Manure Manager

Features Business/Policy Environment Protection Protection Regulations State United States
WI continues under manure runoff warning



January 14, 2013, Madison, WI – The vast majority of Wisconsin is at high risk of runoff over the next three to 10 days, according to the state’s runoff risk advisory forecast.

“The forecast shows there is a high risk for runoff of manure spread on fields in the next few days due to predicted rain and warmer temperatures,” says Andrew Craig, nutrient management specialist for the Department of Natural Resources’ agricultural runoff program. “We encourage producers to hold off manure spreading until the risk is lower, and if they can’t do that, to take steps to reduce the risk runoff that could affect lakes, streams and groundwater.”

The risk advisory forecasts are online and are updated three times a day by the National Weather Service. They are part of the Wisconsin Manure Management Advisory System that state and federal agricultural and natural resource agencies and the University of Wisconsin have put in place in recent years to help Wisconsin farmers know when conditions are right to spread manure on their land.

The risk advisory also contains recommendations if farmers cannot avoid spreading manure on days when the risk of runoff is high. The risk advisory joins the nutrient application restriction maps featured on the Wisconsin Manure Management Advisory System for several years and found on the web at www.manureadvisorysystem.wi.gov.

“In addition to helping farmers develop nutrient management plans that guide the long-term decisions regarding where, when and how much manure can be spread, the 590 Nutrient Management Restriction Maps can also help producers identify their lower-risk fields when they need to spread during high-risk time periods like those we are expecting over the next several days,” says Sara Walling, nutrient management and water quality section chief for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Following nutrient management plans can also avoid long-term phosphorus build-up in soils, reduce the chances of nitrogen leaching into groundwater, and cut the risk of winter manure spreading on fields where it should be avoided.”