Late summer manure spreading is just around the corner, and with that comes an increased likelihood of manure spills. Research done by the University of Wisconsin shows that on-farm manure spill incidents peak in August. As such, having an emergency action plan developed can help save valuable time when responding to a manure spill.
Shelby Bollwahn, Michigan State University Extension, encourages all farm operators to include these 4 easy-to-remember steps for their facility’s manure spill response plan:
In the event of a manure spill, your first goal should be to eliminate the source of the spill. Whether it be caused by equipment malfunction, storage overflow, or improper application techniques, address the situation immediately, if you are able to do so safely.
After addressing the source of the spill, focus on protecting waterways and other environmentally sensitive areas. This could be done by building small dams to contain the flow of liquid manure, or covering culverts and drain tile inlets with plywood or plastic sheeting.
Assess the damage and report the spill to the proper authorities. Be sure to contact both your local emergency responders as well as regional/statewide agricultural and environmental agencies.
Finally, remove the spilled manure and make any repairs needed to restore the affected area.
- “Emergency planning: How to manage a manure spill.” Progressive Dairyman.
- Bollwahn, Shelby. “Emergency response to manure spills – Are you prepared? Part 2.” Michigan State University Extension.