New State Runoff Risk Advisory Debuts

A new version of Wisconsin’s Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast will debut Feb. 1, offering farmers a much more detailed and localized look at the threat of runoff before they spread manure.

The runoff forecast, available at, provides maps showing the short-term runoff risk to aid in daily application planning, taking into account factors such as soil moisture, weather forecast, crop cover, snow cover and slope. The National Weather Service updates it three times daily.

The new version will also provide soil temperatures and saturation based on computer models, making it easier to find previous-day snapshots – a tool that farmers often use to document adherence to their nutrient-management plans.

“The Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast does not replace nutrient management planning or emergency planning in case of manure spills,” said Lacey Cochart, director of the Bureau of Land and Water Resources in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “It’s one tool to help farmers make informed decisions, and now that tool can be more effective.”