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Weather Provides Opportunity to Clean
Outdoor Lots         

Natalie Rector
Extension Nutrient Management Educator

The break in the weather may provide an opportunity to scrape and clean manure from outside lots. If it is not dry enough to haul to the fields, cleaning the area and stacking in the lot may provide a cleaner area for the livestock and will hold nutrients until spring.

Outside lots collect a lot of manure in a small area over the winter. Spilled feed also adds nutrients, and bedding may hold those nutrients. Regardless of the situation, it is better to hold and recycle those nutrients to crop fields than risk them being washed off site.

Any time a lot is within proximity of surface waters, it is important to keep the lot scraped and cleaned as frequently as possible. Also, creating any berms, vegetation or other barriers to filter or divert runoff is important to protecting surface waters. Nutrients from manure can become soluble and travel with surface water even when you do not see the manure moving. Strong rains and rapid snow melt may carry the manure as well.

The break in the weather may provide opportunities to scrape and haul these nutrients to fields, distributing the manure nutrients where they can contribute to the 2012 crop season. Select fields that have little or no risk of runoff to surface waters; apply at agronomic rates; and, incorporate the nutrients if conditions allow. 

For a complete listing of Right-to-Farm guidelines for manure, visit


Michigan Dairy Review is published and mailed to all Michigan dairy farmers and individuals working in allied industries. With its ever increasing on-line presence, the MDR target audience has spread beyond Michigan and the U.S.; today electronic subscribers are located in places such as Australia, The Scandinavia, Italy, Mexico, Ireland, Peru, and New Zealand.  

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April 2012 Topics

Grassland Renovation

Right-to-Farm: Site Selection [2]

Manure Setbacks

Weather Provides Opportunity

Cleaning Overwinter Sites

MSU Extension Educational Sessions

Dairy Farmers' Views of Dairy Policies

When is a Milk Price a "Good" Milk Price?

2012 Employment Taxes

Detecting Mycoplasma Mastitis

Communication with Consumers

New Scholaships for Dairy Students

Dairy Students Awarded Over $95,000

Real-world Experience Via Internship