Ohio Farmers Reminded of Winter Manure Application Best Management Practices

With the winter season upon us, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation would like to remind producers and nutrient applicators of laws and restrictions on manure application.

Signed into law by Governor John R. Kasich in July 2015, Ohio Senate Bill 1 clarifies and enhances the restrictions on manure application within the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB).

Application restrictions in the WLEB include:

  • On snow-covered or frozen soil;
  • When the top 2 inches of the soil are saturated from precipitation;
  • When the local weather forecast for the application area contains greater than fifty percent chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a 24-hour period.
  • Applicators are responsible for checking and keeping forecast information before application.
  • Any source of weather prediction is acceptable.

Restrictions do not apply if:

  • The manure is injected into the ground;
  • Manure is incorporated with 24 hours of surface application, using a tillage tool operated at a minimum of 3-4 inches deep;
  • 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. Contact the division in case of an emergency.

Producers in the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed are also reminded of the manure application ban that starts on December 15th. Producers and manure applicators shall not apply manure between December 15th and March 1st. Producers are also banned from surface applying manure on frozen ground or ground covered with more than 1” of snow outside of the December 15th and March 1st dates.

Producers in other areas of the state are reminded to use best management practices when applying manure and follow USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Standard 590.

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.