Last November we posted a link to a tool for farmers to use before they spread liquid manure on their land. It’s called the Runoff Risk Advisory System. Apparently some of the farmers in our area haven’t seen this effective tool. Had they consulted the site yesterday or the day before they would have known there was a high risk of manure runoff from heavy rains predicted for April 19. A day following this large rain event the risk remains high. Manure applied just before Thursday’s rain is running into ditches and from there into streams, rivers and Lake Michigan. A sample taken upstream (left side below) before the stream enters the land where manure was applied and a sample taken downstream (right side below) as the stream exits the land contrast in color and clarity. Results of water testing of these samples will be reported when available.
Check the link below often. If a farmer in your area is applying liquid manure during a high risk period, let them know about this tool. The tool is free. It’s easy to understand. However, it’s only effective if it’s used.
As with most education, repetition is key to the learning process. We will continue to repeat this and other information if it will help improve the health of our surface and ground waters.