1M gallon manure spill fouls SE Minn. streams

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The cold spring is aggravating problems with manure spills and runoff around Minnesota.

About 1 million gallons of manure spilled from a southeastern Minnesota dairy operation late Sunday night, fouling two trout streams before making its way into the Root River. It happened when a concrete wall of the farm’s manure pit fractured.

It’s the latest incident amid a growing problem in Minnesota’s farming counties.

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The cold, snowy weather means storage pits are overflowing with a winter’s worth of manure. Farmers have little choice other than to spread it on frozen fields. But instead of staying on the soil, where it would become fertizlier, it’s running off the frozen ground along with the rain and melting snow.