Manure Spreading Advisory #1 for 2017: South Coast Region

Effective April 3, 2017

It is acceptable to apply manure on established grasses, fields being seeded within two weeks of application, and berry fields if: ­

  • T-Sum values are greater than 200, ­
  • Soil temperature is greater than 5oC, ­
  • Crop is actively growing (for established crops only), and ­
  • Expected precipitation and manure applications will not create runoff to surface water, to off field locations, and/or leaching below the root zone. Please check your local weather forecast and see next page for more information.

Please 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 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.

For further information, please contact BC Ministry of Agriculture:

Jeff Nimmo, P.Ag.               604-556-3109

David Poon, P.Ag.               604-556-3098

For questions of a regulatory nature, please contact the BC Ministry of Environment:

To report a spill                1-800-663-3456

To report pollution          1-877-952-7277


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 and Fields Prior to Planting

  • Manure may be applied to established grasses if all the following apply:

1.   T-Sum value in your area if greater than 200 (see;

2.   Soil temperature is greater than 5oC measured at a soil depth of 10 cm;

3.   Grass is actively growing or;

4.   A minimum buffer width of 5 meters (16 feet) is maintained between the application area and sensitive areas and watercourses including ditches;

5.   Less than 10 mm of accumulated precipitation is expected for the 5 days following application; and

6.   The field is not frozen or saturated; subject to flooding or runoff; and is not tile drained with the potential for manure to leave the farm.

Berry crops

  • Manure may be applied in late February but it is recommended you confirm from your food safety plan or program to determine the time requirement between manure application and crop harvest.
  • 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.


Additional Resources

·      Agricultural Waste Control Regulation   -  This is the actual legislation that applies to manure management in British Columbia.

·      Environmental Farm Plan Reference Guide (Canada-BC EFP Program)

·      Nutrient Management Reference Guide (Canada-BC EFP Program)

·      Ammonia Loss from Manure interactive tool at:




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