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Nutrient Management Planning


Nutrient Management Planning is the management of the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application), and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments. The purpose of Nutrient Management Planning is to:

  • Budget, supply, and conserve nutrients for plant production.
  • Minimize agricultural nonpoint source pollution of surface and groundwater resources.
  • Properly utilize manure or organic byproducts as a plant nutrient source.
  • Protect air quality by reducing odors, nitrogen emissions (ammonia, oxides of nitrogen), and the formation of atmospheric particulates.
  • Maintain or improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of soil


Writing and Funding an NMP

Resources to Write and Fund your NMP

All farms interested in NMP financial assistance should contact their local NRCS office, or local Conservation District as soon as possible to discuss financial assistance opportunties.

Land Treatment Planning

Land treatment planning is the foundation or required pre-requisite for a nutrient management plan (NMP).  It is a general resource inventory including mapping, a waste production calculation, soil loss estimates, a waste storage assessment, and conservation recommendations, from which a NMP is developed.  This program is provided at no cost to farmers and is made available through a partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
For more information, a list of planners, and their contact information, visit: or visit your local NRCS/Conservation District office

Nutrient Management Planning for CSFO, MFO & LFO

All CSFO, MFO, and LFO shall have a field-by-field NMP developed by a certified nutrient management planner or the permittee.  Development and implementation of the nutrient management plan shall exceed the standards of Vermont Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) and the Vermont USDA NRCS Nutrient Management Plan 590 Standard.

Nutrient Management Plans are required to include up-to-date field maps, soil samples, manure samples, production area management plans, and recommended nutrient application rates. NMPs are required to follow nutrient application guidelines, minimize leaching to groundwater or surface water and to provide effective management for soil health. Recordkeeping is also a required component of NMPs.



To request additional yield or nutrient record keeping booklets be mailed to your farm, contact us at (802) 522-4655. 

For more information and to access helpful resources, click on the following links:

Nutrient Management Planning for Small Farm Operations (SFO)

While Small Farm Operations are not required to maintain a Nutrient Management Plan to the USDA NRCS 590 Standard, they are still required to adequately care for and track nutrients on the operation. This includes the following:
  • All sources of nutrients shall be accounted for when determing nutrient application rates.
  • Recommended rates may be adjusted based on manure or other waste analysis and/or nutrient testing procedures.
  • Recommended nutrent application rates shall be consistent with current UVM Nutrient Recommendations for Field Crops in Vermont and standard agricultural practices. 
  • All fields recieving mechanical application of manure, agricutlural wastes, or fertilizer shall be soil sampled at least once in every five years using modified Morgan's extractant or other equivalent standards approved by the Secretary.
  • Records of soil analysis, manure or other agricultural waste application, and fertilizer applications shall be maintained on the farm for a period of five years and provided to the Secretary upon request. 
  • Records of manure or other agricultural waste application shall contain:
    • date of application,
    • field location,
    • application rate,
    • source of nutrients applied, and 
    • weather and field conditions at the time of application.