Date: June 1, 2015
Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 (April 1, 2015) for the current Advisory (Advisory #2). The following Update does not change the Advisory.
Should farmers sidedress nitrogen fertilizer on their corn fields this year?
- If the soil nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) in the top 30 cm at the 6-leaf stage of corn (i.e. presidedress nitrate test or PSNT) is greater than 30 parts per million (ppm), there is likely no economic benefit to the sidedress application*.
- A history of annual manure application on a field is a good indicator that the field will have greater than 30 ppm soil NO3-N (0-30 cm) in south coastal BC, because the manure supplies the soil with nitrogen that is converted to nitrate for years after application under favourable conditions (warm and moist but not too wet or too dry).
- There has been minimal precipitation to leach nitrate from the root zone this past month. In May 2015, the Abbotsford airport recorded 8.6 mm of rain, whereas the 1981-2010 average was 99.8 mm. Thus, many farmers are able to avoid sidedress nitrogen fertilizer applications, as they have been doing for many years now. *Spring nitrogen tests. http://www.farmwest.com/node/944
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 general information on manure spreading, please contact the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
David Poon, P.Ag 604-556-3098
Geoff Hughes-Games, P.Ag 604-556-3102
Contact the BC Ministry of Environment:
Report a spill 1-800-663-3456
Report activities that are polluting the environment 1-877-952-7277
(Report All Poachers and Polluters RAPP)