Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2013: South Coast Region

September 3, 2013

  • 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. 

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 for select fields. 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
David Poon, P.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. 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.

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 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,

Additional Resources

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