Manure Management Record Keeping Regulations

 
 
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 Records required for CFOs | Records required for manure transfers by manure applicators or haulers | Records required for manure application | Soil testing and analysis | Soil nitrate-nitrogen and salinity limits | Nutrient management plans | Manure handling plans

The purpose of AOPA is to ensure that the province’s livestock industry can grow to meet the opportunities presented by local and world markets in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) sets out manure management standards for all agricultural operations in Alberta. Under AOPA, confined feeding operations (CFOs) and anyone who handles 500 tonnes or more per year of manure must keep records for a minimum of five years. The following types of activities require record keeping: manure production manure transfer manure application Terms used in this publication have been simplified to make it easier to read. Complete definitions are found in Section 1 of the legislation. For example: the term manure* in this document includes the livestock excreta, straw, other bedding material, litter, soil, wash water and feed in the manure. Composted manure has the same requirements as manure.

Some of the records required include soil test results, amount of manure produced or handled, the name and address of a person who receives or applies manure and the applicable dates as well as the application rates of manure and fertilizer. Record keeping and soil testing are not required for anyone who handles less than 500 tonnes of manure per year.

However, everyone must comply with the various manure application and short-term solid manure storage setback distances. Manure must also be applied or handled according to the soil nitrogen and salinity limits specified in the regulations or according to a nutrient management plan or a manure handling plan that has been approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB).

For more information, please refer to the contacts listed at the end of this publication.

Records Required for CFOs

A CFO owner or operator must keep the following records:

  • volume or weight of manure produced
  • name and mailing address, or legal land description, of a person to whom control of a total of 500 tonnes or more of manure is transferred in a year
  • date of the transfer of manure
  • volume or weight of manure transferred
The following table is an example of how a person might keep records required for a CFO.

CFO Manure Production Record*
(Standards and Administration Regulation, Section 28 (2))
Name:
ABC Feeders
Operating Unit:
Feedlot
Address:
Box 99, Anywhere, AB
Legal Land Description:
SE 6-18-22-W6
Year:
2005
Type of Livestock:
Beef Finishers
Number of Livestock:
7,000
Manure Production per Animal:
2.16 tonnes/year
Total Volume/Weight: 15,120 tonnes
Est. Total Nitrogen per Ton:
10 kg/tonne
Est. Crop N per Ton:
2.6 kg/tonne
Record of Manure or Compost Transfers
Date: Name:Address: Manure Volume/Weight:
April 18-21, 2005SelfSW 6-18-22-W64,900 tonnes
Sept. 21-26, 2005J. SmithNW 18-18-22-W6 5,080 tonnes
*Note: Table information in bold lettering means it is required by AOPA. Information that is not bolded is not required, but is included to add clarity, especially for operations with more than one type of livestock.

Records Required for Manure Transfers by Manure Applicators or Haulers

Each person who transfers control, receives, or removes 500 tonnes or more per year of manure must keep records of the following:
  • name and address of the person from whom manure is transferred, received or removed
  • date the manure is transferred, received or removed
  • volume or weight of manure that has been transferred, received or removed
The record keeping requirements of this section also apply to custom manure applicators, producers who spread manure on their own land and anyone who receives more than 500 tonnes per year of manure. • The following table is an example of how a manure applicator or hauler might record the required information.

Manure Transfer Record Form
(Standards and Administration Regulation, Section 28 (3), (4))
Date: Sept. 21-26, 2005Type of manure: Solid manure
Transferred from:Removed by:Received by:
NameABC FeedersXY Corral CleanersJ. Smith
AddressBox 99, Anywhere, ABBox 33, Where, ABBox 52, Here, AB
Volume/Weight5,080 tonnes5,080 tonnes5,080 tonnes

Records Required for Manure Application

Under AOPA, a person who applies a total of 500 tonnes or more of manure in a year to land under the person’s control (usually the owner or renter) must keep the following records:
  • name and address of the person from whom manure is received
  • date the manure is received
  • volume or weight of manure received
  • legal land description of the land to which manure is applied
  • area of the land to which manure is applied
  • date the manure is applied
  • volume or weight of manure applied
  • application rates of manure nutrients and fertilizer by field and year
  • dates of application and incorporation and the methods used for each field
  • soil test results (see next section for details)
Note: AOPA record-keeping requirements do not apply to grazing livestock. However, all livestock operations are subject to the standards for manure collection, as well as manure application and storage setback distances from neighbours and common bodies of water.

Soil Testing and Analysis

No soil testing is required for persons who handle less than 500 tonnes of manure per year. A person who applies a total of 500 tonnes or more of manure in a year must conduct soil tests at least once every three years on each field before applying manure or compost. If a person applies manure more than once every three years to a field, he or she must still stay within the specified limits in the regulations for soil nitrate-nitrogen and salinity. Test once every three years for the following:
  • extractable nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) from a soil depth of 0 to 60 centimetres (cm)
  • soil salinity based on electrical conductivity (E.C.) from a soil depth of 0 to 15 cm
Test once only for the following:
  • soil texture, from a soil depth of 0 to 15 cm and 15 to 30 cm
Soil Nitrate-Nitrogen and Salinity Limits

The regulation sets soil nutrient and salinity limits for manure application. It should be noted that these limits can only be exceeded if a producer has a nutrient management plan that has been approved by the NRCB. In various soil groups and with different farming methods, manure application will result in differing nitrate-nitrogen levels. The following table specifies the nitrate-nitrogen levels that are not to be exceeded in the top 60 cm of soil after manure application.

Nitrate-nitrogen limits in soil
(Standards and Administration Regulation, Schedule 3, Table 3)
Farming methodSoil groupSandy (>45% sand and water table <4 m)Sandy (>45% sand and water table >4 m)Medium and fine textured soils
DrylandBrown 80 kg/ha
(75 lb/ac)
110 kg/ha
(100 lb/ac)
140 kg/ha
(125 lb/ac)
Dark Brown110 kg/ha
(100 lb/ac)
140 kg/ha
(125 lb/ac)
170 kg/ha
(150 lb/ac)
Black140 kg/ha
(125 lb/ac)
170 kg/ha
(150 lb/ac)
225 kg/ha
(200 lb/ac)
Grey Wooded110 kg/ha
(100 lb/ac)
140 kg/ha
(125 lb/ac)
170 kg/ha
(150 lb/ac)
IrrigatedAll groups180 kg/ha
(160 lb/ac)
225 kg/ha
(200 lb/ac)
270 kg/ha
(240 lb/ac)
Note: To convert kg/ha into lbs/ac, divide the kg/ha by 1.1 (eg. 110 kg/ha / 1.1 = 100 lbs/ac)

To ensure that the salts in manure do not affect plant growth, the regulations specify that manure must not be applied to soils that have an electrical conductivity (salinity) greater than 4 deciSiemen per metre (dS/m) from the top 0 cm to 15 cm of the soil. The regulations also specify that manure should not be applied at levels that that would increase the soil salinity (after the manure is applied) by more than 1 dS/m from a soil depth of 0 cm to 15 cm.

Nutrient Management Plans

Nutrient management plans are not mandatory for every person who applies manure. Under AOPA, an approved nutrient management plan is required if a person wants to exceed the soil nitrate-nitrogen or salinity limits when applying manure. The NRCB can approve a nutrient management plan for manure application in excess of the limits if the NRCB is satisfied that implementing the nutrient management plan will not adversely affect the soil or the environment.

Manure Handling Plans

A person applying for a CFO permit can submit a manure handling plan to the NRCB for approval to reduce or eliminate the need to meet the manure application and storage requirements under AOPA. The NRCB may approve a manure handling plan that provides an alternative to complying with the manure application and storage requirements. For example, an operation may submit a manure handling plan where an agreement is in place with others who will be accepting the manure from the operation. Manure production and transfer records must also be kept in these situations. The following table is an example of the required information for land application.

Land Application Record* (Standards and Administration 28(5))
Owner
Legal Land Description
Field Name
Area
ABC FeederSW 6-18-22-W4All64 ha
.
Soil Test Records
Soil Texture
Soil Group or Farming Method
Date
NO3-N (0-60 cm)
E.C. (0-15 cm) (dS/m)
0-15 cm
15-30 cm
Oct. 22, 200255 kg/ha (0-60 cm)1.1
Clay loam
Clay loam
Irrigated
May 4, 200780 kg/ha (0-60 cm)1.1
.
Manure Receiving Record
Type of Manure or Compost
Volume or Weight
Estimated Available Nitrogen
Date
Received From: Name + Address
April 18-21, 2005Self
Box 99, Anytown, AB
Beef – Finisher4,900 tonnes2.6 kg/tonne
Sept. 14, 2005Compost Company XYZ
Box 32, Elsewhere, AB
Compost2,900 tonnes0.5 kg/tonne
.
Manure/Nutrient Application Record
Incorporation Record
Manure Application Rate
Available Nitrogen Application Rate
Date
Total Weight or Volume Applied
Date
Method
May 5, 2003FertilizerN/AN/AN/A50 kg/ha
April 18-21, 20054,900 tonnesApr 19-23, 2005Cultivated76.5 tonnes/ha199 kg/ha
Sept. 14, 20052,900 tonnesSept. 16, 2005Cultivated40 tonnes/ha20 kg/ha
*Notes:
  • Table information in bold lettering means it is required by AOPA. Information that is not bolded is not required by AOPA, but is included to add clarity, especially for operations with more than one type of livestock.
  • Soil test information used to determine manure application rates for each field must not be older than three years except for soil texture, which is a one-time analysis.
  • To convert kg/ha into lbs/ac, divide the kg/ha by 1.1 (e.g. 110 kg/ha / 1.1 = 100 lbs/ac).
  • To convert tons into tonnes, divide the tons by 1.1 (e.g. 550 tons/ 1.1 = 500 tonnes).
  • For average solid and liquid manure volumes produced by livestock, refer to the blank record keeping forms.
For copies of blank forms, click here or call 1-800-292-5697.

For more information, contact:
(Dial 310-0000 to be connected toll-free)

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
www.agric.gov.ab.ca
Lethbridge: 403-381-5885
Red Deer: 403-755-1475
Morinville: 780-939-1218
Ag-Info Centre: 310 FARM (3276)
Publications: 1-800-292-5697

Natural Resources Conservation Board
www.nrcb.ca
Lethbridge: 403-381-5166
Red Deer: 403-340-5241
Morinville: 780-939-1212
Fairview: 780-835-7111
Response line: 1-866-383-6722

DISCLAIMER: This document is not intended as legal advice, but as an interpretive document to the Agricultural Operation Practices Act and Regulations.

Source: Agdex 096-3. Revised March 2007.
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Deanne Madsen.
This document is maintained by Nicole Huggins-Rawlins.
This information published to the web on April 28, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 22, 2015.