Farmers are never encouraged to spread manure or fertilizer on frozen or snow-covered ground, but researchers know that sometimes it's inevitable. That is why Robert Mullen of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Jon Rausch, Ohio State University (OSU) Extension educator, will present, "How to Apply Manure and Fertilizer to Frozen/Snow Covered Ground, if You Absolutely Have To," at the 2011 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference set for Feb. 24-25 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH.

The speakers emphasize that applying manure or commercial fertilizer on frozen or snow-covered ground is not a recommended practice due to the potential runoff risk. However, winter storage limitations may require manure removal and application. When necessary, Rausch and Mullen urge producers to reduce application rates and pay close attention to setback distances from environmentally sensitive areas. Higher surface residue levels generally help reduce runoff rates. Producers are also encouraged to take note of the slopes of fields where manure is applied.

Mullen and Rausch will address all of these concerns during their Feb. 25 presentation. Copies of National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Practice Standard 633, "Waste Utilization," will be available. Participants at this session will be eligible for credit toward Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) recertification.

The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference will feature nearly 60 farmers, industry professionals and university specialists who will cover a variety of topics related to cost-savings and production management. The conference is broken down into tracks covering soil and water, nutrient and manure management, advanced scouting techniques, cover crops, crop management and planters and precision agriculture.

Sponsors of the conference include OSU Extension, OARDC, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency and the Ohio No-Till Council. More information and registration materials are available at