Farm Update – November 2020
This is the time of year farmers have put manure or compost on the fields. Getting this organic material on the fields and integrated into the soil allows for microbes to break down the nutrients and deposit them in the soil where our beautiful crops need them! By spreading in the fall it reduces the soil compaction as opposed to spreading in the early spring. There is a fine balance of spreading valuable nutrients at the best time and damage to the land/topsoil.
Another aspect farmers have to take into account is the future weather. If you spread right before a large rainstorm event or a large snow melt the nutrients can run off the field. Not only are the nutrients lost from the field but they also could get into the streams and waterways. No farmer ever wants to see this happen!
Farmers are always considering their tank storage conditions and prefer to have empty manure storage tanks going into the winter to accept new material during winter months. This is not only good practice, but advised by agronomists. For example, any new barn that houses animals needs to have a Nutrient Management Strategy approved by the Provincial Ministry of Food and Agriculture and on average 240 days of manure storage. The 240 days allows for storage of manure during long, cold snow-covered conditions when field application is impossible.