Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Advises Caution When Spreading Manure

March 02, 2010
Topf Wells, 266-9069
County Executive

Dane County urges all agricultural producers who apply manure on frozen or snow-covered cropland to use caution in the coming days as temperatures are forecasted to reach into the 40’s this weekend. The warmer temperature along with some threat of rain creates ideal conditions for manure runoff. Manure applied during the winter months can pose serious runoff threats to lakes, rivers, and streams. Snow-covered or frozen croplands may not allow for manure to be properly incorporated into the soil, resulting in manure runoff during thawing events. Manure runoff can cause immediate fish kills or deliver excessive phosphorous, which can then produce bad algae blooms later in the year. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said: “Our farmers do a good job of protecting our environment but everyone handling manure needs to be extra careful when runoff conditions exist. One advantage of community manure digesters like the one soon to be built near Waunakee is that they can be sized to accommodate additional manure from nearby farmers when runoff or other emergency conditions exist.” Producers applying liquid manure on frozen, snow covered or ice covered cropland in Dane County are required to follow the conditions stated in a winter spreading permit obtained from the Dane County Land Conservation Division. As an alternative to spreading, producers are encouraged to consider temporarily stacking manure until weather conditions improve. For further questions, please contact the Dane County Land Conservation Division at 224-3730. # # #
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