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http://www.extension.org/67619 Weather conditions impact land application of manure. Wet soils hinder equipment from accessing fields. Regulations prohibit application on frozen or snow cover soils. Uncertain soil and atmospheric conditions can cause the best plans to fail. Nutrient management plans that are expected to succeed might fail given any particular year’s weather. Incorporating fieldwork days information into nutrient management plans can make them more robust to uncertain weather conditions.
The USDA publishes the number of fieldwork days for different crop reporting districts within states. These data are from field reporters who provide their opinion on the number of days that were available for farmers to conduct fieldwork such as disking, planting and harvesting. USDA Fieldwork Days data cover the growing season (approximately April to December). Estimates of fieldwork days do not exist for the non-growing season (approximately December to April). However, certain states have agricultural weather station networks that collect soil temperature and other critical information that can be used to estimate the number of fieldwork days that exist for manure application within regulatory limits.
This project integrates fieldwork days from the USDA Fieldwork Days data with the Missouri Agricultural Weather Station Network winter soil temperature and precipitation data for the corresponding crop reporting district. This compiled database gives a complete year of fieldwork day estimates. The data are used in a model that allows nutrient management planners to incorporate climatological impacts into their land application plans. Users specify their equipment complement and size, quantity of manure, and desired beginning and ending dates. The model reports output in a cumulative distribution function that estimates the probability of completing fieldwork within the specified parameters and a sensitivity table of ending dates.