Before You Apply Manure, Calculate the Runoff Risk In Your Fields

May 16, 2018 10:14 AM
Manure that moves off target can decrease productivity and increase the risk of impairing local bodies of water. This tool helps applicators in four Midwest states determine the best time to apply.

Keeping manure on the field where it’s placed can be a challenge in many fields, but the risk of nutrients leaving the field is both expensive and environmentally hazardous.

The Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast (RRAF) system is designed to help farmers and commercial applicators to determine the best time for manure application. Developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the National Weather Service, the model is part of a regional project with Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

The RRAF map is based on a National Weather Service model used for flood forecasting. It takes into account precipitation, soil moisture levels, snow melt, temperature and other conditions to measure the risk of manure moving off target up to 72-hours in advance. Users can also sign up for regional alerts.

Runoff risk is grouped into four categories: no event, low, medium and high. When the risk is medium or high, the applicator can evaluate whether there are other locations or dates the application can take place.

Additional manure management resources are available for each state at the links above.


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