Winter Ban on Manure Spreading

AROUND THE NEK— The holidays may still be a few weeks away, however for farms in Vermont the middle of December means one thing, the annual manure ban going back into place. This year the ban will begin on December 15th.

According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture the ban was enacted in 1995 to protect water quality during the coldest time of the year.

"Its a time when farmers must plan ahead to ensure their wast storage capacity can last through the winter months," said Nina Gage, a Water Quality specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. "We want to protect the environment."

"What's happening is the windows for spreading are getting smaller and smaller," said Jeff Sanders, an Agronomy Specialist with the UVM Extension in St. Albans. "It is definitely creating problems to get the stuff done."

It is around this time of year the ground begins to freeze and the infiltration ability is reduced leaving a greater risk for manure to run off into water.

"It's a way for people to know it's not okay to spread," said Gage.

The ban will stay in effect until April 1st.