Winter manure application rules in effect December 21

Early snowfall in much of northern Iowa may affect animal producers with confinement facilities when limits on applying liquid manure on snow-covered ground start December 21 due to runoff and nutrient loss being more likely when manure can’t be injected into the soil or incorporated into a field.
Confinement facilities with 500 or more animal units cannot apply liquid manure on ground covered with an inch or more of snow or one-half inch of ice. Generally 500 animal units is equal to 1,250 finishing hogs; 5,000 nursery pigs; 500 steers, immature dairy cows or other cattle; or 357 mature dairy cows. Except in emergencies state law limits liquid manure application from December 21 to April 1 on snow-covered ground unless manure can be properly injected or incorporated. Producers must call the local DNR field office to report emergency applications before they apply.
Starting February 1, 2016, liquid manure application on frozen ground is restricted.
While the law affects confinements with liquid manure, open feedlots and poultry producers can help keep manure in place by using common sense and choosing application areas far from a stream, on flat land with little snow cover.
All producers must follow setbacks from certain buildings and environmentally sensitive areas. Find more information on separation distances and manure application at Look for recommendations from the Iowa Manure Management Action Group on applying manure in winter at