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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Short term manure storage

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

“Short term manure storage is a practice that many producers use to manage their manure and field activities,” says Chris Ullmann, CFO (confined feeding operation) extension specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Red Deer. “It’s also an activity that often generates questions. Short term storage can be concerning to neighbours if the rules are not followed or if people don’t understand why you would store manure in a temporary location.”

Short term manure storage is a management tool producers use for a variety of reasons, says Ullmann.

“They can store their manure to avoid spreading when the potential for run-off losses is high, like when the ground is frozen, saturated or flooded. They may also use short term storage so that they can apply the manure at an appropriate time or at agronomic rates. As well, temporary sites can be used for composting in the field.”

Short term storage is a practice which is regulated by the Agricultural Operation Practices Act.

“These rules are in place to protect surface, ground water, soil (from nutrient accumulation) and to reduce impacts on neighbours,’ says Ullmann. “Producers need to meet setbacks from neighbours, water bodies, water wells, ground water and flooded areas, to protect water quality and reduce nuisance impact. As well, the site must be short term and temporary. For example, if you store in early November and spread in late May (seven months), you must not use that spot again for another two years.”

Ullmann says there is a publication available that can be very useful in finding answers to questions about manure storage.

“The 2008 AOPA reference guide is one of the best resources I have to help people understand the act and its regulations – it’s probably the number one document that I hand out. To get a copy, contact ARD’s Publications Office, look it up on our AOPA legislation website or ask for one from any one of the three CFO extension specialists.”

For more information, call 310-FARM (3276) and ask to speak to a CFO extension specialist.

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