Task force to address manure management issues in Wisconsin
By Manure Manager
By Manure Manager
A statewide effort to protect
streams, lakes, and drinking water supplies from manure contamination
will be led by a task force jointly appointed by the Wisconsin
Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Natural
A statewide effort to protect streams, lakes, and drinking water supplies from manure contamination will be led by a task force jointly appointed by the Wisconsin Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Natural Resources.
A number of recent manure runoff events have resulted in fish kills, and in some cases, contamination of drinking water supplies.
Rod Nilsestuen, state agriculture secretary, said he is confident the task force will offer innovative manure management practices that will support clean water, healthy fisheries and prosperous farms.
The two departments will convene a group of stakeholders that will include farm organizations, land conservation officials, environmentalists, manure haulers, angler organizations, and water resource organizations. The task force will work to identify innovative manure management practices to minimize impacts to water resources and to determine improvements when responding to manure spill incidents.
A technical support group will also be formed to assist the task force. The technical support group will include farmers, staff from the state agriculture department, the University of Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and public health specialists from the Department of Health and Family Services.
The task force will focus on a wide range of topics related to manure handling including: prevention strategies; alternatives to manure storage and spreading; changes to manure management practices with special attention to winter manure applications and applications to saturated ground; licensing of manure haulers; corrective and enforcement actions; development of state standards and model ordinances for local use; and financial liability for farmers and manure haulers.