Yes, he’s the regulator, but he’s also the resource. Aaron O’Rourke is the nutrient management plan coordinator with the Wisconsin DNR’s CAFO program. If you’re taking the ‘offseason’ to work on your NMP, O’Rourke has some advice to make sure your plan isn’t only compliant, but that it gets approved quickly. He’s also got some reminders on winter manure management rules for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
Aaron says the the biggest factor they look at when a farm’s nutrient management plan is reviewed is how many acres they intend to spread on. He suggests making sure you consider the entire plan term to make sure you have enough acres. The number of acres isn’t the only number that matters. He says you need to make sure you have your numbers right, when it comes to the volume of manure and water you’ll be spreading. Including your planned applications and showing you can meet the rotational requirements is also important.
While there has been a backlog with nutrient management plans over the last several years, O’Rourke says that they have been working diligently to solve it. He says that getting a plan back quickly also requires the plan that is submitted to be complete and for the farm to be meeting the requirements ahead of plan submission.
The DNR may be the enforcement agency for regulation surrounding manure management, but they also are a resource for farmers. Workshops are offered yearly and they encourage farms and consultants to reach out to staff to ask questions about their plans. The DNR has knowledge in many of the different ways farms are handling waste, and they want to share that information with farmers.
For a schedule of upcoming workshops, check out our previous story found HERE.
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