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Nutrient Management Planning

Farm Nutrient Management Plan
A farm nutrient management plan (NMP) helps the farmer to make the most efficient use of the available nutrients and avoid pollution. The use of an NMP promotes good farm productivity and minimises the loss of nutrients to the environment.

Such nutrients may be in the form of animal and crop wastes produced on the farm and/or imported materials such as mineral fertilisers, sludges or other materials.

A nutrient management plan matches the nutrients available to those required by the crop (including grass). An NMP will determine what quantities, if any, of additional fertiliser are required in the form of imported organic or mineral fertilisers.

The preparation and implementation of an NMP
The following outlines the approach Paul Bell adopts to the preparation and implementation of an NMP:
1: Audit of farm activities
2: Determining the soil nutrient status
3: Farmyard assessment
4: Assess each field for pollution vulnerability
5: Calculations
6: Prepare NMP
7: Prepare plan of improvement works for farmyard
8: Safe storage of potential pollutants
9: Review implementation of the Plan

An NMP is part of the documentation required by farmers joining the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS).

REPS is an agri-environment scheme which farmers can join on a voluntary basis. Participating farmers enter a five-year contract with the Department of Agriculture to adopt environmentally farming practices in return for financial payments.

Paul Bell is approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food to prepare REPS Plans1.

Case Study 2: Nutrient Management Planning
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Newtown, Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland Tel/Fax: 041 9814751 Email: bellagri@eircom.net