DNR: Check fields before spreading manure

Recent hot weather has created deep cracks in fields

State agriculture and environmental officials are warning farmers to check dry fields for cracks before spreading manure.

The Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Natural Resources departments said the recent hot weather has created deep, wide cracks in many farm fields, increasing the risk of manure draining into lakes, streams and groundwater.

The manure also could lose its value as a fertilizer if it seeps below crop root zones.

The departments said farmers should avoid spreading manure on cracked fields. If they must apply it, they should fill in cracks with tillage and use smaller applications to help absorption.