In October of 2011, the PA Department of Environmental Protection released new regulations for all farms of any size that produce or apply manure. These regulations require everyone to maintain records on manure and animal management on operations. These regulations, under Chapter 91, help keep Pennsylvania’s streams clean.
The regulations apply to any size farm, and address a variety of different situations, including: land application of imported manure, composted manure, and pastured animals.
The regulations require that farmers devise and follow a plan specific for their situation. The Manure Management Manual is available by the DEP to help guide farmers in producing their own plan. The Berks County Conservation District is available to help farmers develop the plan.
The Department of Environmental Protection has made parts of the plan available online. Berks County Conservation District will also help you construct your plans. Click here for Manure Management Plan Resources and Documents.
The following video, provided by Blair County Conservation District, explain the new regulations:
Broadcasting manure is still the most common method of spreading manure. Some disadvantages are large potential losses of nitrogen by ammonia volatilization and odor. Tilling in manure reduces these problems but is detrimental because it exposes the soil to erosion and hurts soil health. Low disturbance manure injection is considered consistent with no-till systems. It can help save nitrogen to reduce fertilizer applications, and reduce odor nuisance for neighbors. Researchers report at least a 60% reduction in odor compared with surface broadcasting. But how does manure injection work in practice? Click here for Testimonials About Manure Injection (Source: Penn State Extension 9-1-2015)