Ohio farmers reminded of manure application regs

Landowners in Western Lake Erie Basin have tougher manure guidelines than rest of state

manure application
Liquid manure from a hog feeding operation is being pumped onto cropland with a honey wagon. (USDA/NRCS photo, Tim McCabe)

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — As the weather warms up and rainfall increases this time of year, farmers and nutrient applicators need to be sure they know current laws and restrictions on manure application.

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

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation, applications are not permitted in the Western Lake Erie Basin in the following situations:

  • When the local weather forecast for the application area contains a greater than 50 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 the 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.

Related news: Western Lake Erie declared impaired / March 22, 2018

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.

Other areas of Ohio

Producers not in the Western Lake Erie Basin are reminded to use best management practices when applying manure and follow USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Standard 590. (link opens .pdf)

This includes but is not limited to following manure application rates, set back requirements and considering waterways and streams before applying manure.

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


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