Livestock Environmental Management


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Nutrient Management Plan

A nutrient management plan (NMP) is a plan that uses manure as a fertilizer in an agronomical manner to meet realistic crop yield goals. This allows manure to be used in an environmentally and economically friendly manner. The two main nutrients of concern from manure are nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P). Excessive N from manure may leach through the soil and into groundwater or runoff into surface water. Excessive P causes greater concern, because it takes less P than N to cause harm. Phosphorus in runoff to surface waters creates algae blooms and leads to low levels of oxygen in water (anoxic conditions). This increased stress on aquatic organisms may lead to death, altering food webs and water ecosystems.


Things to keep in mind when developing a NMP are animal factors such as species, days on a site, estimated manure production and manure nutrient content. In addition, a description of the manure-handling practices is essential. Such things include manure type (solid or liquid), location and facility cleaning practices. The last element for a NMP is maps. Maps describe locations of fields, acres of application and waters of the state. Crop rotations, nutrient requirements and application setbacks should also be included with the maps.


The following diagram depicts the yearly process of nutrient management planning, focusing on a soil test, manure nutrient test and manure spreader calibration.


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