Manitoba extends fertilizing deadline to Saturday

(Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Laura Rance)

A warmer-than-usual November has allowed Manitoba’s conservation and water stewardship department to delay its winter fertilizing ban until Saturday (Nov. 14).

With soil temperatures not yet at the freezing point, the province announced Monday it would extend its deadline for spreading of phosphorus and/or nitrogen, including synthetic fertilizers and/or manure, to Nov. 14 from Nov. 10 (Tuesday).

The province’s standard ban on winter nutrient application usually runs from Nov. 10 to April 10, but it can grant variances depending on actual soil temperatures, the presence of snow cover and the long-term weather forecast.

The province set up the ban in 2008 to prevent nutrients from being applied when the ground is frozen, to reduce nutrient loading in waterways through field runoff.

Nutrient runoff in waterways contributes directly to algal blooms in Lake Winnipeg and elsewhere, the province said.

Farmers applying nutrients or fertilizers in the province this week still must meet “certain conditions,” the province said Monday. The complete list of rules is available online.

For example, nutrients may only be surface-applied if they’re immediately incorporated. Also, nutrients shouldn’t be applied in cases where the weather outlook is “unfavourable” — say, if snow or an “appreciable amount of rainfall” is expected that would result in runoff. — Network


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