Rain falls, and that might make some farmers happy, depending on the time of year.
Then, a lot of rain falls, off and on, for months, and not only do fields fill up with water, but so do manure ponds and lagoons, and that might make some farmers a bit nervous.
Ohio had the third wettest year ever in 2018, and there’s been little letup since then, leaving farm fields across the state saturated. For farmers with a lot of livestock, spreading manure onto wet land as fertilizer is not an option right now, and manure ponds are filling up fast.
Because manure ponds and lagoons are outdoors and uncovered, they collect not only animal waste from livestock housed inside, but they also collect rainwater. Indoor pits located under livestock holding facilities, such as hog barns, also collect manure; those are also reaching capacity.
“Week after week and month after month have gone by, and there have been very few opportunities to get the manure applied,” said Glen Arnold, a manure management specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
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