ODA issues spring manure application reminders

New measures clarified and enhanced restrictions on manure application in Lake Erie basin

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — As the weather warms up and rainfall increases this time of year, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation would like to remind producers and nutrient applicators of laws and restrictions on manure application. Please keep in mind that these restrictions are year round.

Signed into law by Gov. John R. Kasich in July 2015, new measures clarified and enhanced the restrictions on manure application within the Western Lake Erie Basin.

Application restrictions in the WLEB include:

  • When the local weather forecast for the application area contains a greater than fifty percent chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a 24-hour period;
    • Producers are reminded it is their responsibility to research and make a copy of a local forecast or the 24-hour precipitation forecast.
    • Other verifiable sources of weather prediction are acceptable.
  • When the top 2 inches of the soil are saturated from precipitation;
  • On snow-covered or frozen soil.

Restrictions do not apply if:

  • The manure is injected into the ground;
  • Manure is incorporated within 24 hours of surface application, using a tillage tool operated at a minimum depth of 3-4 inches;
  • The manure is applied onto a growing crop;
  • The chief of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation has provided written consent for an emergency application. Contact the division in case of an emergency.

Producers not in the WLEB are reminded to use best management practices when applying manure and follow USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Standard 590. This includes but is not limited to following manure application rates, set back requirements and considering waterways and streams before applying manure.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has an online tool designed to help nutrient applicators identify times when the potential nutrient loss from a fertilizer or manure application is low. The Ohio Applicator Forecast takes data from the National Weather Service, predicting potential for runoff to occur in a given area. The forecast takes snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture content and forecast precipitation and temperatures into account, giving farmers substantial information when they are making nutrient application decisions.

For more information about manure application, producers and applicators can contact the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation at 614-265-6610 or