2004 Nutrient Management
Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management
Part 10 - Outdoor Confinement Areas
Table of Contents
- Classification of Outdoor Confinement
- Snow that Contains Manure
Outdoor Confinement Areas (OCA) include the following animals:
- elk; or
- game animals
10.1 Classification of Outdoor
Outdoor feeding operations covered by the Regulation
are classified as either high density permanent outdoor confinement
areas or low density permanent outdoor confinement areas. The
classification is based on the number of animals and the amount
of time they spend in the confinement area as defined in the Regulation.
Permanent outdoor confinement area (POCA) means an outdoor confinement
area that is either a high-density or a low-density permanent
outdoor confinement area. The breakdown between high and low density
is as follows:
- outdoor confinement: areas to which animals
have access for 4800 hours (or 200 complete days) of
the year or more and which is sufficient to generate more than
120 Nutrient Units per hectare annually (NU/ha); or
- outdoor confinement areas to which the animals have access for
less than 4800 hours of the year and the area is part of a farm
unit that contains the number of farm animals that is sufficient
- 300 or more nutrient units annually, and
- the number of nutrient units generated by the animals confined
in the area in the year, multiplied by the proportion of the
year during which the animals are confined in the area and this
is more than 5 NU/ha.
- outdoor confinement areas to which animals have access for
4800 hours (or 200 complete days) of the year or more and where
the number of animals confined in the area, at any time, is not
sufficient to generate nutrients at a rate of more than 120 Nutrient
Units per hectare (NU/ha) annually.
Access to the confinement area is assumed in any
case where the animals are not excluded by the use of closed gates
or similar barricades. If a farmer wishes animals to only have
access to the confinement area for portions of days, the exclusion
mechanism (e.g. gate or door) must be in place for the balance
of the hours in question to achieve a condition of 'no access'
for the purpose of these definitions.
10.1.1 Calculation of Permanent: Nutrient Units per Hectare:
Animals sufficient to generate nutrient units annually
Where animals are confined for a period of less
than 4800 hours (200 complete days) or more, it is necessary to
determine the nutrient production of the animals per hectare,
annually. This calculation is use to determine whether the operation
fits under the definition of low-density or high-density permanent
outdoor confinement area.
The total nutrient units per hectare are calculated
using the appropriate NU values for the animals from the tables
in Part 3 of this protocol. This value provides a "snap shot"
of what a given number of animals will be able to produce annually.
Example of Low Density
100 beef cows are kept on 1 hectare for 250 full days
or 6000 hours. From the NU table it is determined that 1 beef cow
equals 1 NU so there are 100 NU per ha. 100 NU/ha is less than 120
NU per ha so this is a low-density permanent outdoor confinement
Example of High Density
450 beef feeders are kept on 1 ha for 250 days. From
the NU table it is determined that 3 beef feeders equal 1 NU so
there are 150 NU per ha. 150 NU per ha is more than 120 NU per ha
so this is a high-density permanent outdoor confinement area.
10.1.2 Operations 300 Nutrient Units or Greater:
Nutrient Units calculated based on the proportion of the year during
which animals are confined
Where animals are confined for a period of less than
4800 hours and there are sufficient animals to generate 300 nutrient
units or greater annually, it is necessary to determine the nutrient
production of the animals based on the proportion of the year during
which animals are confined. This calculation is use to determine
whether the operation fits under the definition of high density
permanent outdoor confinement area.
The method for determining this number in accordance
with the definition found in Part 1 of the Regulation is as follows:
The total nutrient units per hectare are calculated using the appropriate
NU values for the animals from Table
3.2.1 in Part 3 of this protocol. This value is then adjusted
to adequately reflect how long the livestock was actually on those
Example of High Density POCA, despite seasonal use
Three hundred beef cows are wintered on a
field of 10 hectares for 180 full days or 4320 hours. From the
NU table it is determined that one beef cow equals 1 NU.
300 beef cows/1 beef cow per NU
= 300 NU
so: 300 NU is on 10 hectares which = 30 NU/ha
180 days is approximately 49% of a year, therefore,
the NU loading for this field over the course of this year (provided
that there is no other period of the year that livestock is present)
30 NU/ha x .49 = 14.8 NU/ha/yr
14.8 NU/ha/yr is more than 5 NU/ha/yr so this operation
must be treated as a high-density permanent outdoor confinement
area according to the definition provided in Part 1 of the regulation.
Example of a confinement area not regulated as a POCA
Three hundred beef cows are wintered on a field of
30 hectares for 120 full days or 2880 hours. From the NU table it
is determined that 1 beef cow equals 1 NU.
300 beef cows = 300 NU
so: 300 NU is on 30 ha which = 10 NU/ha
120 days is approximately 1/3 or (33%) of a year,
therefore, the NU loading for this field over the course of this
year (provided that there is no other period of the year that livestock
is present) is:
10 NU/ha x .33 = 3.3 NU/ha/yr
3.3 NU/ha/yr is less than 5 NU/ha/yr so this is a
low-density seasonal not a permanent feeding operation and therefore
is not currently covered by Part 7 of the regulation. It
will however be subject to the requirements as an existing large
operation and the rest of the regulation will apply to this farm
by the applicable date.
The floor of an outdoor confinement area is considered
to be a manure storage. This is reflected in the siting requirements
for the different outdoor confinement area classes, such as the
requirements for specified soil type and depth as specified in Part
7 of the Regulation. Further, no additional storage should be needed
provided that manure is land applied directly from the outdoor confinement
area according to a nutrient management plan.
If manure is removed from that floor before being
land applied (according to a nutrient management plan) then the
storage facility or site where it is kept must also meet the requirements
for construction and siting of storage facilities and sites - as
specified in Part 8 of the Regulation.
Setbacks for Structures
For permanent outdoor confinement areas, the provisions
for setbacks for structures are set out in Part 7 of the Regulation.
10.3 Snow That Contains Manure
Part 7 of the Regulation allows a person to store
or use snow which has been removed from an outdoor confinement area
and that contains manure subject to certain conditions.
Context - Snow that contains manure, removed
from an outdoor confinement area, is known in the industry as "feedlot
snow", "winter yard scrapings" or "brown sugar".
This material is of extreme bulk relative to nutrient content, and
is known to cause handling and storage difficulties on many operations
where outdoor livestock housing is used.
10.3.1 Parameters for Snow Containing Manure from
For the purposes of Part 7 of the Regulation the snow
containing manure is characterized by;
- having originated from an outdoor confinement area;
- the presence of ice or snow crystals;
- the presence no other foreign materials except livestock urine,
feces, feed or bedding;
- a dry matter content of no greater than 16%
- a nutrient content of no greater than 0.82% total nitrogen
on a dry weight basis and no greater than 0.26% total phosphorus
on a dry weight basis; and
- the material appears solid despite its low dry matter content
such that this material cannot be pumped at time of handling
or application, rather it can be piled or handled as
The preferred method for determining the nutrient
content described above is through using pooled samples (10 litres
each) which are subjected to analysis in triplicate. Sampling and
laboratory methods for determining dry matter, total nitrogen and
total phosphorus are outlined in the Sampling and Analysis Protocol.
10.3.2 Bedding and Feed in Snow
Snow that contains manure is permitted to contain
some bedding and feed. This is in recognition of the fact that sometimes
feed and bedding will become mixed in with the snow after a storm
event and may be removed when the snow is removed. Not all scrapings
from an outdoor confinement area will be able to meet the parameters
described above. Any winter application of manure that does not
meet the above guidelines must be in compliance with the regulations
for winter spreading contained in Part 6 of the Regulation.