Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nutrient Management

What is a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan?

A CNMP is a strategy for making wise use of plant nutrients to enhance farm profits while protecting water resources, looking at how nutrients are used and managed throughout the farm.

image Nutrients inputs are brought to the farm through feeds, fertilizers, animal manures and other off-farm inputs, some of these are used, and some are recycled by plants and animals on the farm.

Nutrient outputs are the ones that leave the farm in harvested crops and animal products.

When nutrients outputs greatly exceed outputs from the farm, the risk of nutrient losses to ground water and surface water is greater.image

When comparing nutrient inputs against nutrient outputs, you are creating a mass balance (important part of a CNMP). Ideally, nutrient inputs and outputs should be roughly the same.

Basic steps

1. Evaluation of nutrient needs.image

2. Inventory of nutrient supply.

3. Determination of nutrient balance.

4. Mortality management.

5. Preventative maintenance and inspection.

6. Emergency response plan.

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