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Monday, October 6, 2014

How are you Doing with your CNMP

Today I read a recent article "Nutrient Management Plans - How Closely do Farmers Follow Them?" in Crops and Soils Magazine.  They cite a study that seems to indicate that only about 27% of livestock farmers are following their Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans. My guess would be that the plans are so detailed that their is no way they are certain they are following the plan.  It would also be my guess that if they are doing the soil testing as required, and the record keping as required, they are pretty close to be i compliance.  One of the issues raised was  that farmers are not sure about release rates especially of nitrogen.   My solution would be that they use the presidedress nitrate test and add extra nitrogen as needed.

The article also points out that written plans are needed only for large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations CAFO's).  What is seldom pointed out is that all livestock operations must comply with rules no matter what size.

I think the plans need to be much simpler so that farmers will actually look at them from time to time.  The smallest one I ever wrote was in a 1 inch binder. The largest one was ina 3 inch binder.  Even though I reviewed it page by page with the clients, I suspect that review may be last time they looked at the plan. I always tried to get critical information on one page if possible.  When to spread manure and where on one page, and additional nutrients needed  on each field was on another page.

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