Advisories

  • Manure Spreading Advisory #5 2012: South Coast Region

    Date: October 12, 2012

    • Field stored solid agricultural wastes (except agricultural vegetation waste) MUST be COVERED from October 1 to April 1, inclusive.
    • A high risk of significant rainfall events is likely. Please take your local weather forecast into consideration before applying manure.
    • Manure applications are not recommended on any crop, except well established perennial grasses, due to the extreme risk to surface and/or ground water.
    • Manure may be applied to perennial grasses if:
      • grass is actively growing (mean daily air temperature is above 5oC),
      • soil is trafficable, with NO significant rain forecast for the 5 days following application, and
      • only a light manure application is provided, to meet the crops nutrient needs.
    • At this time of year, it is recommended that manure not be spread within 10 meters of ditches or watercourses.
    • Consider wind speed and direction when applying manure and how it may have a negative impact on your neighbours. Strong winds can also increase ammonia loss and soil loss through erosion.

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

    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 lowering 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.

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

    For questions of a regulatory nature:
    BC Ministry of Environment
    George Rushworth, P.Ag 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    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.
    • Develop a contingency plan to outline an effective response in case of an emergency. The plan should 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 recommended.

    Berry crops

    • Manure applications are not recommended.

    Perennial Grassland

    • Manure applications are only recommended on perennial grasses if the grasses are actively growing (mean daily temperatures greater than 5oC), fields are trafficable, and precipitation does not create runoff or leaching.
    • Application rates should meet crop nutrient requirements. The maximum suggested rate of application is 60 kg/ha of manure nitrogen which is approximately 2,000 gallons/acre of liquid dairy manure. Analyzing a manure sample for nutrient content is recommended.
    • Appropriate buffer widths should be maintained to minimize runoff risks.
    • Do not apply manure to fields that are saturated, frozen, or subject to flooding or runoff.
    • Apply manure only when soil is trafficable.
    • Do not apply manure to tile-drained fields if water is currently flowing through the drain tiles.

    Additional Resources

    Filed under: 
  • OCTOBER Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #4

    Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #4 2012: South Coast Region Date: October 1, 2012

    • Field stored solid agricultural wastes (except agricultural vegetation waste) MUST be COVERED from October 1 to April 1, inclusive.
    • Perennial grasses may continue to benefit from light fall manure applications while daily mean temperatures remain above 5oC.
    • Please take your local weather forecast into consideration before applying manure.
    • Establishing a cover crop on harvested or fallow fields is recommended to reduce soil erosion and to take up nutrients remaining in the soil.
    • October seeded cover crops will not likely become well established enough to take up a significant amount of added nutrients. Therefore, applying manure on these fields is not recommended.
    • Manure application on non-vegetated fields is not recommended
    • At this time of year, it is recommended that manure application on perennial grass not be applied within 8 meters of ditches or watercourses.
    • Consider wind speed and direction when applying manure. These parameters can blow particles of manure and carry odours to neighbouring properties.

     This manure spreading advisory 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.

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

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

    For questions of a regulatory nature:
    BC Ministry of Environment
    George Rushworth, P.Ag 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • Manure Spreading Advisory #4

    Manure Spreading Advisory #4 2012: South Coast Region
    Date: September 6, 2012

    • Perennial grasses continue to benefit from fall manure applications.
    • Nutrient requirements for cover crops and newly seeded grasses should be based on a soil test. Residual nutrients from the summer crop may be present in the soil and in sufficient quantity to support the winter cover.
    • Manure applications on harvested or fallow fields are not recommended unless cover crops are planted and will become well established to uptake nutrients prior to the end of the growing season.
    • At this time of year, it is recommended that manure not be spread within 8 meters of ditches or watercourses.
    • 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.

    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 careful manure application on some sites. The committee will monitor weather and soil conditions and will issue further advisories as conditions change.

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

    For questions of a regulatory nature:
    BC Ministry of Environment George Rushworth, P.Ag 604-582-5211 Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    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.
    • Develop a contingency plan now to outline an effective response in case of an emergency. The plan could include identification of nearby abandoned pits, contact information for vacuum trucks, easy access to the provincial spill reporting hotline.

    Harvested Annual Crops (including corn and vegetables)

    • Manure application should only be considered if a fall soil test shows the need for fertilizer and a winter cover crop has been or will be planted within two weeks. The cover crop should be planted in a timely manner such that it becomes well established prior to 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.

    Perennial Grassland

    • Manure application on perennial grasses is usually appropriate until the end of October 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 is 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

    Filed under: 
  • AUGUST Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #3

    UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2012: South Coast Region Date: August 1, 2012

    The following 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.

    Check your local weather forecast and field conditions when planning to spread and refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 (April 2, 2012) for details. Advisories and Updates can be found online at: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/ManureAdvisory/index.htm, http://www.farmwest.com/advisories, and http://bcmilkproducers.ca//events/details/manure_spreading_advisory_21.

    It is recommended that manure not be spread within a minimum of 3 meters from dry ditches and watercourses or 5 meters from wet ditches and watercourses during the summer months. If possible, please consider wind speed and direction when applying manure and how it can penetrate into the air and buildings having a negative impact on your neighbors. The wind can also increase ammonia loss and soil loss through erosion.

    Manure is an excellent fertilizer source if managed properly. Plan manure use throughout the growing season to meet crop nutrient uptake patterns and to keep pits empty before the start of the rainy season. Consider the corn and grass growth curves on pages 25 and 26 of the Nutrient Management Reference Guide at http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/EnviroFarmPlanning/EFP_Nutrient_Guide/N....

    Also, to avoid food safety concerns, do not spread manure on vegetable fields after planting.

    Need assistance with irrigation scheduling? Check out the Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator at http://www.irrigationbc.com/  (sign-up required). Irrigating at the right time and in the right amount can save you money in water and fertilizer costs.

    For further information, please contact:
    BC Ministry of Agriculture
    Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg 604-556-3102
    Lolita Aumuller, AAg 604-556-3098

    For questions of a regulatory nature:
    BC Ministry of Environment
    George Rushworth, PAg 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • JULY Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2012: South Coast Region

    Date: July 3, 2012

    The following 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.

    Check your local weather forecast and field conditions when planning to spread and refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 (April 2, 2012) for details. Applying manure 5 days before significant rainfall events is not recommended.

    It is recommended that manure not be spread within a minimum of 3 meters from dry ditches and watercourses or 5 meters from wet ditches and watercourses during the summer months.

    Manure is an excellent fertilizer source if managed properly. Plan manure use throughout the growing season to meet crop nutrient uptake patterns and to keep pits empty before the start of the rainy season. Consider the corn and grass growth curves on pages 25 and 26 of the Nutrient Management Reference Guide at http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/EnviroFarmPlanning/EFP_Nutrient_Guide/N....

    Advisories and Updates can be found online at: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/ManureAdvisory/index.htm, http://www.farmwest.com/advisories, and http://bcmilkproducers.ca//events/details/manure_spreading_advisory_21.

    Also, to avoid food safety concerns, do not spread manure on berry fields between flowering and harvest or on vegetable fields after planting.

    Need assistance with irrigation scheduling? Check out the Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator at http://www.irrigationbc.com/ (sign-up required).

    Irrigating at the right time and in the right amount can save you money in water and fertilizer costs.

    For further information, please contact:
    BC Ministry of Agriculture Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg 604-556-3102
    Lolita Aumuller, AAg 604-556-3098

    For questions of a regulatory nature:
    BC Ministry of Environment George Rushworth, PAg 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • JUNE Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2012: South Coast Region

    Date: June 1, 2012

    The following 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.

    Need assistance with irrigation scheduling? Check out the Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator at http://www.irrigationbc.com/ (sign-up required). Irrigating at the right time and in the right amount can save you money in water and fertilizer costs.

    For further information, please contact: BC Ministry of Agriculture
    Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg 604-556-3102
    Lolita Aumuller, AAg 604-556-3098

    For questions of a regulatory nature: BC Ministry of Environment
    George Rushworth, PAg 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • MAY Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #3

     Date: May 1, 2012

     

    The following 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.

     

     

    Check your local weather forecast and field conditions when planning to spread and refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 (April 2, 2012) for details. Advisories and Updates can be found online at: www.agf.gov.bc.ca, www.farmwest.com, and bcmilkproducers.ca.

               

    Manure is an excellent fertilizer source if management properly. Plan manure use throughout the growing season to meet crop nutrient uptake patterns and to keep pits empty before the start of the rainy season. Have a look at the corn and grass growth curves on pages 25 and 26 of the Nutrient Management Reference Guide at http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/EnviroFarmPlanning

     

    It is recommended that manure not be spread within a minimum of 3 meters from dry ditches and watercourses or 5 meters from wet ditches and watercourses during the summer months.

     

    Also, to avoid food safety concerns, do not spread manure on berry fields between flowering and harvest or on vegetable fields after planting.

     

    **The Berry Production Guide is now online at: http://productionguide.agrifoodbc.ca/

    Please note that the April 2, 2012 Manure Spreading Advisory listed an incorrect link.

     

    For further information, please contact:

    BC Ministry of Agriculture

    Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg        604-556-3102

    Lolita Aumuller, AAg                     604-556-3098

     

    For questions of a regulatory nature:

    BC Ministry of Environment

    George Rushworth, PAg              604-582-5211

    Trevor Hamelin, AScT                 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • MANURE APPLICATION FLOWCHART

    manure application flow chart

    Filed under: 
  • Manure Spreading Advisory #3 - South Coastal Region - April 22, 2012

    The following 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.

    • Manure application conditions have improved slightly since the last advisory and well-planned manure applications may be suitable on select fields based on weather conditions.
    • 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 and storage.

    Current Conditions, as an indication of manure application suitability

    Weather: Warmer temperatures with periods of rain and sun are forecast for the next few days in Abbotsford. Check your local weather forecast for details.

    Soil: Soil temperature is around 6.4oC at Huntington and 6.1oC at DeRoche.

    Crops: The T-Sum for Abbotsford is 446. A T-Sum of 200 is one indication of optimal timing for the first fertilizer application on well-established grasses (see farmwest.com_Climate_T-Sum Calculator).

    Avoiding Overflowing Manure Pits

    Some producers may still be faced with potentially overflowing manure pits due to late spring rains. Producers should plan to have enough manure storage to include the average expected precipitation (for example, 219 mm for Abbotsford in April and May as provided by Environment Canada) plus account for unforeseen circumstances such as excessive precipitation.

    Allowing any uncontrolled release of manure is likely a contravention of the Environmental Management Act. If overflowing manure pits cannot be avoided, producers are strongly advised to identify temporary alternatives to manure spreading. Producers should examine alternative storage options on neighboring farm operations with no stock or consider dewatering a portion of their storage pits (use a temporary liquid separator). The separated solids should then be managed as solid manure and placed in a bermed and covered (confined) facility. If alternative storage options for excess manure are not available, please contact the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Environment (contact info below) for further advice.

    Principal environmental risks associated with manure application include:

    • Surface runoff of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses,
    • Groundwater impacts from leaching,
    • Short-circuit flow of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses though drain tiles,
    • Soil compaction from operating heavy equipment on wet fields.

    Given the above risks, the “Manure Spreading Advisory Committee” (consisting of industry and government representatives) recommends reviewing the risks and suitability of manure spreading.

    Helpful Hints and Precautionary Measures for All Manure Applications

    The following measures should be considered prior to manure application:

    • Manure is an excellent fertilizer source if managed properly. Consider manure use throughout the season so that your pits are empty at the start of the rainy season. Remember the 4 R’s: Right rate, Right time, Right method, and Right product.
    • Do not apply manure to areas of the field that are saturated or frozen or subject to flooding or runoff.
    • Do not apply manure to tile-drained fields if there is a potential for manure to flow through the drain tiles.
    • Apply manure to actively growing crops or if field will be seeded within 2 weeks.
    • Apply manure only when soil is trafficable and there is no significant rain (i.e. greater than 10 mm of rain or its equivalent in snow) forecast in the next 5 days. Events such as farm traffic, tillage, and livestock usage on wet fields increases soil compaction which leads to increased runoff flow from the field. Soil compaction can also slow the warming of the soil, decrease crop yields, and cause root damage and premature aging.
    • Protect surface waters from runoff by maintaining adequate setbacks to watercourses. At this time of year, a minimum 5 metre (16 foot) setback is recommended. This distance should be increased depending on a variety of factors including weather, topography, soil conditions and rate of application.
    • Apply manure at rates matched to crop nutrient requirements and consider: Plants at the beginning and end of their growth cycle require fewer nutrients.
        • It is recommended that a single manure application not exceed 50 m3/ha (approximately 5300 gallons/acre) for slurry or 50 tonnes/ha (22 tons/ac) of solid manure. If a higher application rate is recommended (based on nitrogen requirement of the crop), apply the manure in multiple applications with possible incorporation of the first application. These rates are based on the soil’s ability to absorb the manure.
        • Leave at least three weeks between manure applications to reduce the risk of soil surface sealing. The time allows soil microbes to break up the manure.
    • In areas of high rainfall and/or high leaching risk, apply nutrients in smaller, multiple applications to reduce the potential for runoff and leaching.
    • Using only manure as a nutrient source could lead to phosphorus overloading in the soil. Soil and manure testing is recommended.
    • Avoid applications in diverting winds or on excessively windy days.

    Field Specific Notes

    Perennial Grassland and Well-Established Cover Crops: High yielding perennial grasses can take up to 100% of their total annual nitrogen requirement1 in April and May. Consider smaller, multiple applications throughout the growing season as shown with the 1, 3, and 5-cut grass growth curves on page 26 of the Nutrient Management Reference Guide at http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/EnviroFarmPlanning/EFP_Nutrient_Guide/N.... When applying manure, follow the precautionary measures listed above.

    Prior to Planting: Application may be considered if seeding within the two weeks of application and if all other precautionary measures are adhered to. Manure should be injected or incorporated as soon as possible after application. See the Ammonia Loss from Manure interactive graphs at: http://www.farmwest.com/climate/ammonia

    Berry and Vegetable Crops: Berry crops can take up to 100% of their total annual nitrogen requirement1 in April and May. Avoid heavy manure applications as this could injure new plants and increase the risk of polluting groundwater. Use of properly composted manure is preferred. Timing of application should also consider that manure be applied a minimum 90 days prior to crop harvest. If applying manure, include the precautionary measures listed above. Keep an eye open for the on-line version of the Berry Production Guide with an updated Nutrient Management Plan for raspberry crops coming soon to http://www.smartfarmbc.ca/ 1 Recommendations are for nitrogen only. A nutrient management plan is recommended (provided free of charge through the BC Environmental Farm Plan) and would provide better estimates of actual uptake for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Additional Resources

    Canada-BC Environmental Farm Plan Program Trained Planning Advisors are available to assist producers with completing 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.ardcorp.ca/index.php?page_id=14 B.C

    Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
    The BC Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Guide can assist producers to implement food safety practices at the farm. It offers a whole-farm approach covering all aspects of crop and livestock production. Visit http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/foodsafety/gap.htm.

    Agricultural Waste Control Regulation
    This is the actual legislation that applies to manure management in British Columbia. http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/E/EnvMgmt/131_92.htm

    For further information, contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    Lolita Aumuller, AAg 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg 604-556-3102

    For questions of a regulatory nature, call the BC Ministry of Environment:
    George Rushworth, PAg 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

    Filed under: 
  • Manure Spreading Advisory #2 - February 21, 2012

    South Coastal Region

    Date: February 21, 2012

    The following 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.

    In the South Coastal region, field-stored solid agricultural wastes, except agricultural vegetation waste, must be covered from October 1 to April 1 inclusive to prevent the escape of agricultural waste that causes pollution (Section 9 of the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation).

    Manure application conditions have improved since the last advisory and careful manure application may be suitable on select fields.

    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 and storage.

    Current Conditions, as an indication of manure application suitability

    Weather: Cooler temperatures and significant precipitation events (rain and snow) are forecast over the new few days in Abbotsford. Check your local weather forecast for details.

    Soil: Soil temperature is about 7°C in Abbotsford.

    Crops: The T-Sum for Abbotsford is 224. A T-Sum of 200 is one indication of optimal timing for the first fertilizer application on well-established grasses (see www.farmwest.com).

    Avoiding Overflowing Manure Pits

    Some producers may still be faced with potentially overflowing manure pits. Producers should plan to have enough manure storage to include the average expected precipitation (for example, 307 mm for Abbotsford in February and March as provided by Environment Canada) plus account for unforeseen circumstances such as excessive precipitation.

    Allowing any uncontrolled release of manure is likely a contravention of the Environmental Management Act. If overflowing manure pits cannot be avoided, producers are strongly advised to identify temporary alternatives to manure spreading. Producers should examine alternative storage options on neighboring farm operations with no stock or consider dewatering a portion of their storage pits (use a temporary liquid separator). The separated solids should then be managed as solid manure and placed in a bermed and covered (confined) facility. If alternative storage options for excess manure are not available, please contact the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Environment (contact info below) for further advice.

    Principal environmental risks associated with manure application include:

    • Surface runoff of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses,
    • Groundwater impacts from leaching, 
    • Short-circuit flow of manure nutrients and pathogens to water courses though drain tiles, 
    • Soil compaction from operating heavy equipment on wet fields.

    Given the above risks, the “Manure Spreading Advisory Committee” (consisting of industry and government representatives) recommends reviewing the risks and suitability of manure spreading.

    Precautionary Measures for All Manure Applications and Helpful Hints

    The following measures should be considered prior to manure application:

    • Apply manure only when soil is trafficable and there is no significant rain (i.e. greater than 10 mm of rain or its equivalent in snow) forecast in the next 5 days. Events such as farm traffic, tillage, and livestock usage on wet fields increases soil compaction which leads to increased runoff flow from the field. Soil compaction can also slow the warming of the soil, decrease crop yields, and cause root damage and premature aging. 
    • Apply manure to actively growing crops.
    • Protect surface waters from runoff by maintaining adequate setbacks to watercourses. At this time of year, a minimum 8 metre (26 feet) setback is recommended. This distance should be increased depending on a variety of factors including weather, topography, soil conditions and rate of application.
    • Do not apply manure to areas of the field that are saturated or frozen.
    • Do not apply manure to areas of the field that are subject to flooding or runoff.
    • Apply at rates matched to crop nutrient requirements. Plants at the beginning and end of their growth cycle require fewer nutrients.
    • In areas of high rainfall and/or high leaching risk, apply nutrients in multiple applications.
    • Do not apply manure to tile-drained fields if there is a potential for manure to flow through the drain tiles.
    • Leave at least three weeks between manure applications to reduce the risk of soil surface sealing. The time allows soil microbes to break up the manure. 
    • Using only manure as a nutrient source could lead to phosphorus overloading in the soil. Soil and manure testing is recommended.
    • A single manure application should not exceed 50 m3/ha (approximately 5300 gallons/acre) for slurry or 50 tonnes/ha (22 tons/ac) of solid manure. If a higher rate of the liquid manure has been recommended, consider incorporating half of the application.
    • Avoid applications in diverting winds or on excessively windy days.

    Field Specific Notes

    Perennial Grassland and Well-Established Cover Crops: High yielding perennial grasses can take up to 25% of their total annual nitrogen requirement1 in February and March. Consider smaller, multiple applications throughout the growing season. When applying manure, follow the precautionary measures listed above.

    Prior to Planting: Application may be considered if seeding within the two weeks of application and if all other precautionary measures are adhered to. Manure should be injected or incorporated as soon as possible after application. See the Ammonia Loss from Manure interactive graphs at: /index.cfm?method=climateammonia.showgraph

    Berry crops: Berry crops can take up to 30% of their total annual nitrogen requirement1 in February and March but up to 100% in April and May. Avoid heavy manure applications as this could injure new plants and increase the risk of polluting groundwater. Use of a properly composted manure is preferred. Timing of application should also consider that manure be applied a minimum 90 days prior to crop harvest. If applying manure, include the precautionary measures listed above.

    1 Recommendations are for nitrogen only. A nutrient management plan is recommended (provided free of charge through the BC Environmental Farm Plan) and would provide better estimates of actual uptake for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Additional Resources

    Canada-BC Environmental Farm Plan Program
    Trained Planning Advisors are available to assist producers with completing an Environmental Farm Plan. For more information contact the ARDCorp office in Abbotsford.

    B.C Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
    The BC Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Guide can assist producers to implement food safety practices at the farm. It offers a whole-farm approach covering all aspects of crop and livestock production. Visit http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/foodsafety/gap.htm

    Agricultural Waste Control Regulation
    This is the actual legislation that applies to manure management in British Columbia.

    http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/E/EnvMgmt/131_92.htm

    For further information, contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
    Lolita Aumuller, AAg 604-556-3098
    Geoff Hughes-Games, PAg 604-556-3102

    For questions of a regulatory nature, call the BC Ministry of Environment:
    George Rushworth, PAg 604-582-5211
    Trevor Hamelin, AScT 604 582-5275

     

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