Manitoba extends fertilizer application window

Manitoba crop producers who’d hoped to apply manure or fertilizers to their fields now have a couple of extra days before the province’s annual winter ban takes effect.

Manitoba’s conservation and water stewardship department announced Friday it will delay the start of the annual provincewide winter nutrient application ban until Wednesday (Nov. 12).

Soil temperatures “have not yet reached the freezing point,” the province said in a release, but snow cover, frozen soils and temperatures below freezing are expected after that date.

The province’s winter spreading restrictions, in place since 2008, are meant to limit risk of nutrient runoff into waterways from the application of nutrients on frozen or snow-covered soils.

Without a variance such as the one announced Friday, the legislation bans nutrient applications each winter between Nov. 10 and April 10.

Decisions about variations are made based on actual soil temperatures, the presence of snow cover and the long-term weather forecast, the province said. When a variance is authorized, it applies to forms of nutrients such as livestock manure and inorganic fertilizer.

“Certain strict conditions” must still be met for applications between now and Wednesday, the province said; for example, nutrients can only be surface-applied if “immediately” incorporated.

Information on winter spreading restrictions and conditions needed for a variance is available online.

The province noted Friday it plans to communicate about future variations to the winter ban through a new “streamlined, more transparent” process. — Network



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