The DNR and agriculture experts are warning farmers that manure spreading can be risky right now.

It's the weather according to Dennis Frame at the UW Extension's Discovery Farms in Pigeon Falls. In many places, especially in south central Wisconsin, there is still an ice layer on top of the snow. That makes it difficult for manure to seep through to the ground.

Frame says the frigid temperatures also haven't helped. The manure hasn't broken down chemically yet so it contains high amounts of ammonium. If that runs off into lakes and streams there is a high risk of fish kills.

Frame says farmers have been dealing with this issue for years and are aware of the problem but this year is different. The UW Extension has instruments in the field that can provide data for specific and unique run off warnings.

Depending on the weather, the run-off risk could be around for a couple more weeks.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:03 MP3 )

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