Understanding Nutrient Management Requirements
At Elite Agri Solutions Inc we know how overwhelming the regulatory requirements for farm nutrient management can be. We have the experience and certification to assist you through the Nutrient Management Planning process from start to finish and we can offer Grant Writing support throughout your project as well.
Although both NMS/Ps are a regulatory requirement for some farms, planning for the future when it comes to nutrient management will optimize the use of nutrients and also protect nearby water resources.
The NMS addresses issues in and around the barn such as the amount of manure generated, adequate storage capacity and acceptable runoff management. The NMP documents application of the nutrients in the fields that safeguard nearby water resources such as wells and surface water while maximizing the utilization of nutrients by the crops.
For a more in-depth understanding, you can read through the OMAFRA Factsheet on Nutrient Management which includes the basic overviews below.
Approval of the NMS is required for:
- construction projects prior to a building permit being issued for livestock housing and/or manure storage facilities, or prior to beginning construction of a manure storage facility made of earth (i.e. earthen lagoon)
- phased-in operations with land located within 100 m of a municipal well
- farms receiving off farm material for treatment through an anaerobic digester (AD) if the AD system is a regulated mixed AD system under the NMA regulations, or
- change in ownership or control of a farm operation with a previously approved NMS where the change adversely affects the capacity to implement the existing NMS
Any NMS that does not require approval by OMAFRA results in the agricultural operation being registered in accordance with Part 9 of the Nutrient Management (NM) Protocol, The NM Protocol is incorporated as part of the regulations, which means provisions found in the Protocol are legally binding.
Other than the provisions that apply to all farms, the remainder of the regulations concerning land application of manure and other agricultural source material (ASM) such as runoff and milkhouse washwater come into effect on a farm when it is required to have a nutrient management plan (NMP). It is important to note that a farm can only be required to have a NMP if it is also required to have a NMS first.
A farm is required to have a NMP when:
- livestock numbers are equal to or greater than 300 NU or
- a phased-in farm unit is located within 100 m of a municipal well.
The NMP outlines cropping practices, field management and land application of manure and other nutrients according to accepted agronomic practices. It can help the farmer optimize the value of the manure and other nutrients in the cropping program while minimizing the risks to surface and ground water resources.