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

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