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Farmers Urged to Check Runoff Risk Prior to Spreading Manure
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/23/2020

With spring weather causing snowmelt, soils saturation and normal rain fall, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers to check for the risk of runoff from their field before spreading manure on it. A free online tool called the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast identifies if there is a high or low chance for runoff in your area.

State agricultural officials say spreading manure on fields when there is a high risk of runoff can result in the manure traveling into streams and threaten water quality.

"A good nutrient management plan helps you determine where you can spread and the application rate," said Ryan Erisman, DATCP's nutrient management planning specialist. "The runoff risk tool is to help you determine when it's safe to spread."

The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast is available at runoffrisk/index. The forecast provides maps showing short-term runoff risk for daily field application planning, taking into account soil saturation and temperature, weather forecast, snow and crop cover, and slope. The National Weather Service updates the forecast three times a day.

Farmers should contact their crop consultants, county land conservation offices or the Department of Natural Resources for help identifying alternatives to high-risk spreading.

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