Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Advises Caution When Spreading Manure

February 04, 2009
Topf Wells, Office of the County Executive, (608) 266-9069
County Executive

Dane County urges all agricultural producers who apply manure on frozen or snow-covered cropland to use caution in the coming days as temperatures are forecasted to reach into the 40’s this weekend.  The warmer temperature, along with the threat of rain, creates ideal conditions for manure runoff.

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said:  “Our farmers have worked closely with the Dane County Land Conservation Division to exercise great care in the winter handling of manure over the last few years.  Many are also exploring innovative solutions to manure management, such as digesters that produce revenue, jobs, and energy -- as well as protecting our waters.”

Manure applied during the winter months can pose serious runoff threats to surface waters.  Snow-covered or frozen croplands may not allow for manure to be properly incorporated into the soil, resulting in manure runoff during thawing events.  Dane County experienced two such events in 2005, resulting in a fish kill and nutrient loading to area streams and lakes.

Producers applying liquid manure on frozen, snow covered or ice covered cropland in Dane County are required to follow the conditions stated in a winter spreading permit obtained from the Dane County Land Conservation Division.  As an alternative to spreading, producers are encouraged to consider temporarily stacking manure until weather conditions improve and to avoid large manure applications.

For further questions, please contact the Dane County Land Conservation Division at 224-3730.


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