Agricultural Nutrient Management Program

The University of Maryland Extension's Agricultural Nutrient Management Program, which is a component of the University of Maryland's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, focuses on balancing nutrient applications with crop requirements to optimize crop production while reducing pollution to the Chesapeake Bay.

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About ANMP

Services We Provide

The Agricultural Nutrient Management Program, which is funded by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), provides the following services:

  • Nutrient management plan development for Maryland farmers through a network of nutrient management advisors located in all 23 county Extension offices; and
  • Continuing education and technical support for certified nutrient management consultants and certified farm operators via nutrient management specialists located on the UMCP campus.

Our Extension nutrient management advisors can also provide:

Fiscal Year 2024 Priorities

The following priorities in descending ranking order shall guide program delivery:

  1. Farmers with pollution problems as identified by the MDA;
  2. Farmers with animal operations who are existing clientele and whose nutrient management plans require updating;
  3. Small, urban, and underserved farming operations; and
  4. First come, first serve for any other farmer who must comply with the Water Quality Improvement Act.

Plans must be written for farmers in a timely manner and will be assigned to nutrient management planners in other counties as needed.

Farmers who use only commercial fertilizer shall be strongly encouraged to use the fertilizer dealer’s own certified nutrient management consultant.

Certified farmer operators shall be strongly encouraged to write their own nutrient management plans.

Planning assistance to certified farmer operators and certified nutrient management consultants will be provided by UMD nutrient management specialists.

All no-land nutrient management plans for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) will be written MDA regional staff.

College Park Staff & Nutrient Management Specialists

Craig W. Yohn, Interim Program Director, Agriculture Nutrient Management Program

  • 501 Court Lane, Room 208, Cambridge, MD  21613
  • (443) 239.5059

Trish Steinhilber (Retired affiliate), Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Specialist

  • University of Maryland 0116 Symons Hall College Park, MD 20742

Paul ShipleyNutrient Management and Software Technical Support Specialist

  • University of Maryland 0116 Symons Hall College Park, MD 20742
  • 301-405-2563

Kayla Griffith, Nutrient Management Specialist

History of Nutrient Management Planning in Maryland

Prior to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, programs already existed to implement some aspects of water quality improvement, but no program was in place to specifically address nutrient management planning. Nutrient management planning is (1) a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs) aimed at reducing nutrient pollution by balancing nutrient inputs with crop nutrient requirements and (2) considered one of the most effective means of controlling excessive nutrient applications.

Maryland Nutrient Management Program (MNMP)

In 1989 the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the University of Maryland/Maryland Cooperative Extension established the MNMP. The primary focus of this program was to place 1.4 million acres of Maryland farmland under nutrient management plans by 2000. Nutrient management plans are documents which incorporate soil test results, yield goals, and estimates of residual nitrogen to generate field-by-field recommendations.

Water Quality Improvement Act (WQIA)

In 1998 the Maryland legislature enacted the WQIA which mandated sweeping changes for Maryland's agricultural community and land managers, and requires:

  • Nitrogen and phosphorus-based nutrient management plans;
  • Reduction of the phosphorus in manure via feeding regimes;
  • Provisions for transporting animal manure from fields showing excessive phosphorus to fields needing additional nutrients;
  • Increased scrutiny of record keeping; and
  • Additional evaluations of the phosphorus nutrient.
Licensing, Certification, and Training

Since 1992, legislation has required the certification of nutrient management consultants and has enabled licensed, private sector nutrient management consultants to play a major role alongside those in the public sector. Certification, examination, and licensing are administered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) in consultation with a Nutrient Management Advisory Committee.

Continuing education courses are also conducted as a joint effort between the University of Maryland Extension Agricultural Nutrient Management Program and the MDA.

Maryland Nutrient Management Regulations

In May 2000, the state of Maryland officially published regulations which guide the implementation of the 1998 Water Quality Improvement Act. A current set of these regulations are posted on the Maryland Department of Agriculture's web site. Below is an overview of the current regulations:

COMAR 15.20.04 - Nutrient Management Certification and Licensing

Covers certification and licensing requirements for individuals or businesses who write nutrient management plans.

COMAR 15.20.05 - Manure Transportation Pilot Project

Describes the voluntary Manure Transportation Project, a 4-year project intended to facilitate the transport of poultry litter and livestock manure from farms in all areas of the state that are subject to phosphorus over-enrichment.

COMAR 15.20.06 - Nutrient and Commercial Fertilizer Application Requirements for Agricultural Land and Land, Including State Property, Not Used for Agricultural Purposes

Describes requirements for persons who apply nutrients to more than ten acres of agricultural land or who apply commercial fertilizer to three or more acres of non-agricultural land or State-owned land.

COMAR 15.20.07 - Agricultural Operation Nutrient Management Plan Requirements

Requires agricultural operators to develop and implement nitrogen and phosphorus-based nutrient management plans for agricultural operations by certain deadlines.

COMAR 15.20.08 - Content and Criteria for a Nutrient Management Plan Developed for an Agricultural Operation

Describes the content requirements for a nutrient management plan, the plan recommendations given by a certified nutrient management consultant and the requirements for implementation of a nutrient management plan by the agricultural operator.

The Agricultural Nutrient Management Program is funded by the Maryland Department of Agriculture

MDA Maryland Nutrient Management Manual

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