Livestock Producers Encouraged to Prepare for New Phosphorus-Based Application Limits

CANADA - Manitoba Conservation is encouraging livestock producers to be prepared to comply with new phosphorus based livestock manure application limits by next November or to qualify for an additional five year exemption, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 December 2007
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In November 2006 the Manitoba government adopted a revised livestock manure management regulation which requires the application of livestock manure fertilizer to be based on the amount of residual phosphorus in the soil as well as the amount of residual nitrogen.

Existing operations have until November 10, 2008 to either comply or to qualify for a five year extension by submitting a nutrient management plan detailing a strategy for compliance.

Manitoba Conservation soil specialist Marc Trudelle says producers who may find it difficult to comply should be developing those plans now.

Marc Trudelle-Manitoba Conservation

The plan will be based on the feeding strategy, soil P tests and the whole farm budget so there are three different tools.

The budget is based on input and output.

We are looking at the phosphorus input on the farm in terms of fertilizer, in terms of manure, in terms of feed and we are looking at the output of phosphorus from the farm in terms of crops exported, in terms of meat, in terms of agricultural products sold.

If your have dairy farm you are selling milk, if you have a pig farm you are selling meat so, what we are looking for is what goes in and what goes out and we want to reach a certain equilibrium.

The objective is not to exactly reach equilibrium.

We know that it's a biological system so equilibrium is not exactly what we are looking for but we are looking at a way of minimizing the input, maximizing the output in order to get a certain ability to comply in the operation.

Trudelle notes the tools for developing a nutrient management plan are readily available and assistance is available through Manitoba Conservation.

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