Advisories

  • Manure Spreading Advisory #4 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: November 2, 2015

    In general, manure application on any crops is not advised. See below for advice on avoiding overflowing manure pits.

    What is the concern with spreading manure now? Although a manure application now, under the most favourable conditions, may lead to a growth spurt of grass (Fig. 1), most of the nitrogen in manure that would be spread now will be leached and lost from the soil during the cold, rainy season, before the grass can use it (Fig. 2). Advice: don’t just feed the microbes, feed the crop by waiting to apply manure.

     manure N
    Figure 1. What likely happens with nitrogen (N) if manure is spread now, assuming soils are not yet cold and there is no leaching.

    manure N

    Figure 2. What is likely to happen with nitrogen (N) in the weeks after the time period described in Figure 1.

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading, but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    Please read the entire advisory for details and important information to assist producers with decision-making about manure application.

    This advisory is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    The Manure Spreading Advisory Committee (consisting of industry and government representatives) is advising against manure applications due to lower air temperatures, the increased potential of significant rain events, and lack of vegetative cover and/or reduced nutrient uptake of cover crops. The committee will monitor weather and soil conditions and will issue further advisories as conditions change.

    Principal environmental risks associated with manure application

    • surface runoff of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses
    • short-circuit flow of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses though drain tiles
    • soil compaction from operating heavy equipment on fields that are very wet


    Manure Storage

    • Winter manure applications are not recommended. It is essential to have enough manure storage to include the average expected precipitation plus account for unforeseen circumstances such as excessive precipitation.
    • Develop a contingency plan to outline an effective response in case of an emergency. The plan should include identification of abandoned pits and other storage facilities, contact information for vacuum trucks or commercial operators, and easy access to the provincial spill reporting hotline: 1-800-663-3456.


    Harvested Annual Crops (including corn and vegetables)

    • Manure applications are not recommended until further notice.


    Berry crops

    • Manure applications are not recommended until further notice.


    Perennial Grassland

    • Winter manure applications are not recommended. All measures must be taken to address the chance of overflowing manure storage (see Manure Storage above). If manure storage is not adequate and overflowing might occur please contact one of the following staff for additional manure management advice:
    • David Poon, Ministry of Agriculture (604) 556-3098
    • Geoff Hughes-Games, Ministry of Agriculture (604) 556-3102


    Agricultural Waste Control Regulation This is the legislation that applies to manure management in British Columbia. http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/10_131_92

    Canada-BC Environmental Farm Plan Program
    Trained Planning Advisors are available to assist producers with an Environmental Farm Plan. For more information contact the ARDCorp office in Abbotsford.
    toll free 1-866-522-3447 or 604-854-4483 http://www.bcac.bc.ca/ardcorp/program/environmental-farm-plan-program

    Filed under: 
  • October UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2015: South Coast Region

    Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2015 (September 1, 2015) for the current Advisory.  The following Update does not change the Advisory.

    “Manure application on perennial grasses is usually appropriate as long as crop growth and warmer weather patterns (greater than 5°C) continue; fields are trafficable; and precipitation does not create runoff” (Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2015).

    In 2014 and 2012, significant rainfall started by mid-October in the Fraser Valley. Monthly rainfall was above the long-term average in those years (Fig. 1). What’s in store for October this year? Only time will tell, but weather forecasts are a good tool. As usual, soil moisture conditions, crop cover, and weather forecasts will factor into deciding when the final Manure Spreading Advisory of 2015 will be released.

    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall in October of different years, recorded at the Abbotsford airport.

     

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture: 
    David Poon, P.Ag 604-556-3098 
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag 604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment: 
    Report a spill 1-800-663-3456 
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277 (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

     

     

     

     

    Filed under: 
  • October rainfall 2012, 2013, 2014

    October rainfall

    Filed under: 
  • Manure Spreading Advisory #3 for 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: September 1, 2015

    • Perennial grasses continue to benefit from fall manure applications when applied to meet crop nutrient needs.
    • Manure applications for cover crops and newly seeded grasses should be based on a soil test and only applied if the cover crop will become well established to uptake nutrients prior to the end of the growing season. Manure applications on harvested or fallow fields are not recommended.
    • Manure should not be applied within 8 meters of ditches or watercourses. Buffer width should be increased for slopes greater than 5% and/or if the potential for runoff exists.
    • Consider wind speed and direction when applying manure and how it can have a negative impact on your neighbors. The wind can also increase ammonia loss and soil loss through erosion.
    • Reminder that field-stored solid agricultural wastes (except vegetation waste) must be covered by October 1.

     Please read the entire advisory for details and important information regarding manure applications.

    The Manure Spreading Advisory Committee (consisting of industry and government representatives) is advising careful manure application for select fields. The committee will monitor weather and soil conditions and will issue further advisories as conditions change.

    This advisory is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For further information, please contact BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag. 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag. 604-556-3102

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Manure Storage

    • Winter manure applications are not recommended. It is prudent to have enough manure storage to include the average expected precipitation plus account for unforeseen circumstances such as excessive precipitation.
    • Plan manure applications to empty storage facilities before the rainy season. Manure applications are recommended only for forage grasses.
    • Develop a contingency plan to outline an effective response in case of an emergency. The plan could include identification of nearby abandoned pits, contact information for vacuum trucks, and easy access to the provincial spill reporting hotline.


    Harvested Annual Crops (including corn and vegetables)

    • Manure applications are not acceptable on harvested fields.


    Cover Crops

    • Manure applications should only be considered if a fall soil test shows the need for nutrients and a winter cover crop has been or will be established before the end of the growing season.
    • As the days get shorter and colder, cover crops are less able to take up nutrients. Also, as fall rains arrive, the risk of nutrient runoff and leaching increases.
    • Residual nutrients from the summer crop may be present in the soil and in sufficient quantity to support the winter cover. P

    Perennial Grassland

    • Manure application on perennial grasses is usually appropriate as long as crop growth and warmer weather patterns (greater than 5oC) continue; fields are trafficable; and precipitation does not create runoff.
    • Application rates should meet crop nutrient requirements.
    • Appropriate buffer widths should be maintained to minimize runoff risks.

    Berry crops

    • Fall manure applications for berry crops are not necessary or recommended.
    • If manure is used on fields that are being renovated for new plantings, a cover crop should also be planted. The cover crop should be planted in a timely manner such that it becomes well established prior to the end of the growing season. Consider the recommendations made for raspberries in the Berry Production Guide, http://productionguide.agrifoodbc.ca/guides/14


    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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  • August UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2

    Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 for the current Advisory.  The following Update does not change the Advisory.

    When balancing the goal of maximizing corn yields with the goal of establishing cover crops, consider the effect of cover crop planting date (Table 1).

    Table 1.  Nitrogen uptake by cover crops decreases with later planting dates.  Values are for B.C. South Coast.  Actual uptake depends on crop variety and other factors.

    Approximate Planting DateNitrogen Uptake
    Before August 15Up to 140 kg N/ha
    August 2260 to 95 kg N/ha
    September 530 to 50 kg N/ha (legumes);
    60 to 95 kg N/ha (non-legumes)
    September 15Less than 45 kg N/ha

    Does nitrogen need to be applied in the fall to establish the cover crop?  In many cases, the anser is 'no' or 'not much', due to typical levels of soil N after corn harvest.  (Table 2).

    Table 2.  Average soil nitrate N (0-30 cm depth) after corn harvest (without fall manure application) in 2 field surveys in the Lower Fraser Valley.  These nitrate amounts could be used by cover crops, if planted early enough.

    Year of SurveyPost-harvest nitrate N
    2005 (typical summer)75 kg N/ha (22 fields)
    2012 (hot and dry late summer76 kg N/ha (28 fields)

     

    Earlier cover crop establishment provides greater flexibility for responsible manure use.

    Reference:  Bittman, S., Hunt, D.E. and Kowalenko, C.G.  2004.  Cover crops and relay crops.  In: Bittman and Kowalenko (eds.), Advanced Silage Corn Management, Pacific Field Corn Association, Agassiz, B.C. pp 89-93.

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution. This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    Filed under: 
  • July UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: July 2, 2015

    Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of April 2015 for the current Advisory.  The following update does not change the Advisory.

    The Manure Spreading Updates of last yearhighlighted the nitrogen (N) fertilizer value of manures.  To know the N value of what you apply, you need to know your application rates.  You might estimate the rates by counting the number of loads applied.  A more reliable, quick method to calibrate your estimates is the following:

    1a. Drive the spreader over a series of pails/jars (liquid manure) OR ...
    1b. Drive the spreader by a series of plastic sheets within the spread pattern (solid manure)

    2a. Measure the depth of liquid in each pail/jar.  Average the depths. (liquid manure) OR ...
    2b. Weigh the manure on the sheets.  Average the weights. (solid manure)

    3a. Use the chart below to determine your application rates.

    LIQUID MANURE
    Calibrations Using a Straight-Walled Pail/Jar
    SOLID MANURE
    Calibrations using a 40 x 48 in. sheet
    (opened feedbag)
    Depth of manure in pail/jarApplication rateManure per sheetApplication rate
    inchescmimperial gallons/acre*L/halbkgtons/acret/ha
    1/100.252,25025,20010.451.63.6
    1/80.33,00033,60020.913.27.2
    1/40.65,50061,60031.44.810.7
    3/80.98,50095,20041.86.414.3
    1/21.311,250126,00052.38.017.9
    5/81.614,000156,00073.211.225.0
    3/41.917,000190,400104.516.035.9
    12.522,500252,000156.724.053.8

    * Tankers may be sold in US gallon capacity.  1 imperial gallon = 1.2 US gallons.

    The factsheet "Choosing and Calibrating Manure Application Equipment" has calculations to determine uniformity of application and travel speeds based on desired application rates.

    a 2014 Updates:

    • Average nutrient contents of manure: April 1, 2014 Update.
    • Nitrogen (N) fertilizer value ($) of dairy and hog manure:  May 1, 2014 Update
    • N fertilizer value ($) of chicken broiler and layer manure: June 2, 2014 Update

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

     For general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag                                                      604-556-309
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag                                  604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment:
    Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277 (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

    Filed under: 
  • June UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: June 1, 2015

    Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 (April 1, 2015) for the current Advisory (Advisory #2). The following Update does not change the Advisory.

    Should farmers sidedress nitrogen fertilizer on their corn fields this year?

    • If the soil nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) in the top 30 cm at the 6-leaf stage of corn (i.e. presidedress nitrate test or PSNT) is greater than 30 parts per million (ppm), there is likely no economic benefit to the sidedress application*.
    • A history of annual manure application on a field is a good indicator that the field will have greater than 30 ppm soil NO3-N (0-30 cm) in south coastal BC, because the manure supplies the soil with nitrogen that is converted to nitrate for years after application under favourable conditions (warm and moist but not too wet or too dry).
    • There has been minimal precipitation to leach nitrate from the root zone this past month. In May 2015, the Abbotsford airport recorded 8.6 mm of rain, whereas the 1981-2010 average was 99.8 mm. Thus, many farmers are able to avoid sidedress nitrogen fertilizer applications, as they have been doing for many years now. *Spring nitrogen tests. http://www.farmwest.com/node/944

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag 604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment:
    Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277
    (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

    Filed under: 
  • May UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: May 1, 2015

    Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 (April 1, 2015) for the current Advisory. The following Update does not change the Advisory.

    Manure applications have an overall positive effect on soil biology. Many of the same creatures that live in soil can be found in manure: shredders (arthropods), decomposers (bacteria and fungi), and grazers and predators (nematodes and protozoa).

    With excessive applications of liquid manure, there can be negative effects on soil biology: increased saturation of the soil, creating anaerobic conditions that increase rates of greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide and methane), and decreasing soil life.

    To promote positive effects of manure application on soil biology:

    • Apply at rates to meet or approach crop requirements
    • Spread manure evenly or apply more on areas requiring remediation (e.g. solid manure on eroded knolls)
    • Use application methods to minimize soil surface disturbance

    Reference: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. 2005. Best Management Practices: Manure Management. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/environment/bmp/manure.htm

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag 604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment:
    Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277 (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

    Filed under: 
  • Manure Spreading Advisory #2 for 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: April 1, 2015

    • Well-planned manure applications are acceptable on most fields that are seeded, will be seeded within two weeks, or have well-established grasses.
    • Do not apply manure prior to significant rain events to avoid nutrient runoff and leaching. Please check your local weather forecast and see the next page for more information.
    • Avoid manure applications on wet areas or saturated soils. Some fields will dry more quickly than others.
    • Please continue to check you have enough manure storage to hold the average expected precipitation plus any excessive precipitation.

    Please read the entire advisory for details and important information to assist in the decision-making process for manure application(s) and storage.

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This advisory is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For further information, please contact BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag. 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag. 604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment: Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277 (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

    Additional Information

    Manure Storage

    • Develop a contingency plan to outline an effective response in case of an emergency. The plan could include identification of nearby abandoned pits, contact information for vacuum trucks, and easy access to the provincial spill reporting hotline.
    • A review of beneficial management practices (such as those found in the Environmental Farm Plan Reference Guide) may help identify improved management practices to alleviate storage issues.

    Established Grasses

    • Manure may be applied throughout the growing season to meet crop nutrient uptake.
    • Avoid spreading on wet fields and saturated soils.
    • Plan manure applications to ensure that storage facilities will be as close to empty as possible by next October.
    • Do not apply manure within 5 meters or more of wet ditches or watercourses. Increase buffer width to avoid any contaminated runoff based on soil, soil cover conditions, slopes greater than 5%, and sensitivity of the area being protected.

    Berry and Vegetable Crops

    • Do not spread manure on berry fields between flowering and harvest or on vegetable fields after planting. 
    • The use of properly composted manure should be considered if food safety issues related to manure applications are a concern and/or if nutrient leaching is a concern in sensitive areas such as unconfined aquifers.
    • Verify your food safety plan or program requirements prior to manure and/or compost applications.

    Bare Fields and Fields Prior to Planting

    • Manure applications are not recommended unless the field will be seeded within two weeks of manure application.

    Additional Resources

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  • March UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #1 2015: South Coast Region

    Date: March 2, 2015

    Reminder: It is acceptable to apply manure with certain precautions including a buffer width of 8 meters (26 feet) between the application area and sensitive areas and watercourses including ditches.  Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #1 of 2015 (Feb 13, 2015) for more information and the complete advisory. The recommended buffer width distance will decrease towards the end of March.

    In December 2013, the Manure Spreading Advisory Committee answered Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from the public to address questions and misconceptions about manure spreading in the B.C. South Coast. Questions included the following: “Should a farmer spread manure when it is raining?” “Why would one farm be spreading manure and their neighbour not be spreading?” “Why is manure spread repeatedly on the same field in the same year?”

    You can help spread the word about the Manure Spreading FAQ.

    Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution.

    This Update is produced by government, in partnership with industry, to provide guidance to farmers regarding the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT. If a discrepancy arises between this document and the legislation, the legislation takes precedence. Following this advisory does not relieve anyone from their obligations under the LEGISLATION. The Province of British Columbia does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information referenced here from legislation, and in no event is the Province liable or responsible for damages of any kind arising out of its use.

    For general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    David Poon, P.Ag 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag 604-556-3102

    Contact the BC Ministry of Environment: Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
    Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277 (Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)

    Filed under: 

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