Managing the right amount, source, form and timing of nutrients is important to ensure crop yields and profitability. It’s also a way to limit agricultural non-point source pollution of ground and surface water resources.
A nutrient management plan (NMP) is a written document that determines the soil-available nutrients and fertiliser requirements of a field. The plan matches the utilisation needs of crops with available soil nutrients and may identify supplemental organic or commercial fertiliser applications. The plan may also attempt to minimise the loss of soluble nutrients through tile and surface runoff. A nutrient management plan is also required when applying for technical assistance relating to manure storage structures, barnyards and/or feedlots.
An individual or company can write a plan by themselves or work with a certified nutrient manager. For Nutrient Management Planning, go to https://4rreassurance.co.uk/nutrient-management-planning/
A plan should include a soil map, which can be an aerial photograph or a map produced from a computer, Geographic Information System or other system, a hand-drawn sketch, a nutrient budget for the field and any applicable conservation practices. It should also provide guidance on implementation, operations, maintenance and record keeping. The plan should also outline how the farm will handle dead animals and their nutrients and how to deal with excess manure nutrients. This will help reduce environmental problems caused by the leaching or runoff of nutrients from animal manure into surface and ground waters leading to eutrophication, algal scums, reduced fish populations and other nuisances.