Prior to application of manure at any time of the year the following steps should be taken.
Only consider those fields that have been included in your Nutrient Management Plan. Do not apply to fields not in your plan prior to consulting with your Planner.
Check the weather forecast and Manure Spreading Advisory. If no significant rain has occurred for two days prior to (soil saturation <80%), not more than 0.25 inches is forecasted for the day of, and not more than 0.5 inches cumulative in the 72 hours after application, you may continue with the application assessment. If rain has occurred, check soil conditions thoroughly prior to application. If more than 0.5 inches of cumulative rain is expected in the 72 hours following application, postpone application until more favorable conditions arise.
Go out and physically examine each of the fields that you intend applying manure to. If conducting early season application, only apply to fields approved by WCD planners. Visually examine fields for: frozen soils, standing water/ponding, level of ditches, vegetation cover (grass or cover crop), tiles, and any other noteworthy characteristics. Note these areas for non-application if appropriate. Record all this information on your ARM Worksheet.
Determine water table depth. If the water table is <12 inches from the surface, do not apply. If greater than 24 inches, application will not be limited by water table, but be aware of applying over tiles. If you are in a groundwater recharge area, follow seasonal restrictions on application timing.
Determine the soil moisture of field. This can be done with soil moisture determination equipment or by hand. If greater than 80%, application may be limited. If soil moisture is over 90%, postpone application until a more favorable time.
Record all of the above information on the ARM Field Assessment Sheet then transfer the data to the ARM Worksheet. The ARM Worksheet will help you determine if application is appropriate based on risk of having a runoff event.
Once you fill out the ARM Worksheet and determine that application is low risk, send the worksheet to your planner prior to application. This will help you verify the process and alert us of your application event if necessary.
After assessment and submittal of application Worksheet, apply manure at recommended rates following guidelines on the ARM worksheet and in your Nutrient Management Plan.
Monitor your fields after application for any signs of runoff, discharge of tiles (if applicable), or ponding of manure. Take appropriate and immediate action to resolve any of these issues.