When considering the timing of manure application, a list of variables is at play, including soil conditions, manure form, moisture content and temperature.
Timing is also a key factor in nutrient availability and movement. Fall manure application would allow more time for manure to break down and become more usable for plant uptake; however, if applied to fields without a crop or residue it also could create a risk window for potential nutrient loss and movement based on soil and weather conditions. Spring application is the most ideal time to apply manure for immediate crop uptake but this requires the addition of nitrogen stabilizers. Spring -time application is typically accompanied by wetter soils and the increased likelihood of rainfall making soil compaction, denitrification and leaching factors for careful consideration.