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

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