A new state law kicks in today that will limit applying liquid manure on snow-covered farmland. It can now be applied only in emergencies. Gene Tinker is the coordinator of animal feeding operations for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Tinker says the law applies to facilities with 500 or more animals.
“Whenever manure is applied to snow-covered ground, when that snow melts, there is risk for some runoff,” Tinker says. “That’s basically why the Iowa legislature passed this law, was to require producers to take an extra look at the places where they do apply.” Tinker says all livestock and poultry producers need to protect water at all costs and prevent pollution as they apply manure.
He says, “They want to make sure they have good areas of fields with a low phosphorus index, where when snowmelt does occur, that manure is going to stay in place in the field to fertilize next year’s crop, as opposed to running off and getting into our streams.” The law limits liquid application from December 21st to April 1st if the ground is snow-covered. The DNR can enact penalties for non-compliance.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton