With spring right around the corner we are preparing crop plans for the upcoming growing season. Part of this planning includes nutrient management planning. If you are not sure if you should have a plan written, the Agriculture Water Quality Act states that a land owner with 10 or more acres in agriculture production must create a nutrient management plan. If you apply manure or any nutrients to your land, you must also have a nutrient management plan written. These plans are developed to be used on farms to protect water quality from excess pathogens, sediments, and nutrients. Nutrient management allows farmers to use nutrients to optimize their economic benefit with minimal impact to the environment. Information used to write a plan consists of: Soil Type, field slope, crop rotation, and residual nutrients.
Nutrient Management Plans are written based on five basic steps. These steps include:
- Determine the total volume and amount of nutrients generated on the farm.
- Determine soil fertility with annual soil tests.
- Determine nutrient application rates based on existing soil fertility, crop nutrient requirements, nutrient application timing and method, and fertilizer type.
- Create a cropping plan for utilizing generated manure on a field-by-field basis
- Implement the plan and keep records.
Here at WS Ag Center we can help every step of the way to creating a Nutrient Management Plan. For more information contact your WS Ag Agronomist.