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University of Minnesota Extension

Manure safety

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Learn how to manage manure safely. Includes guidance on how to safely agitate and pump manure and how to prevent and manage manure spills.

Manure spill prevention and management

  • Environmental impacts
  • Preventing spills from manure storage, transportation and land application
  • Managing manure spills

Manure gas dangers during liquid manure agitation and pumping

  • As organic material in the manure breaks down, the lack of oxygen in the manure liquid promotes hydrogen sulfide, methane and other gas formation.
  • Methane is a fire/explosion hazard when it reaches flammable limits of 5 to 15 percent by volume. 

Protocols and preparation for manure agitation and pumping

  • Each farm should have safety protocols for manure storage systems.
  • All on-farm family and staff should be aware of the dangers of manure gas exposure, and how to reduce the risks to human and animal health and safety. 
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