University of Maryland Extension

The Fall/Spring Nutrient Management Timeline

After the dust has settled from the business of harvest season, after the Fall Soil Nitrate Tests are completed, and after the fall crops have been planted it is time once again to plan for spring!

  • It’s time to replace old or questionable soil sample analyses with new ones.
  • It’s time to replace the old manure analysis with a fresh analysis.
  • It’s time to plan what will be grown in the spring.

As a general rule of thumb, all spring planning information should be together before Thanksgiving. A meeting should be planned with your advisor this fall or early winter for you to present your information. This allows time for development of a plan and time to take care of any issues that may need to be addressed before a final plan can be developed.

Certain issues may require more time invested in plan development, such as excessive phosphorus issues, manure calibration, questions on expected yields, determination of HEL lands, and map development. If you are aware that you have a need for a Phosphorus Site Index (PSI) or Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) comparison study, contact your advisor right after the field of concern has been harvested. The best time for the advisor to do a field visit to gather information is when the fields are clear.

To ensure your advisor has adequate time for plan development, the completion of fall harvest signals the time for spring nutrient management planning.


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