University of Maryland Extension

Nutrient Management


The University of Maryland Extension’s Agricultural Nutrient Management Program (ANMP) is a component of the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The ANMP was established in 1989 as a cooperative effort between the University of Maryland Extension (UME) and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). The goal (or mission) of the ANMP is to provide educational opportunities and nutrient management planning services to farmers in Maryland in an effort to reduce the amount of nutrients from agricultural operations that enter the Chesapeake Bay. 

In 1998, the Water Quality Improvement Act (WQIA) was enacted and many changes were brought about which affected Maryland’s agricultural community. Most notable among the changes are the requirement for farmers to obtain and implement a nutrient management plan if they meet either of the following criteria for their agricultural operation:

1)    8 or more animal units (8,000 pounds of live animal weight) or

2)    $2,500 gross annual income from the agricultural operation

Each county extension office has a nutrient management advisor assigned to provide nutrient management–related services to that county’s farmers.  Extension nutrient management advisors can provide:

Maryland’s Phosphorous Management Tool regulations require all licensed nutrient management consultants and certified farmers to report soil phosphorus levels for each field in their nutrient management plan to the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The Department, in turn, will use this information to establish a statewide inventory of soil phosphorus levels. Importantly, soil data collected also will be used to determine the “tier” or time-frame that individual farmers must follow when transitioning to the Phosphorus Management Tool. Soil data information was due to the Department last fall, but many farms are still unaccounted for. If you are a licensed consultant or certified farmer and have not submitted your soil information to the department, please contact Bryan Harris of the Nutrient Management Program at 410 841-5959 as soon as possible for guidance in reporting this information.

For further resources and general information on the ANMP, please visit

For program information and nutrient management planning needs in Dorchester County, please contact the Jose Prieto-Figueroa at or call 410-228-8800.

Our office is located at 501 Court Lane, Room 208, Cambridge, MD  21613

Soil Testing

Now that the UME Soil Lab is closed you must use a private soil analysis lab.  If the operation has a soil analysis no older than 3 years it may be used.   But remember that the length of the plan is tied to the date of the soil test.  You can't use a 2-year old soil test for a three-year plan!  A list of regional soil testing laboratories and a cost comparison of those labs is available.

Soil Sampling Procedures for Nutrient Management

Comparison of Soil Test Labs

Sampling Manure for Nutrient Content

Comparison of Some Labs Testing Manure

Nutrient Management Planning Tools


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