December 16, 2021 | Montpelier, VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) would like to remind all farm operations that the annual winter manure spreading ban is underway. Between December 15 and April 1, no manure or other agricultural wastes (including compost and spoiled feed) may be spread on agricultural fields throughout Vermont.
This annual ban is required by the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), which is a part of VAAFM’s overall strategy to protect water quality, the working landscape, and natural resources. The ban is a regulation that has been in place since 1995. The RAPs also prohibit the application of manure or agricultural wastes on frozen, saturated or snow-covered fields outside of the winter manure spreading ban.
Farmers must either have a storage structure that is capable of holding all manure produced between December 15th to April 1st, which is 106 days, or they must be able to stack all manure produced in a way that meets RAP standards and will not lead to adverse water quality impacts. When field stacking manure, the RAPs require that stacking sites be located at least 200 feet from private wells and 100 feet from property boundaries. In addition, manure cannot be stacked within 200 feet of surface water, 100 feet of a ditch, on land that is subject to annual overflow from adjacent waters, or on exposed bedrock.
Manure spreading is a common practice in Vermont agriculture which enriches the soil for crop production. For additional information about the RAPs, including a copy of the full rule please visit: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/rap.
Questions about the manure spreading ban, requests for assistance in the selection of appropriate manure stacking sites, or to request an emergency exemption can be directed to Laura DiPietro, VAAFM (802) 595-1990 or Nate Sands (802) 224-6850.