Preparing to Write a Manure Management Plan

The following are some important steps that you can take to write a manure management plan for your farm.

  1. Determine if you need a Manure Management Plan or a Nutrient Management Plan.
    • Use “Agronomy Facts 54, Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Act (Act 38): Who Is Affected?” to determine if you are a CAO and “Is My Operation a CAFO?” to determine if you are a CAFO?
    • If you are a CAO or CAFO secure a certified planner to write an Act 38 Nutrient Management Plan.
    • If you are not a CAO or CAFO start now to write your Manure Management Plan or find someone to guide you in developing your own plan. Contact your county Conservation District to find out if a Farmer Plan Writing Workshop is planned.
  2. Get a copy of the Land Application of Manure - Manure Management Plan Guidance document to help work you through the development of your manure management plan.
  3. Take soil tests of all your crop fields.
  4. Develop a farm map (you can get help from Conservation District, NRCS, PA OneStop).
    • Use the Land Application of Manure - Manure Management Plan Guidance to determine what features and information need to be included on the farm map.
  5. Determine average crop yields for the various crops you grow on your farm.
  6. Identify nearby water wells, streams (lakes and ponds), and sinkholes that require manure setbacks.
  7. Calibrate your manure spreader.
    • Use “Agronomy Facts 68, Manure Spreader Calibration” as a guide.
  8. Determine if winter manure application is necessary.
    • If so look for fields (considering slope, cover and setbacks) where this practice will be acceptable and of lowest risk for manure runoff.
  9. Check your manure storages for problems.
    • Leaks, cracks, bank erosion, trees and woody shrubs, holes, tears, overtopping, etc.
  10. Check ACAs (barnyards, feedlots, exercise lots) for runoff to nearby streams or other water bodies.
  11. Look for good manure stacking areas if this practice will be necessary.
  12. Check your pasture for meeting the dense vegetation standard (average of 3” of growth across the pasture throughout the growing season).
  13. Get help with your planning if you need it.
    • Conservation District, Penn State Extension, Ag consultants, nutrient planners, manure brokers, etc.
    • Look for locally or regionally held manure management planning workshops where trained individuals will help you work through developing your own plan.

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Preparing to Write a Manure Management Plan

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