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Feeding the soil while respecting the environment

January 28, 2011

Spreading manure is a cost effective and efficient way for producers to remove manure from corrals and pens and to fertilize crops at the same time. Manure handling practices, water quality and livestock concentrations vary across regions. If not handled properly, manure may cause water quality problems and contaminate local drinking water wells.

The timing of manure applications is important both for the availability of nitrogen to the crops and on the potential for environmental impacts. Many factors impact the destiny of manure components once they are applied to the soil:

1. The nature of the manure is modified by such things as the type, diet and age of the livestock; the type of housing and the use of bedding; the type and duration of manure storage and the rate of manure application.
2. Land characteristics such as soil texture, slope and depth to the water table, proximity to water and tillage will influence the outcome of the manure constituents.
3. Lastly, weather conditions will determine whether potential contaminants will move off-site from runoff, tile drainage flow or ground water, or if they will remain within the rooting zone where nutrients can be absorbed by the crops and the soil.

To ensure that fertilized matter does not runoff towards rivers, streams, lakes or wells, setback distances are defined to reduce annoyance effects on neighbours and to decrease the risk of manure leaving the crops on which it was spread and entering a common body of water.

The rules abiding manure applications differ and it is important to learn the regulations pertaining to your area. Here are some examples of setback distances that must be respected:

When the land slopes towards a common body of water, the setback distances required are based on slope:

Take note that the distances will not only vary from one region to another and from one municipality to another, the distances within an area may vary depending on the type of manure, the application method used and the time of year. As well, some areas use a phosphorus index to limit the application of manure. So, depending on the index, producers may not be allowed to apply manure regardless whether they are using manure spreader tanks or liquid manure injectors.

It is important to be aware of influencing factors and conditions and take these into consideration prior to hauling out the PTO manure pumps and hooking up the manure tanks.

Jamesway feeding and manure equipment (feed conveyors, silo unloaders, steerable manure tank, manure tanks, manure injectors, etc.), at work today on some of the largest farms in the world. Jamesway products are sold and serviced by our extensive dealer network. Contact us today, we will show you how Jamesway can help you grow.




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