USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced it has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land.  The agency uses this conservation practice to help farmers and ranchers apply their nutrients more efficiently and says that the proper management of nitrogen and phosphorus, including the use of organic sources of nitrogen such as animal manure, legumes, and cover crops, can save producers money.

NRCS’s nutrient management experts worked with universities, non-government organizations, industry, and others to revise the standard to ensure it is scientifically sound.  Key changes in the standard include expanding the use of technology to streamline the nutrient management process and allowing states more flexibility in providing site-specific nutrient management planning using local information when working with producers, USDA said.  NRCS staff offices will have until January 1, 2013 to comply with erosion, nitrogen, and phosphorus criteria for their state nutrient management standard.

NRCS offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to producers nationwide for planning and implementing on-farm nutrient management plans. Producers can use this assistance to help meet federal, state, tribal, and local environmental regulations.

More information about how nutrient management fits into NRCS’s conservation work, click here.