Leslie Johnson - Animal Manure Management Project Coordinator
Abandoned manure storages present a risk to the environment by accidental overflow or leakage due to lack of management. It is in the best interest of the environment and the property owner, who is liable for any environmental damage resulting from any discharge, whether leakage or overflow, to properly close any unused manure storage structure.
Because of a growing concern about manure irrigation, the University of Wisconsin Extension assembled a workgroup to research the concerns. The workgroup included scientists, public health specialists, state agency experts, farmers, conservationists and others. Over the course of two years, the group gathered and studied the science of manure irrigation, which culminated in a report that contains findings, responses and recommendations. This article will review a few of their findings related to bacterial transport as well as highlight some of the reasons why a farmer might opt to apply manure via irrigation rather than other ways.
The workshops and online course are designed to help farmers increase the economic value of manure and to understand and implement the nutrient management planning requirements of Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality regulations. Topics covered include: updates on manure management regulations, value of manure as a fertilizer and soil amendment, biosecurity on livestock operations, and more. Anyone currently using manure or considering adding manure to their cropping system fertility program is encouraged to participate.
Farmers and ranchers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soil quality/health to the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural system. Research and field observations have demonstrated that carefully managed manure applications can contribute to improved soil quality with limited environmental and social risks. However, a comprehensive assemblage of outputs and conclusions from research studies, field trials, soil labs databases, and other sources has never been developed.