Cold or warm spring weather brings concerns for farmers

By  | 

The frozen ground and remaining snow are keeping farmers from spreading manure, forcing them to find storage options.

Although winter is officially over, cold and snow could still have lasting effects on farming.

“After the lesson we learned last spring, of it being so wet, so long and that's why people are on the edge of their seat as far as making sure they have enough manure storage,” Chippewa Falls dairy farmer Jeff Peck said.

Eau Claire County conservation technician Greg Leonard said field runoff could come from high temperatures and a quick thaw, but colder temperatures would force farmers without enough storage space to spread manure too early.

“There's always the risk of potential contamination, because manure being a byproduct of animals does have within it, besides the nutrients that's with it, there's pathogens that's with it,” Leonard said.

“If there's been manure applied to the field some of that can leave the field. During some of the severe runoffs, we can also actually have plenty of soil erosion that occurs at that same time,” Leonard said.

He along with Peck say there are some methods to avoid spreading in risky areas.

“With our manure, we still have to spread. That comes out of the younger stock facilities, we try to pick our fields on level ones where the runoff risk is the least likely to occur,” Peck said.

He said his farm has enough storage space for now, but hopes local farmers can haul manure before heavy trucks are banned from rural roads. Given the extreme weather we've seen in recent years, he says he's not expecting perfect conditions.

“I'd say it's too early to tell but after the last couple, I'm hoping for at least average.”

Peck said conserving manure is important for cost savings on fertilizer and that the slow thaw we've been seeing is ideal to avoid runoff problems.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus