Extension News

Excessive Rainfall Creates Manure Management Issues

8/28/2007

AMES, Iowa -- Excessive rainfall across Iowa will cause two major issues when addressing manure management concerns, according to Iowa State University (ISU) Extension specialists.

“Producers should closely monitor manure storage levels during periods of high rainfall to prevent manure storage structures from over-topping” said Robert Burns, ISU Extension agricultural and biosystems engineer. “Producers should transfer manure to other storage if available, or make plans to remove manure before manure storage structures are completely full. If a manure storage structure is in danger of over-topping, producers should contact their local Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) field office for assistance in making arrangements to remove the manure.”

The second issue will be land application of the manure, especially if the storage structure is full and soils are saturated, said Angela Rieck-Hinz, ISU Extension program specialist. Rieck-Hinz works with the Iowa Manure Management Action Group at Iowa State University, http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/.

“Producers needing to apply manure should assess field conditions and apply manure where the risk of runoff or flooding is low. Due to the current weather pattern, producers also are encouraged to keep an eye on the weather forecast and not apply manure if rain is predicted. If field conditions are saturated or near saturation, infiltration of manure will be impeded and runoff can occur with or without future precipitation. Again, if land application is needed, please consult your local DNR field office,” Rieck-Hinz said.

Long-term implications of the wet weather may require producers to change fields where they had planned to apply manure this fall, she added. Producers with manure and nutrient management plans must document these changes prior to land application.

Application rates will still need to meet manure management plan requirements. Fields that are new to the manure management plan must have current soil samples taken and have the P Index calculations completed. If producers are faced with fewer acres for manure application than originally planned, they should consider working with neighbors to access additional acres.

The Iowa DNR Field Office locations and phone numbers are listed below.
Manchester, (563) 927-2640
Mason City, (641) 424-4073
Spencer, (712) 262-4177
Atlantic, (712) 243-1934
Des Moines, (515) 725-0268
Washington, (319) 653-2135

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Contacts :

Robert Burns, Ag and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-4203,  rburns@iastate.edu

Angela Rieck-Hinz, Agronomy, (515) 294-9590, amrieck@iastate.edu

Jean McGuire, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-7033, jmcguire@iastate.edu