Welcome to the Allen Soil & Water Conservation District!
Rain Barrel Program
City of Lima Tree Rebate Program
Fall is the Season for Manure Application
With the harvest of crops, along with the dry weather and soil conditions, this is prime time for manure to be applied to the fields. Manure is a very important nutrient source. With proper application and management it can give great benefit to improved soil health.
Since Allen County is located in the Western Basin of Lake Erie (WLEB), farmers here have been under manure and fertilizer application restrictions since July of 2015. These restrictions prohibit, with certain exceptions, the surface application of manure on frozen ground, on saturated soil, and during certain weather conditions. The exceptions are: if the manure is injected into the ground, incorporated within 24 hours of surface application, or applied to a growing crop.
This state law helps prevent nutrients from leaving farm fields, entering and polluting our waterways, and ultimately contributing to the water quality issues effecting Lake Erie. At the same time, though, it shortens the window in which to clean out manure holding structures. This is why Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are stressing nutrient management planning.
A key component of those plans is knowing the nutrient values in the manure produced by your operation and also the soil of the different fields where it is being applied. Soil samples should be taken every 3 years, preferably in the fall after crop removal, and typically cost from $6-$10. Manure needs to be sampled prior to every application, and generally costs $30-$40. Manure composition can actually change depending on where and how long it is stored, which is why more frequent testing is recommended.
Allen SWCD’s WLEB Nutrient Technician, Sandra Springer, is available at 419-223-0040 ext. 103 for more information about manure application and for help with developing nutrient management plans.
Nutrient Management App
If you have a smart phone, there is an App called OnMRK to help you with Nutrient Management Record Keeping. Download the App in the Google Play Store for Android, or iTunes for Apple users. Go to www.onmrk.com to register your account.