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January 25, 2018

Wisconsin DNR Votes to Limit Manure Spreading in 15 Eastern Counties

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board voted 7-0 Wednesday to limit manure spreading in 15 eastern counties which have shallow top soil and are prone to aquifer contamination from manure applications, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The ruling isn’t final, however, since it must now go to Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, and then to the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Some of the soils in these counties have less than 2’ of topsoil, and are underlain by fractured bedrock which can lead to groundwater pollution. The new rules would prohibit application of manure on these soils, and would prohibit manure spreading within 250’ of a private well or 1,000’ of a municipal well.

It’s unclear whether the Governor or the Legislature will change the rules. The Dairy Business Association has lobbied for flexibility, particularly if farms have current soil maps that show soil depth greater than 2’.