Farmers Encouraged to Review Spreading Rules and Remain Vigilant through Spring
April 1, 2023 | Montpelier, VT – Vermont’s winter manure spreading ban ends today, April 1st, but with another snowy March having brought challenging field conditions to many parts of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is issuing a spring stewardship reminder to Vermont farmers and Custom Manure Applicators.
The Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) outline that manure cannot be applied to fields that are frozen or snow-covered, nor to fields that are saturated, likely to runoff, or are conducive to any other off-site movement regardless of nutrient management plan recommendations. Trends in Vermont’s weather show increasing precipitation through the spring season, rising temperatures, and more extreme precipitation events. These conditions provide the potential for increased flooding and require farmers and Custom Manure Applicators to remain vigilant through the spring season.
VAAFM has the following additional reminders for farmers this Spring:
- If you still have capacity in your manure pit, wait for the optimal weather and field conditions for spreading.
- Do not spread manure on saturated ground that will runoff to surface water or ditches, or before major rain events.
- After spreading any nutrient (liquid or solid manure, compost, or fertilizer) be sure to keep accurate records of the manure or nutrients applied.
Individual field conditions will vary significantly across the State, and farmers need to assess their fields carefully and take action to ensure that they are in compliance with the rules and are protecting Vermont’s waterways.
Vermont’s winter manure spreading ban, which prohibits spreading between December 15 and April 1, began in 1995.
For more information about the RAPs, the winter manure spreading ban, or for recommendations regarding early season spreading practices, please visit: agriculture.vermont.gov/RAP
Contact: Laura DiPietro | Director - VAAFM Water Quality Division | 802-595-1990 | Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org