View our NMP Course Information flyer (PDF) to find out about our NMP course and when it will be offered again. Getting a head start on preparing for the January class is very important as some key things need to be completed in order to take the course including: 1) having a completed Land Treatment Plan (LTP), 2) having up-to-date soil samples (within 3 years), and 3) having an up-to-date manure sample (need yearly). You may also be eligible for grant funds through the Conservation District (RCPP funds) or NRCS (EQIP funds) to help pay for the development of your NMP. Call your local office for additional information.
Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) is the management of the amount, source, timing, and method of application (placement) of soil amendments and plant nutrients. Your NMP should help you: budget, supply, and conserve nutrients for plant production; properly utilize manure or oganic byproducts as a plant nutrient source; minimize agricultural nonpoint source pollution of surface and groundwater resources; protect air quality by reducing nitrogen emissions and odors; and maintain or improve your soil health conditions. In Vermont, all certified small farm operations and all permitted medium and large farm operations managing manure, agriculutral wastes, or fertilizer for use as nutrienet sources are required to implement a field-by-field nutrient management plan that follows the USDA NRCS NMP Code 590.
Nutrient Management Planning
The Digging In training manual (PDF) has been developed by University of Vermont Extension to facilitate the instruction of a nutrient management course for livestock farmers. During the course, farmers learn to develop and implement their own nutrient management plans, and gain an understanding of how their plans were put together, and the importance of nutrient management planning from both economic and environmental perspectives.
The course aims to provide a comfortable, small-group, learning opportunity for the farmers. Once the course is finished, class participants will have generated nutrient management plans following Vermont’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 590 Nutrient Management Standard. A multi-agency educational team conducts the program. The course is taught over a six-week period with participants attending a three-hour session each week. The farmers will spend approximately fifteen hours in classroom instruction and activities to estimate annual animal manure quantities, document and plan crop rotations, identify fields with manure spreading restrictions, analyze soil test reports, and calculate on-farm nutrient credits for animal manure and legumes. Farmers will also spend an estimated twenty hours at home writing their nutrient management plans. This guide is designed to present some of the instruction that is given in the course. In addition, it gives instructions on how to use the UVM Extension Nutrient Management web application, goCrop and the accompanying mobile app for record keeping.
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Articles and Manuals
- The Nutrient Recommendations for Field Crops in Vermont (pdf) was revised in March 2018.
- Vermont Phosphorus Index User Guide (pdf), version 6.0 updated October 2017.
- Effectiveness of Nutrient Management Plans on Vermont Dairy Farms by Heather Darby, Philip Halteman and Debra Heleba, published in the Journal of Extension in April 2015.
- Manage Nutrients Efficiently to Offset High Fertilizer Prices (pdf) by Heather Darby
- Maximizing Manure Nitrogen (pdf) by Heather Darby
- Use of Pasture Irrigation in Vermont (pdf) by UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Program
- HGM Manual – Using High Glucosinolate Mustard as a Cover Crop to Reduce Weeds and Disease (pdf)
Videos and Webinar Recordings
- Step by Step Instruction on How to Take a Soil Sample (YouTube video), February 2018.
- Glucosinolate Mustard as a Biofumigant in Vegetable Systems – Part 2 (YouTube video), March 2017.
- Glucosinolate Mustard as a Biofumigant in Vegetable Systems (YouTube video), April 2016.
- Pod-Line Pasture Irrigation in the Northeast (YouTube video), January 2015.
- Nutrient Management Planning (YouTube video), February 2010.
- What Nutrient Management Planning Means to Dairy Farmers (YouTube video), November 2009.
- Adapt-N: A tool for adaptive nitrogen management in corn (webinar recording) Cornell University online training session, April 5, 2012.