University of Maryland Extension

Key Considerations for Your Next Nutrient Management Plan

Patricia Hoopes

Manure Applications in High FIV-P Fields

Are you planning to apply manure or any phosphorus material to a high FIV-P field this spring? Manure or a P-containing product applied to a high FIV-P field requires some extra field work by your advisor. Work closely with your Nutrient Management Advisor to decide on the best time for a PSI and UM-PMT study to be done and incorporated into your nutrient management plan. Take into consideration that clear unfrozen fields are the easiest to work with.

Manure Incorporation Exceptions

Do you apply manure in a no-till situation? Remember if you apply manure, regulations require incorporation. There are certain exceptions with hay ground and pasture land.

Another exception is highly erodible land (HEL). This must be documented by inclusion of maps showing land defined as highly erodible land by USDA-NRCS. The addition of this map to your Nutrient Management Plan proves it is best if the soil is not disturbed. Contact Soil Conservation for your HEL maps, and work with your advisor to add this to your nutrient management plan.

Another exception is fields in which a current soil conservation and water quality plan or a current USDA/NRCS program requirement prohibits or otherwise restricts soil disturbance. The document addressing the prohibition must be included in the nutrient management plan.

Distance to Water Maps

Do you have a stream or pond on your farm? Regulations now require maps showing the distance from fields to water. An application of crop nutrients using a broadcast method requires a 35-foot setback. A directed spray application or the injection of crop nutrients requires a 10-foot setback. Work with your advisor to ensure maps document streams and ponds correctly. If you are updating your Soil and Water Conservation Plan, they have tools to develop a great map for this.

Starting to work on the nutrient management plan early allows extra time to request necessary documents and field studies. Start planning now for a successful spring planting season.  

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