Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (November-December 2002) 57(6): 530-533.


Rainfall patterns, soil factors, topography, climate, and land use may all influence runoff. To minimize environmental concerns, excessive runoff should be avoided on areas where manure has been applied. Management practices used to control runoff include contouring, strip cropping, conservation tillage, terraces, and buffer strips. In some cases, secondary containment systems, sedimentation basins, or ponds may be necessary to collect runoff. More than one runoff-control practice may be necessary for protection in areas with high runoff potential. Soil properties, including infiltration, may be improved by manure application. The method, rate and timing of manure application should be considered to reduce environmental impacts. The transport of nutrients and pathogens by overland flow is influenced by manure characteristics, loading rates, incorporation, and the time between manure addition and the first rainfall. Through proper management, manure can serve as a valuable nutrient source and soil amendment without causing environmental concerns.