Step 6

Determining How and When to Apply Manure

            picture NRCS
The main factor governing the type of manure application method is moisture content. Water is heavy and expensive to haul. Therefore, hauling semi-solid and slurry forms of manure long distances is not desirable. Some form of solid-liquid separation may be advantageous to allow solids to be transported and applied with a box spreader while liquids are applied through an irrigation system or water is evaporated.

Most manure applications are made in spring before planting, or fall after harvest. Wastewater applications can be made during the cropping season through an irrigation system. Winter applications of manure should not be made unless measures are taken to ensure no field runoff occurs. Click here for more information regarding winter application .
Regardless of when manure is applied, additional land management measures may be needed to ensure manure and runoff water do not leave a site after spreading. See Step 8 for a list of Best Management Practices that will help you reduce runoff.
This step will help you determine how and when to apply manure.
To get started, read the complete text of Step 6 (link at the bottom of the page). Then, read over this page, and follow the directions provided for filling out the worksheets. File the completed worksheets and record keeping forms in an organized manner for later reference.

After completing this section you should: 

  • Determine the most efficient method of manure application.
  • Determine the appropriate times for manure application on individual fields.

Information you will need: 

  • Soil and manure test results. See Step 4 for more information .
  • General information about your operation and field features, including your field's distance from water, your irrigation type, irrigation efficiency, and incorporation of manure.
  • Chose a preferred application method based on your manure storage system and moisture content of manure produced (see manure application methods table ).

Documentation filed in this section:

1. Create a statement or description of current and ideal manure application practices .

2. Assess your operation and manure application practices for their risk to surface and groundwater contamination using the Utah Manure Application Risk Index Worksheet .
Utah Manure Application Risk Index Worksheet

Full Text of Step 6 from USU/NRCS CNMP Curriculum: 

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