A review of regulations and guidelines related to winter manure application

Ambio. 2018 Oct;47(6):657-670. doi: 10.1007/s13280-018-1012-4. Epub 2018 Feb 3.


Winter manure application elevates nutrient losses and impairment of water quality as compared to manure applications in other seasons. In conjunction with reviewing global distribution of animal densities, we reviewed worldwide mandatory regulations and voluntary guidelines on efforts to reduce off-site nutrient losses associated with winter manure applications. Most of the developed countries implement regulations or guidelines to restrict winter manure application, which range from a regulative ban to guidelines based upon weather and field management conditions. In contrast, developing countries lack such official directives, despite an increasing animal production industry and concern over water quality. An analysis of five case studies reveals that directives are derived from a common rationale to reduce off-site manure nutrient losses, but they are also affected by local socio-economic and biophysical considerations. Successful programs combine site-specific management strategies along with expansion of manure storage to offer farmers greater flexibility in winter manure management.

Keywords: Animal production; Eutrophication; Manure management regulations; Nutrient management; Winter manure application.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Animals
  • Government Regulation
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Manure*
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Seasons
  • Water Quality


  • Manure
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen