Winter Ban on Spreading Manure Begins December 16
ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 5, 2022)– The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds farmers that the winter ban on spreading manure and other nutrient sources on cropland, including food processing residuals (FPRs) begins December 16, 2022. Farmers may resume spreading on March 1, 2023, based on their nutrient management plan recommendations as long as fields are not saturated, snow-covered, or hard-frozen.
Maryland’s nutrient management regulations prohibit farmers from spreading manure and other nutrient sources on fields in winter due to the increased risk of runoff into local waterways. Liquid manure sources generated on farms must be stored in structures. MDA is authorized to work with livestock farmers to prevent overflows from storage structures and minimize impacts on water quality. In these instances, farmers must contact the Nutrient Management Program for emergency authorization before any spreading occurs.
Temporary field stockpiling of “stackable” poultry litter and other qualifying organic nutrient sources is allowed if the moisture content is 60% or less. Stackable organic nutrient sources may not be applied to fields in winter under any conditions.
Farmers should contact their regional nutrient management specialist if they have storage concerns, questions about the regulations, or need guidance on storage requirements for FPRs. For more information, please visit the department’s Nutrient Management Program website.
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