Tips for Livestock Producers with Full Manure Storage
Posted: 07/02/2013

MANCHESTER – The DNR has several recommendations for livestock producers who have not been able to land apply manure  because of wet conditions this spring.

Some storage systems are in danger of overflowing, threatening the safety of the structure and potential water quality problems or fish kills downstream. State regulations for confinements require producers to keep manure levels two feet below the top of an earthen basin and one foot below the top of a concrete or steel storage structure.

The DNR has the following tips for producers who have overfull storage systems:

• First, contact the regional DNR field office and talk to a field specialist who can help find alternatives to field application or the best possible location for field application.
• If the facility is required to have a manure management plan, manure can only be applied to fields listed in the plan. For other options such as transferring manure or applying to a field not in the MMP, consult with the DNR field office.
• If considering application in a field, look for a flat field, far from a stream.
• Scout potential fields for tile inlets, which provide a direct underground route for manure to travel from the field to a stream. Cover any tile inlets.
• Look for overland routes that would channel liquid manure to a stream, such as a rill or grassed waterway.
• Once manure application has started, walk through the field, checking the perimeter for any signs that manure is leaving the field. Check in the field for areas where manure has ponded or flow has concentrated.
• If manure is ponding in or leaving the field, shut down land application.

DNR field specialists have worked with many producers to find solutions that work. Again, checking with a DNR specialist before applying to a field can help prevent manure runoff, water quality problems, fish kills and resultant penalties. Most important, finding the right solution can prevent degrading water quality and damage to the manure storage structure.