Winter 2006

Manure Stockpiling Prior to Land Application


By Gene Tinker, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Manure stockpilingMany producers choose to stockpile accumulated manure until crop production fields are available for land application. The location of the manure stockpile and how it is managed are important to prevent water quality violations from occurring. In addition there may be state laws that affect where and how manure can be stockpiled.

Open feedlot operations must not stockpile manure within 800 feet of a high quality water resource or within 400 feet of a designated area such as a known sinkhole, cistern, abandoned well, unplugged agricultural drainage well, agricultural drainage well surface inlet, drinking water well, designated wetland or water source.  In addition the stockpile can not be within 200 feet of a terrace tile inlet or surface tile inlet unless runoff from the stockpile can not drain to the inlet.

Manure cannot be stockpiled on a grassed waterway or where water pools on the soil surface. Stockpiles on land with a slope greater than 3 percent must have controls for runoff from the stockpile, such as hay bales, silt fences or temporary earthen berms. The stockpiled manure must also be land applied within six months.

Confinement operations must be no discharge systems and therefore stockpiling of manure from a confinement facility is only allowed in a manure storage area that will contain all runoff from the stockpile. Many poultry confinement operations use Chapter 200A agreements for their manure management. These 200A agreements are managed by the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship and therefore IDALS requirements for stockpiling must be followed. For information on these requirements, please contact Terry Jensen at (515) 281-8599.

Regardless of the source of the manure and the regulations for where the manure can be stockpiled, prevention of water quality violations is of utmost importance and must be a consideration for management of the stockpile.


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