Deadline to apply manure to cropland is Dec 15 in MD

Maryland Department of Agriculture
December 01, 2017
By Maryland Department of Agriculture
December 1, 2017, Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds farmers that December 15 is the last day to spread manure and other organic nutrient sources on cropland.

Under modified Nutrient Management Regulations approved earlier this year, farmers statewide are now prohibited from spreading manure between December 16 and March 1.

“The fall spreading date for manure and other organic nutrient sources has been extended through December 15 to reflect warmer weather patterns and reduce the amount of time farmers need to store manure over the winter,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The extra time allows farmers to empty their storage structures ahead of winter. Ultimately, our goal is to avoid application of nutrients in the winter when fields are at the highest risk for runoff.”

An emergency provision in the modified regulations allows the department to work with farmers to prevent an overflow from liquid manure storage structures during winter, when spreading manure is otherwise prohibited. This exemption is only for on-farm generated liquid manure that the farmer cannot store due to extraordinary circumstances. It does not apply to biosolids or food waste. A 100-foot setback from surface waters is required for any emergency spreading that takes place in winter and farmers are prohibited from applying manure if the ground is frozen or snow covered. Livestock farmers seeking this exemption should contact their regional nutrient management specialist for assistance.

Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations allow farmers to apply poultry litter to crops in the fall. Farmers may apply other types of manure in fall for spring crops planted before June 1. Farmers should review their Nutrient Management Plan, talk to their nutrient management consultant, or contact the nutrient management specialist serving their county.

For more information, contact the Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959 or visit the program’s website.

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