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Departments » Land & Water Conservation
Winter Spreading Plans

Manure applied to cropland during the winter months can pose serious runoff threats to both surface water and groundwater. Snow-covered or frozen croplands may not allow for manure to be properly incorporated into the soil, resulting in manure runoff during thaws.

Since December 1, 2008, all applicators/landowners that land apply animal waste during the winter within Brown County are required to obtain a winter spreading plan from the Brown County Land & Water Conservation Department.

Winter Spreading Plan provisions:
  • Winter is defined as Dec. 1 - March 31.
  • Brown County Land & Water Conservation Department (LWCD) approved nutrient management hazard maps will specifically identify fields where animal waste can be safely applied and rates of application.
  • No winter spreading will be allowed in shallow bedrock areas without LWCD approved nutrient management hazard maps.
  • Livestock operations with existing manure storage must store animal waste during winter or obtain a stacking permit or a LWCD approved winter spreading plan.
  • Winter stacking plans issued by the LWCD must conform to NRCS Standard 313.
  • All crop producers and livestock producers that apply animal waste or other nutrients to crop fields must have a nutrient management plan.
  • Manure will not be mechanically applied to areas within 50 feet of a private well.
  • Areas contributing runoff upslope 200 feet of direct conduits to groundwater - such as a well, sinkhole, fractured bedrock at the surface, tile inlet or nonmetallic mine - will not receive nutrients unless they are effectively incorporated within 72 hours.
  • All streams must have an adequate buffer strip in accordance with Chapter 10, Brown County Code.
  • All unused wells must be properly abandoned.
A Winter Spreading Plan must be obtained through the Brown County Land & Water Conservation Department by contacting a staff agronomist.

If you experience a manure spill, you must contact both the Land & Water Conservation Department and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouces spill hotline at 1-800-943-0003.
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