Michigan bans spreading manure on croplands in winter months

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French farmer Nicolas Denieul spreads manure from his pig farming on the field, using a tractor linked to a buried pipeline, in Saint Germain Sur Sarthe, northwestern France, on February 4, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A new regulation prohibits Michigan’s largest livestock operations from spreading manure on croplands during the first three months of the year.

The ban on waste application during January, February and March was included in an update of a state permit for farms that house large numbers of animals in sprawling barns.

It applies to about 260 Michigan farms. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says the provision on winter manure application is intended to prevent the waste from flowing into waterways. Manure is a leading polluter of the Great Lakes, inland lakes and streams. It’s linked to harmful algae blooms.

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