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Ohio State University Extension


Nutrient Management Plan Development Program

This program is no longer active but maintained here as an archive Item

What is the program?

The project is targeted to the Western Lake Erie Watershed of Ohio working directly with two constituent groups on two primary objectives. Objective one is to work with farmers to develop Nutrient Management Plans, which include the Phosphorus Index calculation, to assist them in identifying fields with a high potential risk of phosphorus transport to adjoining waters downstream affecting water quality, especially growth of Harmful Algal Blooms, in the basin.

Why should I consider doing a Nutrient Management Plan?

While each individual will base their decision on whether to do a NMP on one or more factors specific to their farm, some reasons you might consider include:

  • Potential to reduce fertilizer costs
  • Potential to  increase yields
  • Maximize nutrient use efficiency and minimize nutrients leaving the field
  • Potentially qualify for NRCS/FSA reimbursement for EQIP program practices
  • Basis of “affirmative defense” as stated in Ohio law against private civil lawsuits (e.g. those brought by environmentalist groups if you are in compliance with your NMP)
  • No financial cost to individuals but will require an investment of your personal time

This summary is intended to provide “food for thought”.  The information about your operations necessary to create a NMP that meets NRCS requirements is detailed and you will want to investigate the process before making a decision. Producers will need to have soil tests within the last two years and provide information about field rotations, implements, management practices, water sources and more.

The plan provides both fertility recommendations and an environmental site risk for fields that help identify resource concerns impacting nutrient and sediment loss. These plans are the basis for EQIP funding cost share applications through NRCS that address identified resource concerns through the plan. The plans provide  general guidelines on 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices for your farm resulting in the “Right” rate, source, timing and placement of nutrients to maximize efficiency in fertilizer use. These plans also meet criteria needed for “affirmative defense” once coupled with other criteria defined in Ohio law. They are provided without cost to the participants.

We highly recommend you contact a member of our team to begin the process if you are a grain farmer. Our team will travel to interested individuals who farm in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

The Nutrient Management Plan Writers are a team working to assist farmers in developing Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) of Ohio. Please contact any of the individuals below form more information or complete the NMP Request for Service Form.

Ohio contributors to the project:

  • Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
  • Ohio Soybean Council
  • Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program
  • Ohio Corn Marketing Program
  • Ohio State University Extension

The program is funded from a grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.