University of Maryland Extension

Nutrient Management

Who Needs a Nutrient Management Plan?
You need a Nutrient Management Plan if you produce $2,500.00 in gross annual income from your agricultural operation annually OR have 8 animal units or more (animal units vary depending on species.)   Call: Francis Warring, Nutrient Management Advisor (301) 934-5403 / DC Area (301)753-8195

Do you have a Nutrient Management Plan and just need to update it?
Visit your NM Advisor in the fall to update your plan for the next cropping season!  It is important to note that fall seeded crops must be covered by your plan.  These include fields that are enrolled in the Maryland Cover Crop Plan.  Below is a list of items that you will need to be addressed in order to update your plan:

Soil tests must be less than three years old. 

  • Fields with differing crop or nutrient application histories, as well as differing soil types should be sampled separately.
  • Please keep in mind that pastures should be sampled as well, even if no nutrients are currently being applied.
  • We have plenty of soil sampling supplies here in the office that you may use.

Manure samples, if applicable, must be taken every year, and analyzed before manure is spread.

  • If manure is collected from animals and spread onto crop or pastureland, samples of that manure must be analyzed before spreading.

Animal units, if applicable, should be documented.

  • Type of animal, average weight, confinement time, and bedding material.

Field histories should be updated, showing crops from previous years.

  • Multiple cropping scenarios can be planned for.  A plan can be developed that covers many different crops that you may want to plant in each field!
  • Manure/Sludge, as well as Legume histories should be documented.

Yield Goals for every crop should be developed based on prior yield records.

  • If you are unsure, or have no realistic yield goals developed, we can help!

Plans should be updated EVERY 1 to 3 YEARS, depending on the type of operation. 

For more information, email Francis Warring or call him at 301-934-5403
Another helpful link may be the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

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