County libraries host discussions of manure and water quality

Manure is well known as one of nature’s most perfect fertilizers and is an essential component of all livestock farms’ nutrient management planning. However, there are potential drawbacks to utilizing manure in certain situations.

The community libraries of Oconto County and the Extension offices of Marinette and Oconto counties are offering a workshop series designed to help county residents better understand how manure and water quality interact.

UW-Extension crops/soils agent Scott Reuss will lead participants through a discussion that will relay many different aspects of manure management in the county. How much manure is generated per year? Where, and how, does this manure get utilized for crop production? What are the laws regarding manure storage, manure spreading, and other aspects of manure management? Have there been water quality issues related to manure in our area? How can we prevent water contamination from manure? How do septic systems and septage management play into this topic?

All six community libraries within the county will be hosting this discussion, with the basic information being presented first and then oriented toward points of primary interest to those present at a given site. The discussions are taking place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Farnsworth Public Library, 715 Main St., Oconto; 3 p.m. April 4 at Lakes Country Public Library, 15238 State Highway 32, Lakewood; 10 a.m. April 6 at Lena Public Library, 200 E. Main St.; 1 p.m. April 8 at Oconto Falls Community Library, 251 N. Main St.; 4 p.m. April 17 at the Suring Fire Station on Heasley Street, hosted by Suring Area Public Library; and 6 p.m. April 23 at Gillett Public Library, 200 E. Main St.

These events are free, and attendees will receive a packet of information that will assist them if they are interested in doing more research.

In addition, there is the opportunity for households to bring samples of their well water to the workshop sites for a free nitrate analysis. This free testing service will take place for the half-hour prior to the start of each session.

Contact library staff at the host libraries for information, or contact Reuss to discuss any agricultural or horticultural questions at 715-732-7510 or sreuss@marinettecounty.com.