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Manure application on frozen ground


December 22, 2010
By Iowa Cattlemen’s Association

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manuresnowDecember 21, 2010, Des
Moines, IA – It’s important for cattle producers to understand the rules that
apply to winter manure application. The law limits liquid manure application
from December 21 to April 1 if the ground is snow-covered. While there are some
changes in the rules this year, make sure you understand all the details before
field applying manure this winter.
December 21, 2010, Des
Moines, IA – It’s important for cattle producers to understand the rules that
apply to winter manure application. The law limits liquid manure application
from December 21 to April 1 if the ground is snow-covered. While there are some
changes in the rules this year, make sure you understand all the details before
field applying manure this winter.

State law prohibits
producers from applying liquid manure on snow-covered ground after December 21,
unless it’s an emergency. Those are producers with confinement (totally roofed)
facilities that have 500 or more animal units. Generally, 500 animal units
would be 500 steers, immature dairy cows or other cattle; or 357 mature dairy
cows, 1,250 finishing hogs, or 5,000 nursery pigs.

manuresnow  
   

The law does not apply to
manure from open feedlots or dry manure.

“However, all livestock and
poultry producers, regardless of size or type, need to protect water and
prevent pollution as they land apply manure,” said Gene Tinker, coordinator of
the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s animal feeding operations.

If manure can be injected
or incorporated, it can be land applied during the December 21 to April 1 time
period.

Questions about manure
application can be directed to your local DNR field office.

Tinker says if producers
and commercial applicators are surface applying manure, they need to observe
the separation distances.

“The research shows that
the later in the season and the closer to spring snowmelt that you apply, the
greater the risk that manure-laden runoff will reach a stream,” he said.

The Iowa Manure Management
Action Group
at Iowa State University also has information about applying
manure in the winter.


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