Manure Management

All farms in Pennsylvania that have animals or poultry that produce manure or farms that use manure for crop production are required by law to develop and implement a Manure Management Plan. This includes hobby farms with a small number of animals or properties that have recreational animals such as horses. The Manure Management Plan requirements are outlined in a publication titled “Land Application of Manure – Manure Management Plan Guidance.”

farm cows

On October 29, 2011 Pennsylvania DEP released the revised Manure Management Manual.

The purpose of the Manual and accompanying supplements is to provide guidelines that comply with DEP regulations concerning animal manures and agricultural process wastewaters.

Who these guidelines pertain to:

A) All farms that generate or use manure, regardless of the size of the farm, including farms that:

  1. Pasture livestock or poultry, or
  2. Maintain an Animal Concentration Area (barnyard, exercise lot or feedlot), or
  3. Apply manure to their crop fields

B) Farms that are defined as CAOs or CAFOs need to follow a different, more detailed Nutrient Management Planning process.

General manure management requirements for farms generating or using manure:

A. Develop a written Manure Management Plan
B. The DEP Manure Management Manual provides a standardized process for developing these written plans. An alternative plan format can used if approved by DEP
C. The planner does not need to be a Certified Nutrient Management Planner (the farmer can write their own plan)
D. The manure management plan written for these operations does not need to be submitted for review and approval, these plans just need to be retained on site
E. The farm must be managed consistent with the manure management plan

Overview of Manure Management Guidelines for PA Farmers Generating or Using Manure

Manure Management Guidelines Overview


Helpful links:

Writing A Manure Management Plan Online Course

The Writing a Manure Management Plan for Pennsylvania Farmers and Property Owners course has been developed specifically for these farmers and property owners. The purpose of the course is to help farmers and animal owners understand and meet the Manure Management Plan requirements. As they work through the course materials, they will have the opportunity and guidance to write a manure management plan for their farm.

Writing a Manure Management Plan for Pennsylvania Farmers and Property Owners is available on the Penn State Extension website. The cost to register for the online course is $59.00. The on-line course remains accessible for 365 days from the purchase date, which allows registrants to proceed at their own pace. For more information and/or to take the course click HERE