Home Discussion Forum Nutrient Management Winter Manure Application

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Tim Radatz Tim Radatz 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #710

    Winter is here. With a daily haul operation, manure management can be a challenge. Can someone help me identify the risks of winter manure application, and provide some management tips?

  • #719
    Profile photo of Tim Radatz
    Tim Radatz
    Keymaster

    Research conducted by Discovery Farms has documented the risks of winter manure application. With 110 sites years of edge-of-field surface runoff data collected from 28 monitoring sites on 21 farms throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin there is considerable knowledge on the impacts of winter manure application. February and March are important time periods for surface runoff; on average, 46% of the annual runoff occurs on frozen soils during these two months. Figure 1 plots the dissolved phosphorus and total phosphorus concentrations of this runoff. During frozen soil conditions, greater than 80% of the total phosphorus is in the dissolved form. Dissolved phosphorus is not attached to soil particles and originates from decaying plants and residues, fertilizer and manure placed on the soil surface, and high soil test phosphorus soils.

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    Winter manure application has an impact on the level of phosphorus in frozen soil surface runoff. Figure 2 includes the same data as above, but it also categorizes the data into sites that had late winter manure application (February-March), early winter manure application (December-January), and no winter manure application. Most of the sites that had total phosphorus concentration greater than 4 mg/L and dissolved phosphorus concentration greater than 3 mg/L had some form of winter manure application, in particular, late winter manure application.

    View post on imgur.com

    This data collected by Discovery Farms illustrates the risks associated with winter manure application. Phosphorus concentrations are not always increased with winter manure application. However, when the right conditions are present for high frozen ground runoff, winter manure application can significantly increase phosphorus losses. Monitoring field conditions and weather forecasts can identify conditions when runoff is likely. Avoiding manure application during these times is key to reducing phosphorus losses. If manure needs to be removed from barns and lots, consider if stacking and spreading later is an option. If spreading manure to fields is necessary during these high risk times, try selecting fields that are flat, north facing, and an appropriate distance from waterbodies.

    For more information you can check out this blog post on AgWaterExchange. http://agwaterexchange.com/2016/03/24/whats-the-risk-with-winter-manure-application/

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Profile photo of Tim Radatz Tim Radatz.
  • #761
    Profile photo of Tim Radatz
    Tim Radatz
    Keymaster

    Here is a great article from Amber on the upcoming winter runoff season.

    http://agwaterexchange.com/2017/01/30/so-what-weather-is-next/

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