Right Timing of Nutrient Application

Nutrient Application - Timing Matters

Timing matters when it comes to applying manure and other nutrients. Phosphorus in manure and other nutrients can be lost from runoff when applied at the wrong time, meaning a loss of nutrients for you and a greater risk to the environment, such as algal blooms and reduced water quality in our Great Lakes. This includes when applied:

  • on frozen and snow covered ground
  • right before it rains
  • when soil is saturated

Applying at the right time is the right thing to do

Consider the 4R's: apply the right nutrients at the right rate, at the right time and at the right place.

There are many ways you can manage your nutrients without spreading at the wrong time. Visit the Nutrient Management web page for resources to help you determine what you can do for your operation. Contact a nutrient management consultant for help with nutrient management planning and to see what alternatives will work for your operation.


You may be eligible for Growing Forward 2 (GF2) or Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI) funding to help manage your nutrients. Visit our website for more information about GF2. Visit the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association website for more information about GLASI programs.

Some conservation authorities have funding available for environmental projects. Contact the conservation authority in your area for more information.


Manure and nutrient management

Soil health

Nutrients and phosphorus runoff management


Developed in co-operation with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Beef Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca