Proper storage of poultry litter

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Proper storage of manure is important to prevent runoff contamination of water and odor problems. The following practices should be utilized:

  • Avoid stockpiling litter near homes, public road ways and drainage ditches.
  • Use tarps on litter piles to keep litter dry, reduce smell, and reduce N losses from volatilization.
  • Stockpile litter at least 200 feet away from “Waters of the State.”

Additional considerations when selecting a suitable storage site

  • Locate stockpiles in areas with minimal slope.
  • Avoid sites that slope toward water ways and receive extraneous drainage.
  • Locate sites in areas surrounded by grass that can serve as a buffer.
  • Avoid sensitive groundwater areas and sites in close proximity to wells.

If you are located in Coffey, Woodson, Allen, Bourbon, Wilson, Neosho, Crawford Montgomery, Labette, or Cherokee counties, there are possible cost-share programs to help construct improved temporary poultry litter storage sites.

Help is available for site design and location selection to attain the least possible environmental runoff hazard for the area. Visit with your local county Extension office, WRAPS group, or the Kansas Department of Agriculture-Division of Conservation for more details.

Figure 1. Poultry litter stockpiled away from surface water to prevent runoff contamination, being loaded into manure spreader. Photo by Doug Shoup, K-State Research and Extension.


Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist

Doug Shoup, Southeast Area Extension Crops and Soils Specialist

Dorivar Ruiz-Diaz, Nutrient Management Specialist