manure provides a natural source of nutrients for crop production. It also lessens the need for fuel and other resources that are used in the production of commercial fertilizer.

When the ground is frozen or snow covered, manure cannot absorb into the ground. This increases the risk of manure running off into streams and rivers causing environmental damage. Responsible parties who allow manure to enter waters of the state may be cited for water quality violations and will face the cost of the cleanup and potential enforcement action and penalties from IDEM. If a fish kill occurs, they will also face enforcement action and penalties from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

IDEM recently published a revised edition of the Guidance Manual for Indiana’s Confined Feeding Program. The manual includes an expanded section on application of manure to frozen or snow covered ground that will assist CFO and CAFO owners in avoiding violations and understanding their options, including how to get permission from IDEM for an emergency application to frozen and snow-covered ground (see page 73). The revised guidance is available on IDEM’s website: www.in.gov/idem/4994.htm.

Farms that are not in either of IDEM’s programs need to contact the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) for information about the increased setbacks, and reduced agronomic rates that apply to all other farms surface applying manure to frozen and snow-covered ground. Contact Matt Pearson at (765) 494-1547 or pearsonm@purdue.edu.

If a farm is in jeopardy of their manure pits or lagoons filling into the required freeboard area, and they feel they need to apply manure to stay in compliance, or prevent a spill, they should first contact IDEM’s agricultural liaison, Steve Howell, at (317) 232-8587 or via e-mail at Snhowell@idem.IN.gov for assistance.


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