Winter manure application

Manure applied on top of snow in winter runoff study.

As the weather during Minnesota winter becomes more unpredictable, we have to consider the implications this has on winter application of manure. What are the water quality impacts? Can we count on winter applied manure to supply nutrients to the next crop? The overall goal of this project is to better understand nutrient availability and losses when manure is applied under various scenarios in the winter.

The objectives are to:

  1. Compare nutrient runoff from various winter manure application timings
  2. Evaluate the impact of manure application timing on the following crop’s nutrient uptake early in the season

By collecting this data and comparing it to other findings in our region, such as from the Discovery Farms, we can develop better guidelines for best management practices involving winter manure application. Over the long-term, this will help producers in Minnesota improve nutrient management planning and will lead to better water quality.

Research sites in Minnesota for winter manure runoff.

Research site in Minnesota

Research photos

Runoff water after manure application of 15% solids manure, 3% solids manure, and no manure.
Snow pack layering study for applying manure.
Winter manure runoff study with full water collection bags after a runoff event.