Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development have revised the Winter Application Restrictions, allowing agriculture nutrients to start being applied as of today, March 23rd, 2021.
Agricultural producers are obliged to assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts when applying nutrients prior to April 11th. Nutrients should not be applied in instances where the weather outlook is unfavourable such as if snow or an appreciable amount of rainfall is expected that would result in runoff.
All other requirements of the Nutrient Management Regulation and the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation remain in effect.
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Restriction on Winter Application of Nutrients
Annually, Manitoba legislation prohibits the application of nitrogen and phosphorus between and including November 10th of one year and April 10th of the following year. Nutrient sources containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus include synthetic fertilizer and livestock manure. The winter spreading restrictions are in place as the application of nutrients onto frozen or snow-covered soils results in an increased risk of nutrient runoff. Nutrient runoff to waterways contributes directly to algal blooms in Lake Winnipeg and elsewhere.
However, there may be some years like 2021 where weather conditions are such that agricultural land can reasonably be worked to apply nutrients between November 10th of one year and April 10th of the following year for crop uptake while still protecting water quality. In these cases, a provincial or regional variance may be issued.