By Susan Harlow, editor
How much stress does manure hauling equipment put on rural roads? Professional nutrient management applicator organizations in five Midwest states are working with departments of transportation to find out. In a three-year, $750,000 study, equipment is being tested on pavement at the Minnesota Road Research facility in Montecello, Minn. Ryan DeBroux, Luxemburg, Wis., president of the Professional Nutrient Applicator Association of Wisconsin, said his profession wants to be ahead of the game. “There’s a lot of misconception out there,” he said. “We want to be proactive before towns get nervous and try to change the rules.”
DeBroux said manure applicators stress to their customers that their equipment’s flotation tires and multiple axles don’t compact soils. Yet municipalities and states fail to give them credit for that.
Professional nutrient management organizations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan have contributed to the project. Departments of transportation in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois are collaborating, as well as these agribusinesses that have donated money and/or equipment: Husky Farm Equipment, Houle, John Deere, Agco Corp., Case IH, Firestone, Titan Tire Corp. and Michelin.