If you must haul manure during high runoff risk times:

Avoid field spreading manure by:

  • Using neighboring or other available manure storage facilities
  • Creating in-field stacking in areas that pose the least environmental runoff risk.

For manure stacking guidelines, see page 14 of the NRCS 313 practice standard on Temporary, Unconfined Stacks of Manure.

If field spreading of manure is necessary:

Identify lower-risk fields for spreading or stacking manure:
  • Apply to your driest fields
  • Use your Nutrient Management or Conservation Plan to find fields with:
    • low slope
    • low erosion, and
    • low delivery potential (low P-Index)
  • Apply to flatter fields without channelized flow, gullies
  • Apply to fields farthest from surface water, conduits to groundwater, and areas of concentrated flow
  • Apply to fields that do not drain to Outstanding, Exceptional, or nutrient impaired water bodies
  • Use the 590 Application Restriction Maps to identify lower- and higher-risk areas.
Incorporate manure applications whenever possible
  • Manure must be incorporated within 200 feet of areas draining to groundwater conduits

In winter, follow these additional restrictions:

  • No nutrient spreading in the winter within 1000 feet of lakes and 300 from streams/rivers
  • No spreading in winter on slopes greater than 9%. If contour tilled, no spreading on slopes greater than 12%.
  • On frozen or snow-covered fields with unincorporated liquid manure applications, limit application rates to 7,000 gallons/acre or the P removal of the next crop, whichever is less.

Core Nutrient Management Principles

  • Nutrient applications must not run off the intended application site so applications to saturated soil are likely to leave the field. Care should be exercised in the application of liquid manure. Liquid manure applications increase soil moisture which can lower the amount of precipitation needed to induce runoff. Check field outlets (low spots or exit points) during and after application to verify no runoff occurs.
  • Fields receiving nutrients must have sheet and rill soil erosion controlled to tolerable soil loss rates or “T” over the crop rotation.
  • In areas of concentrated flow which result in reoccurring gullies, establish grassed waterways and do not apply nutrients.
  • Establish grassed waterways in areas of concentrated flow, resulting in reoccurring gullies, and do not apply nutrients.
  • If runoff of applied nutrients occurs, implement following actions:
    1. Stop application
    2. Take corrective action to prevent off-site movement (e.g., berms, dams, etc)
    3. Modify application (rate, method, depth, timing, field selected) to eliminate runoff
    4. Notify WI DNR in the event of spill or accidental release of any material or substance when required by AG Spill Law (s.289.11, Wis Stats.) or terms of WPDES permit. Refer to
      AG spills and How to Handle Them - http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/rr/archives/pubs/RR687.pdf

For additional information regarding nutrient management planning, contact: