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Farmers: Take note of setback requirements for manure application

Care is needed when applying manure around lakes, wetlands, tile intakes and drainage ditches.

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WORTHINGTON — Fall is officially here. As many producers begin field work and prepare for fall manure applications, now is the perfect time to go over a few set-back requirements.

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Here are a few set-backs to follow while applying manure:

Lakes and protected wetlands

  • 0 to 25 feet: No manure application is permitted within 25 feet of the ordinary high water level.
  • 25 to 300 feet: Inject or incorporate within 24 hours and before rainfall. Manage phosphorus to prevent long-term build-up of soil P (see page 8: High phosphorus soils). Do not apply manure to frozen or snow-covered soils in this zone, even if a buffer exists. Do not apply manure with irrigation equipment such as a center pivot or traveling gun.
  • An interim permit is needed if applying manure from feedlots with more than 300 animal units along lakes and protected wetlands where average soil phosphorus levels exceed 75 ppm Bray P1 (or 60 ppm Olsen) or where slopes exceed six percent. Exceptions to state requirements.
  • Immediate incorporation and phosphorus management are recommended, but not required, if a 50-foot-wide permanent vegetative buffer (non-manured) is planted along the wetland or a 100-foot-wide vegetative buffer is planted along the lake.
  • Manure applications are allowed on seasonally saturated soils that are seeded to annual farm crops or crop rotations of perennial grasses or legumes.
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The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

Open tile intakes

  • Inject or incorporate manure within 24 hours.
  • An interim permit is needed if applying manure from feedlots with more than 300 animal units within 300 feet of open tile intakes where average soil phosphorus levels exceed 75 ppm Bray P1 (or 60 ppm Olsen) or where slopes exceed 6%.

Drainage ditches

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  • 0 to 25 feet: No manure application is permitted.
  • 25 to 300 feet: Inject or incorporate within 24 hours and before rainfall. Manage phosphorus to prevent long-term buildup of soil P (see page 8: High phosphorus soils). Do not apply manure to frozen or snow-covered soils in this zone, even if a buffer exists. Do not apply manure through irrigation equipment such as a center pivot or traveling gun.
  • An interim permit is needed if applying manure from feedlots with more than 300 animal units along drainage ditches where average soil phosphorus levels exceed 75 ppm Bray P1 (or 60 ppm Olsen) or where slopes exceed six percent.

Exceptions to state requirements

  • These practices are not required if an earthen berm along the drainage ditch prevents runoff into the drainage ditch. If drainage water enters side inlets through the berm, the practices are required.
  • Immediate incorporation and phosphorus management are recommended, but not required, if a permanent vegetative buffer (at least 50 feet wide and non-manured) is planted along the ditch.

For more information on land application of manure, visit pca.state.mn.us/business-with-us/land-application-of-manure.
I hope everyone continues to have a safe and plentiful 2022 harvest.

Chris Prins is Nobles County Feedlot Officer. He can be reached at (507) 295-5322.

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