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Green Valley Farms Hog Operation: Spreading on Frozen Ground

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Published on Jan 7, 2010

Green Valley Farms hog operation is a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) in York PA on Codorus Creek, a tributary to the Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay. This facility is disposing of their hog waste on frozen ground right before they are calling for snow on January 7th. This is probably legal, but is it the most efficient use of the nutrients supplied by the 6000 pigs, or is the manure being spread for the purpose of waste disposal? According to the Penn State Agronomy Guide, only 20 to 45 percent of the nitrogen will be taken up by the crops when spread on frozen ground. Although some of the nitrogen will stay in the soil, most of the rest will go into the water or air (to come back down again when it rains). Will liquid manure spread on frozen ground, then covered by snow, efficiently get those nutrients into the ground. When the temperatures warm up, the snow and liquid manure will melt before the ground thaws. An early spring rain will wash much away.

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