In years past, your farm was pretty isolated, but a growing number of people have moved to the area recently. As a result, your USA and Canada manure spreaders are at risk of causing battles over the smell of your fertilizer. What can you do in this situation? The following etiquette tips are things that we at VTI LLC often suggest to our customers who end up in this often challenging spot.
Talk to Neighbors Before You Spread
When new people move near your farm, it is probably a good idea to walk over there, introduce yourself, and let them know that you’ll be using manure spreaders from time to time. This step is wise because it not only lets them know what they are likely to experience but also helps to make sure that you are covered if they try to complain about you not telling them about this situation.
You should also contact them when you are about to spread to let them know that they may smell some fertilizer soon. This step may seem excessive, but it can help keep things civil between you and make it easier to communicate. In this way, they can not only prepare but, again, you can counter against them if they try to claim that you did nothing to warn them about the spread of manure on your farm.
If your neighbors act out and complain after you take these steps, then they aren’t being reasonable and may end up being difficult. However, most people aren’t going to fall under that category and will likely appreciate any warning that you give them. Just make sure that you are civil and understanding with them, as well, to ensure that they don’t end up upset with you even further.
Try to Spread on Clear Days
If you’re concerned about the scent of your manure affecting your neighbors, try to use your manure spreaders only when the weather looks like it will be somewhat clear and easy. Sunny days make for good spreading for you because it’ll be more comfortable and relaxing. It also helps avoid the kind of smell spread – and runoff – that may occur if you try to spread during rainstorms. Make sure that the next few days will be clear, as well, to avoid this problem.
You should also pay attention to the possibility of wind and the direction that the wind may take during the day. Focus your spreading on a day when the wind is likely to be a little lower. Doing so should help to ensure that you don’t spread too many bad smells to your neighbors. Just as importantly, it helps to keep any manure from spreading too far away from your farm and ending up at other people’s houses instead of your own.
As always, make sure that you use your spreaders in a way that provides a comprehensive level of coverage over all the fields that need it. Should you try to cover all of your areas in one day? Probably not because you may end up wearing yourself out. That said, you may still want to because you can minimize the smell spread and also help to prevent any weather-related issues that may develop unexpectedly after you spread your manure.
Avoid Excessive Spread When Possible
Another tip that can help decrease the risk of conflict between you and your neighbors over manure is to spread only when necessary. And it would help if you also covered with only the amount of fertilizer that your experts tell you to spread. Doing so helps to prevent the kind of buildup that may occur throughout your yard in unexpected ways. Just as importantly, you should try to focus your spread on times that won’t affect people in your area as much.
For example, you may want to use your manure spreaders only a handful of times every year to keep your crops in great shape. And if you have to use a large concentration of it, try to focus most of your spread on times that may not bother your neighbors. Typically, your neighbors are likely to be out of the house between 9-5 or so, if they work. As a result, you should spread your manure during these times so that the smell is mostly gone by the time they get home.
However, you shouldn’t run too much of your farm according to the whims of others. Yes, it is vital to keep the peace and do what you can to stop manure smells from upsetting too many people. But those who live near farms have to accept that they’ll smell manure at some point in their lives. However, by spreading reasonably and politely, you can at least minimize the potential of conflict as much as possible.
Set Up Scent Barriers
Lastly, it is often a good idea to set up a scent barrier for those times when you use your manure spreaders. A scent barrier can help to absorb much of the smell and keep it from impacting your neighbors. Just as importantly, it may also help to absorb some – but by no means all – of the runoff that may occur around your borders. In this way, you can also stop contamination that may end up costing you hefty fines.
What kind of scent barrier should you put up? That all depends on a few factors. Some people put up old hay bales around their farm and call it a day. That’s not a bad step because you can minimize the cost of your scent barrier while still providing protection. These barriers typically absorb a lot of the smell that may come from your farm and also absorb manure quite easily. However, you may also want more permanent restrictions for your fields.
For example, you may want to build some sheds near the edges of your field that help block as much smell as possible. Other people may put up plastic barriers or other items that help to keep the smell from spreading. Again, you probably shouldn’t spend a ton of money on this process because, again, people near a farm should anticipate some manure smells. But by taking some preventative steps, you can ensure that things are cool between the two of you.
Let Us Help You Out
As you can see, using manure spreaders in the USA and Canada when you have a lot of neighbors isn’t impossible to do. While you do need to be careful, here, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty. However, if you do need some help with this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at VTI LLC right away to learn more. Our experts will do what they can to help you succeed in your goals.