A review of regulations and guidelines related to winter manure application
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Winter manure application elevates nutrient losses and impairment of water quality as compared to manure applications in other seasons. In conjunction with reviewing global distribution of animal densities, we reviewed worldwide mandatory regulations and voluntary guidelines on efforts to reduce off-site nutrient losses associated with winter manure applications. Most of the developed countries implement regulations or guidelines to restrict winter manure application, which range from a regulative ban to guidelines based upon weather and field management conditions. In contrast, developing countries lack such official directives, despite an increasing animal production industry and concern over water quality. An analysis of five case studies reveals that directives are derived from a common rationale to reduce off-site manure nutrient losses, but they are also affected by local socio-economic and biophysical considerations. Successful programs combine site-specific management strategies along with expansion of manure storage to offer farmers greater flexibility in winter manure management.
KeywordsAnimal production Eutrophication Manure management regulations Nutrient management Winter manure application
The authors thank Nina Bonnelycke (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and Don Meals (Tetra Tech Inc.) for sharing their draft summary of state program requirements for winter application of manure in the U.S., and Chris Ullmann (Alberta Department of Agriculture and Forestry) for sharing the unpublished report of directives on winter application of manure in Canada. The authors also thank Amy Shober (University of Delaware), Thomas Basden (West Virginia University), Richard Meinert (University of Connecticut), Karl Czymmek (Cornell University), Joshua McGrath (University of Kentucky), and Daniel Geisseler (University of California, Davis) for providing information related to winter manure directives in their states. Gary Shenk (U.S. Geological Survey) kindly provided the original data for mapping the production of manure nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Anthony Buda (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service) provided helpful insights on issues related to weather. This publication was developed under Assistance Agreement No. RD 83556801-0 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by any of the authors’ organization or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All entities involved are equal opportunity providers and employers.
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