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Now is the Time to Plan for Spreading Manure in the Winter


Manure spreading in the winter is a practice many farmers have to make. Farms that have a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) or a nutrient management plan (NMP) have already considered and decided where their winter nutrients are going to be utilized. Those farms that do not have a written plan need to carefully consider where they are going to spread. Here are some points that farms need to consider before they spread manure this winter.

  1. Have up-to-date sample information for both the manure being used and the soil.
  2. Correlate the amount of manure that is being spread on the field with the field’s soil sample.
  3. Choose fields that have low run-off potential.
  4. Map the fields maintaining buffers around surface waters and other sensitive areas. Do not forget drainage tile lines.
  5. Understand available tools that will help determine if it is appropriate to spread on a given day, check out this article by Shelby Burlew for more information on a tool that is available for farmers.

To learn more about spreading manure in the winter, download “Manure Management - Spreading on Frozen and Snow Covered Ground (WO1038).” 

Source: Christina Curell, Michigan State University

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