Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Winter Spreading Permit

Manure spread on frozen or snow-covered does not infiltrate into the soil and may run off fields into adjoining properties or waterways. To reduce these impacts, a Winter Spreading Permit is required when spreading solid or liquid manure during frozen or snow-covered conditions, per Dane County Ordinance Chapter 49 (PDF).

The goal of the permit is to ensure that manure spread in the winter is applied at the right time, place, and rate in order to reduce the risk of it running off the field.

A Winter Spreading Permit is required when spreading solid or liquid manure on frozen or snow-covered ground.

Application Steps:

1. Complete the Winter Spreading Permit Application. Producers can work with agronomists or department staff to complete the application and gather all of the required permit documentation, or they can do it on their own if they choose. As part of the application, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • Winter spreading plan
  • Emergency response plan
  • Manure spreading log

Descriptions of these can be found in the Supporting Document Details section below.

2. Submit all completed documents and the application fee following the instructions on the Submit a Permit or Plan webpage. Winter Spreading fees are waived if a nutrient management plan meeting NRCS 590 (dated 12/2015) is submitted as an electronic SNAP Plus database and SNAP Maps digital shapefile.

Winter Spreading Plan
A Winter Spreading Plan includes information on manure application rates and timing, practices that will be implemented to minimize the risk of manure runoff, and maps showing spreading restriction areas. The plan must include the following information:

  • Amount of manure or organic by-products generated by the farm anticipated to be spread during frozen or snow-covered conditions.
  • Storage capacity available for each manure type generated (i.e. solid manure, liquid manure).
  • Location of temporary manure stacking sites for manure that is > 16% dry matter without permanent storage. Stacking sites need to meet the requirements in NRCS 318 Standard, Short Term Storage of Animal Waste and By-Products (PDF).
  • Spreading restriction maps that identify areas of fields where manure can/cannot be applied during frozen or snow-covered conditions.
  • Identification of fields that have concentrated flow channels in them or slopes greater than 6% to determine if runoff mitigation practices are needed for manure application.
  • Runoff mitigation practices that will be implemented on fields, where required, to reduce the risk of runoff. Examples of runoff mitigation practices include but are not limited to: 
    • Contour buffer strips or contour strip cropping
    • Leaving all crop residue and no fall tillage
    • Apply manure in intermittent strips on no more that 50% of the field
    • Reduced application rates meeting certain criteria
    • No application within 200 feet of all concentrated flow channels

Emergency Response Plan
An emergency response plan is a document that identifies who should be contacted and what actions should be taken in the event of a spill or runoff event. The plan should include a list of farm contacts, contact information for area contractors who can assist with clean-up efforts, emergency management contacts, spill or runoff reporting entities, and procedures for how to respond to various types of spills or runoff events. The plan should be kept in an easily accessible location and be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in contacts or procedures on the farm.

Winter Spreading Log
Spreading logs are used to document the location, amount, type, runoff mitigation practices (if required) and date of when manure is applied during frozen or snow-covered conditions. This information is important to document in the event of a spill or runoff event to show manure was applied in accordance with the winter spreading plan. The information can also be used to help track nutrients associated with the applications for nutrient management planning.

Permit updates are due annually by October 15th. Submit updates following the instructions on the Submit a Permit or Plan webpage. Permits expire after four years and a new application must be submitted to obtain a new permit.