25 February 2012

Here's how to obtain a "manure advisory"

This is serious business around here.  As reported in the Wisconsin State Journal:
The National Weather Service plans to update its “manure advisory” forecasts three times a day at www.manureadvisorysystem.wi.gov. An online, color-coded map (no, they didn’t use the color brown) will alert Wisconsin farmers to conditions and days that are good or bad for spreading manure, so it doesn’t wash off fields into waterways.

The latest map Thursday showed most of the soil across Wisconsin is still frozen this winter. That limits the ability of any manure that’s spread to infiltrate the ground. The map also cautioned farmers across most of south-central Wisconsin and Dane County against spreading manure over the next 10 days, citing a high risk of melting snow.
Manure is a valuable commodity; a farmer doesn't wanted it washing off the fields.  Equally importantly, nobody wants it getting into the streams and lakes, where the huge organic content promotes algal blooms.  The link is for Wisconsin, but your state probably provides a similar service.

Our house is just a couple hundred yards from the nearest corn/soybean field.  My wife and I can always tell when the farmer is manuring the fields.  Frankly, it's not an unpleasant odor, but we both have farm backgrounds.

Photo credit: Steve Apps, Wisconsin State Journal.


  1. Hmm? I thought they gave one when congress is in session.

  2. The problem with manure washing off the fields goes way, WAY beyond a few algal blooms. There's the Dead Zone in the Gulf and there's pathogenic problems like the cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee that sickened and killed thousands.

    Maybe living next to a small farm isn't a problem, but you enter a whole new world when you talk about factory farms with multi-million gallon manure lagoons.

  3. When I was younger I worked out a deal with a neighboring chicken farm owner who loved to hunt.
    He had excess manure, and nowhere to hunt.
    We had plenty of deer, and no interest in hunting.
    Worked out well for us both.

    You're right though, the smell isn't that bad when it's in open air. Almost like old hay and machine oil. --E


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