Briefly, the components of a nutrient management program are (NWQEP 1988):
a. Determine current nutrient management practices.
b. Determine the range of soil fertility and crop nutrient requirements .
c. Identify nutrient sources and utilization areas for potential redistribution from areas of
oversupply areas of undersupply. Determine how much improvement in nutrient management
can be accomplished given current practices in the watershed.
d. Provide cost-sharing and technical assistance for cost-sharing and technical assistance for
soil testing and manure testing .
e. Estimate nutrient mass balance fore each filed, farm, and for the entire project area.
Example dairy or mixed livestock components are:
Inputs: feed, fertilizer
Outputs: milk, meat, crops, excess manure
Recycle: manure, crop residue
f. Determine the current inputs for the area generating pollutants, or for each field in the case of
a small project area. Compare with required nutrient needs of crops and pasture based on the
soil test results, soil type and land form. Adjust nutrient applications accordingly.
g. Use worksheets and written plans to formalize records on nutrient input requirements and
application rates for individual farm operations or fields. Where possible the plans should
identify the range of susceptibility of ground and surface water to nutrient over-application
based on soil type and land form. Beegle at al. (1989), Schulte et. al. (1989), Harmon et al.
(1988), and Vitosh and Carroll (1987) developed nutrient management worksheets using
spreadsheet software that are available to make the calculations and planning less cumbersome
for managing farm fertilizer and manure applications .
h. Educational materials, field demonstrations, and technical assistance along with the
calibration of manure and fertilizer spreaders is important. Demonstrations may be needed to
show the nutrient value of animal waste, advanced fertilizer applications such as banding, split
application, injection or improved incorporation the use of legume cover.
i. Promote the effective use of animal waste storage facilities for the optimal timing of manure
nutrient utilization. Also, promote tissue testing to determine the proper nutrient requirement and
to verify nutrient applications .