Manure Spreading Advisory #2 for 2013: South Coast Region

Date: April 2, 2013

    • Well planned manure applications are acceptable on most fields that are seeded, will be seeded within two weeks, and/or well-established grasses.
    • Avoid manure applications on wet fields and/or saturated soils.
    • It is the producer’s responsibility to apply manure in a manner that will not create runoff to surface water, to off field locations, and/or leaching below the root zone.
    • Do not apply manure prior to significant rain events.
    • Continue to check your storage areas to ensure you have enough manure storage to hold the average expected precipitation plus account for any potential increased storage circumstances such as 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 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 further information, please contact: BC Ministry of Agriculture
Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag.     604-556-3102

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

  • 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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