Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is looking at ways to assist producers in the face of an upcoming ban on winter manure spreading, which will also affect milk house waste.
Under the Save Lake Winnipeg Act, milk house wastewater is considered a manure product, and must be stored until spring. This regulation also rules out the use of sewage ejector systems on dairy farms.
“I know I can’t afford to build a pit, so this is going to put my operation in jeopardy,” said Andrew Leyenhorst who farms near Portage la Prairie.
Like many small dairy operations, Leyenhorst’s farm uses a sewage ejection system for milkhouse waste. He has 35 dairy cows.
He said an exemption for small producers would be an ideal, but unlikely solution, given the ejector system is so prevalent on small operations.
Milk house waste can be stored with liquid manure until spring if a pit can accommodate the additional volume, but molehill manure storage facilities are not generally designed for liquid waste.
Brent Achtemichuk, general manager at Dairy Farmer of Manitoba, said the organization intends to discuss the issue with government.
“We are talking to the minister of conservation right now and just trying to understand the issue and see if there are any alternatives we can propose,” he said.
Once the ban takes effect next fall, farmers will be unable to apply livestock manure between November 10 of one year and April 10 of the following year.