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What it is

Nutrient management means managing the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application) and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments. These steps reduce the potential for nutrients to go unused and wash or infiltrate into water supplies. Nutrient sources include animal manure, sludge and commercial fertilizers.

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How it helps

  • Improves crop production by budgeting, supplying, and conserving nutrients.
  • Reduces input costs.
  • Protects water quality by preventing over-application of commercial fertilizers and animal manure.
  • Properly utilizes manure, municipal and industrial biosolids and other organic byproducts as plant nutrient sources.
  • Protects air quality by reducing odors, nitrogen emissions and the formation of atmospheric particulates.
  • Maintains or improves the physical, chemical and biological condition of soil.
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Planning ahead

  • Have you tested the nutrient levels of your soil and livestock manure?
  • Are organic wastes or sludge available for you to use?
  • Have you determined realistic yield goals?
  • Are proper soil conservation measures installed?
  • Have you accounted for nitrogen credits produced by legume crops?
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The nutrient management plan should be updated every 5 years or if there is a major operational change, like the addition of more acres or more livestock. Follow the 4Rs of nutrient management by considering the Right nutrient source, Right rate, Right time and in the Right place.

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The 4 R's of nutrient management: the right source, the right rate, the right time, and the right place. Soil testing is the best place to start in order to get an accurate sampling so you can implement the 4 R's model.

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