Manure management is an important aspect of livestock farming in Ohio. Livestock operations should have a site specific plan, called a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs) that includes the best practices and strategies to manage the collection, storage and land application of manure.
Many livestock farmers collect and store manure over a period of time before applying it to a field. A CNMP recommends the size of manure storage structure based on the number of livestock, the desired frequency of field application, and environmental conditions, such as frozen ground. The producer should be able to store manure during the times of the year that have an increased risk of nutrient loss, such as the winter months when the ground is frozen.
Manure is fertilizer because it contains nutrients vital for plant growth. When manure is spread on a field with growing plants the nutrients in the manure become available to the plant. Sampling the soil in the field will let a producer know how much of a nutrient is already in the soil before applying manure. There is a greater risk of nutrients will leave the field in water that runs off the surface or drains into field tile if the soil contains more nutrients than the plants need.
Farms that import manure to spread on fields should also have a nutrient management plan. Nutrient management plans for these farms document practices on the fields receiving manure and amount of nutrients already in the soil.
Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) - documents of record establishing how nutrients will be managed for plant production while addressing identified resource concerns including the offsite movement of nutrients. These plans are prepared in collaboration with producer and/or landowner and are designed to help the producer implement and maintain an effective plan for the application of nutrients from available sources. The objective of a CNMP is to provide Animal Feeding Operation owners/operators with a plan to manage manure and organic by-products by combining conservation practices and management activities into a conservation system that, when implemented, will control soil erosion.
Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) - are an agricultural enterprise where animals are kept and raised in confinement. AFOs congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations in a small area of land.
Animal Waste Management Software (AWM Version 2.4) - One of the key factors of animal waste management is the design of one or more storage structures (ponds, tanks, and/or dry stacks) used to store the waste generated for time period recommended by the state and local regulatory agency. The Animal Waste Management (AWM) is developed and supported by the USDA-NRCS and is a tool to assist in the analysis and design of these facilities.
Manure Management Planner (MMP) - is a Windows-based computer program developed at Purdue University that's used to create manure management plans for crop and animal feeding operations. The user enters information about the operation's fields, crops, storage, animals, and application equipment. MMP helps the user allocate manure (where, when and how much) on a monthly basis for the length of the plan (1-10 years). This allocation process helps determine if the current operation has sufficient crop acreage, seasonal land availability, manure storage capacity, and application equipment to manage the manure produced in an environmentally responsible manner. MMP is also useful for identifying changes that may be needed for a non-sustainable operation to become sustainable, and determine what changes may be needed to keep an operation sustainable if the operation expands.