PED Virus and Considerations for Manure Application

As a result of the recent introduction of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) to Ontario, pork producers have additional challenges and considerations when applying manure. All pork producers can be impacted by PEDv and should be aware of the risks, and the appropriate precautions and biosecurity measures; however, it is also important for others involved in agricultural operations to have an understanding of how this specific virus is spread and the impact that it can have for the pork industry.


The best way to address the spread of the PEDv is through preventive action and thorough biosecurity. Anyone spreading manure has a role to play in reducing the risks of transmitting the virus.

Basic Points:

  1. Ensure manure application equipment is clean and disinfected before entry onto any pig farm.
  2. Manure on roadways, barn yards, equipment or clothes can be enough to spread PEDv. Keep manure off of surfaces that could end up transferring the virus to another pig farm.
  3. Inject or incorporate manure into soil as quickly as possible.

General Operations

  • Equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival on site.
  • Effective PEDv disinfectants include Clorox, Virkon S, Tek-trol, and 1-Stroke Environ.
  • Ensure employees change clothes and wash/disinfect their boots between spreading sites.
  • Custom applicators should avoid scheduling pig farms one after the other and if possible, spread manure from various livestock operations in rotation (swine, dairy, etc).


  • Those working with or spreading manure must not enter any pig barn or come in contact with pigs.
  • Maintain a line of separation between daily farm traffic/barn staff and set-up of manure loading and hauling.
  • Manure applicators should use separate access ways to manure storage or hauling whenever possible.

Manure Storage

  • PEDv lifespan is considerably shortened under aerobic conditions. Manure storages should be completely agitated before application.
  • Pumping washwater back into the manure storage is recommended when manure application at that site is finished.
  • If this is not practical, have equipment washed on soil that can easily and quickly absorb the water, and is not in any traffic lanes associated with the regular barn traffic.
  • Give a thorough cleaning and disinfection of equipment before moving to another farm.
  • Where it is known that a site is PEDv positive, manure storages should be scheduled last to reduce the risk of transmission.

Manure Application

  • If a site is known PEDv positive, the manure should be held as long as possible and until the weather is warmer to reduce the amount of virus present.
  • Consider keeping manure on the same property as the barn to limit transport, respecting crop requirements and nutrient management application rates.
  • Consider applying manure inter-row after the corn is up to take advantage of higher temperatures to help reduce the virus lifespan.
  • During field application incorporate uniformly into the soil profile where possible.
  • Fully cover manure with soil by managing incorporation/injection equipment and application rates to avoid manure boiling up in the injection slot and leaking onto headlands.
  • Surface applied manure that is not incorporated is a risk because domestic animals, wildlife and birds can carry virus to previously unaffected locations. This risk is higher in areas where hog farms are more numerous. However, if surface applying, do so when temperatures are warmer and there will be several days of sunshine to help inactivate the virus.

PED Virus Overview

What is PEDV?

  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a viral disease that affects only pigs.
  • PED causes acute and severe outbreaks of diarrhea that rapidly transmits among all ages of pigs. The disease is most serious in newborn piglets where mortality can reach 100%.

How is PEDv spread?

The virus can be spread by the direct contact of PED infected pigs or their manure with healthy pigs.

The virus can also be transmitted by items contaminated with infected manure, such as clothing, boots, farm supplies, feed, loading chutes, vehicles, and manure equipment.

Are there public health or other livestock concerns?

  • The virus does not infect people and is not a food safety concern.
  • The virus only makes pigs sick; other farm animals will not be infected.

How long can PED virus survive in manure?

Research studies in the US have not confirmed a specific time frame and/or temperature that would ensure inactivation of PEDv in solid or liquid manure. Producers need to ensure that they use Best Management Practices as outlined above when spreading manure and continue to utilize biosecurity procedures to keep PEDv out of barns.

For additional information on Best Management Practices for Manure Spreading or PEDv go to

Technical information in this article was supplied by: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, National Pork Board, Ontario Pork, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300