Mobile maps for better manure management

PI: John Panuska


Panuska is emeritus Distinguished Faculty Associate and extension natural resources specialist in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at UW–Madison. He has affiliations with Extension’s Agriculture Institute as well as UW’s Nutrient and Pest Management program.

Wisconsin dairy farms are already addressing the challenge of applying manure in economically and environmentally sound ways using the UW’s Soil Nutrient Application Planner (SnapPlus) software linked with SnapMaps. SnapMaps provides GIS maps that show areas with manure spreading restrictions due to high risk of surface water or groundwater contamination, such as setbacks along waterways or around wells. Currently, both tools are designed for computer and not mobile device application. An app capable of showing these high-risk area maps on a mobile device in the field during manure application will help farms comply with application guidelines. A planned app feature allowing manure applicators to add field observations and record where they are spreading on the maps will further their ability to avoid problems such as over-applications. The project goal is to provide a mobile device platform for maps used for nutrient management planning and manure field application. The objective is to have a fully functional Beta version ready for testing in the summer of 2021 and a stable final mobile platform ready for field application by 2022. This research supports the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #34: “Create an app for dairy producers and associates on major topics.” Laura Ward Good and software developer Jim Beaudoin from the Department of Soil Science are collaborating on this project.

2023 update: A mobile app is available for download. Snapplus Manure Application Realtime Tracker (SMART) cam track manure applications within a field. To learn more about SMART, visit

Laura Good Ward