Panel to Discuss Manure Storage Options, Benefits to Farms and Water

Image of green field and blue water

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Manure storage options and farmers who have direct experience using them will take the stage at this year’s Manure Science Review.

Co-hosted by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the event will hold a panel discussion by several Ohio farmers on their plans and practices for storing manure.

The farmers will share their experiences with the audience, who should gain new ideas for improving their own operations, said Mark Duncan, a panel organizer and nutrient management specialist with the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District.

“Most livestock farmers know they need some form of manure storage for the general health of their livestock and to provide a degree of fertility for their crops,” he said.

But they also have lots of methods, designs, requirements, laws, and soil and water impacts to consider, Duncan said.

“Operations vary from one farm to another,” he said. “Hopefully those whose livelihoods revolve around these issues will give insight to the people in the audience.”

Slated for the panel are dairy farmers Mike Rupp of Rupp Vue Farm in Sterling, the host farm for the event; Scott Stoller, also of Sterling, who recently transitioned his farm to organic methods; and Greg Steffen, whose long-time family farm near Kidron milks about 110 Holsteins.

Mary Wicks of Ohio State University’s Ohio Composting and Manure Management program, who is also a panel organizer, said the discussion will cover:

  • The need to plan for storing manure.
  • How to deal with a wet spring or fall and accommodate longer-term storage.
  • How manure storage has affected the farmers’ expansion plans.
  • The farmers’ views on adequate storage capacity -- whether six months, a year or otherwise.
  • The farmers’ nutrient management plans and how closely the plans are followed.

Manure storage’s effects go beyond the farm, Duncan said. Good practices, for example, can prevent nutrient runoff from manure into water.

Experts say excessive nutrient runoff from fertilizer and manure is a cause of the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other lakes and streams.

Lake Erie will again have a significant harmful algal bloom this summer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast released July 10. But the predicted bloom will be smaller than last year’s and far less than 2011’s record-setter.

Manure Science Review goes from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Rupp Vue Farm, 14636 Seville Road, in Sterling in northeast Ohio. The program features new methods and technologies for handling, storing and applying manure. The focus is improving farms and the environment together.

Registration for the event is $25 by Aug. 6 and $30 after that date. Continental breakfast and lunch are included.

The event flier has a mailable registration form and the complete list of topics and speakers. It can be downloaded at

For more information, call 330-202-3533.

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CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Mark Duncan, Wayne SWCD

Mary Wicks, OCAMM