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DATCP: Don't Let Harvest Rush Lead to Manure Runoff
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/21/2021

With farmers working frantically to finish their fall harvest activity, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is reminding producers to take advantage of the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast and follow their nutrient management plans.

The agency says the tool helps determine the potential for manure runoff from a field depending on weather conditions and soil temperature. Spreading manure when there is an elevated risk of runoff can send manure into streams and threaten water quality.

"A nutrient management plan helps determine where and how much manure you should spread," said Andrea Topper, DATCP's soil and watershed management training and outreach conservation specialist. "The runoff risk advisory forecast can tell you when to spread that manure. Assessing current field conditions is just one step farmers should use in their decision to spread manure."

The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast is part of the online Wisconsin Manure Management System, which provides maps that are updated three times a day to show short-term manure runoff risk, taking into consideration soil moisture, weather forecast, crop cover, and slope. Farmers can check it to see how risky it will be to spread manure in their watershed basin.

Along with checking the forecast, farmers who have nutrient management plans should be spreading manure based on the plan.

Almost a third of Wisconsin's 9 million acres of cropland is covered by a nutrient management plan.

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