Plan for stockpile sites and manure application in winter
With harvest drawing to an end and winter fast approaching, remember to think about where and how you plan to store manure over the winter. Winter means frozen ground, snow and -- if feedlot operators do not have permanent manure storage -- tempo...
With harvest drawing to an end and winter fast approaching, remember to think about where and how you plan to store manure over the winter.
Winter means frozen ground, snow and -- if feedlot operators do not have permanent manure storage -- temporary stockpile sites and winter manure application to fields.
Obviously, when the ground is frozen there is little opportunity for runoff from stockpile sites and winter manure application. But it is the winter thaws that are the concern. Melting of snow or a rain event when the ground is frozen can have detrimental effects on water sources once a full thaw occurs.
To prevent this possible detriment to our water sources, the state has provided guidelines in the form of setbacks to protect specified sensitive features for both stockpile sites and winter manure application.
Stockpiling of manure can be a reasonably safe method of manure storage if site selection is carefully considered. When rain or snowmelt comes in contact with manure, the water can pick up particles of manure, both visible and as dissolved nutrients, pathogens or leachate. Carefully considering stockpile site locations prevents the manure runoff from flowing over land into surface water and/or ground water.
Stockpile sites are meant for storage of solid manure. Stockpile sites are divided into two classifications: permanent and temporary.
Temporary stockpile sites need to be removed and land applied within one year, and permanent stockpile sites can store manure for over one year. If your operation is 300 animal units or greater, permanent stockpile sites require a permit with your local county feedlot officer. If your county does not have a feedlot officer, the permit can be obtained at the local Minnesota Pollution Control Agency office.
If you fall under the 300-animal-unit mark, no permit is needed but you will still need to comply with the standards for location and construction of the permanent stockpile site. Call your local office regardless of the size of your feedlot.
For permanent stockpile sites, requirements include such things as taking soil borings, constructing a pad that is concrete or compacted soil, constructing diversion structures to prevent surface water from passing through, and possibly the installation of a liquid manure storage area to collect runoff.
Temporary stockpile sites require no permit for any sized feedlot.
Neither type of stockpile site can be located in shoreland, flood plain or within 100 feet of a private well.
Temporary stockpile must be:
- Placed 300 feet of flow distance and at least 50 feet horizontal distance from surface water, open tile intakes and wetlands;
- Placed 300 feet flow distance from any road ditch that flows into one of the above or 50 feet from a ditch that does not flow into lake, wetland, ditch, etc.
- Placed 100 feet from a private well or 200 feet from a private well with less than 50 feet of water tight casing.
- Placed 100 feet from a field drain tile that is less than 3 feet from the soil surface.
They cannot be located on land with a greater than a 6 percent slope or 2 to 6 percent slope where clean water diversions or erosioncontrol practices are not in effect.
As far as applying manure in the winter, common sense is the key. Stay 300 feet from open tile intakes, streams, wetlands, lakes and drainage ditches.
Water is powerful, yet vulnerable. With increased awareness of how your oper ation impacts the environment, hopefully we can prevent water pollution.
Jim Ostlie is the Kandiyohi County feedlot officer. Questions can be directed to him at (320)-231-6547.