PRIMGHAR, Iowa — Winter has set in early this fall with temps falling into the single digits. Livestock farmers have been calling with stories of breaking injecting equipment. They are unable to apply their manure, because the soil is frozen.
The regulations on application to frozen soil do not start until February 1, when the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) requires special permitting for liquid application from confinements. ISU research shows that the risk of manure runoff is low when applied to frozen soil in November and December, because the probability of heavy rainfall is also low. Therefore, it is legal to apply manure to frozen ground prior to February 1 without contacting the IDNR.
It is however a surface application which has separation distances. These distances are:
- 200 feet from designated areas like wells, water sources, and drainage ditches. This is 80 corn rows with 30-inch spacing; or
- 50 feet with permanent vegetative buffer with no application on buffer; or
- 800 feet from high quality water resources, like the Little Sioux River from Spencer to Cherokee; or
- 750 feet from a residence, business, church, school, or public use area, like a park or cemetery.
For more information, read DNR Publication 113 and 117 which can be accessed at http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/ppr.html.
— Kris Kohl, Agricultural Engineering Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
For more news from Iowa, click here.