Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Spring 2002

Resources for nutrient management planning in Iowa

by Angela Rieck-Hinz, Department of Agronomy, and Barb Stewart, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Des Moines

Nutrient management planning in Iowa is a major topic of concern and the subject of many conversations this time of year. Nutrient management planning is important because proper use and application of nutrients have an impact on our natural resources (surface waters, groundwater, and soil) and also affect crop production and the bottom-line for many livestock and crop producers. The terms, definitions, and technical programs used by agencies to describe and implement nutrient management planning are often varied and confusing to producers, but they each have specific implications in Iowa.

Photo: Sampling manure
Photo: Sampling manure

The following text is adapted from the publication Nutrient Management Q and A: Quick Answers to Iowa Producer Questions, prepared by the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is a good resource for terms and definitions used in Iowa related to nutrient management planning and will be available on the Web at http://www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/news/brochures/brochures.html in late March.

Mandatory programs. Manure management plans. Manure management plans are required in Iowa. These plans are administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and are required of confinement feeding operations built or expanded after May 31, 1985, that have more than 200,000 pounds of swine or poultry or more than 400,000 pounds of bovine in confinement at one time. These plans must be submitted on designated forms that can be accessed at http://www.state.ia.us/epd/wastewtr/feedlot/manure.htm
The plans can be developed by anyone; certification of planners is not required. For more information about these plans please visit the listed Web site.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). NPDES permits are federally required permits that in Iowa are currently required of feedlots with more than 1,000 animal units or 300 to 1,000 animal units that discharge directly into a water of the state. In Iowa, the NPDES permit is the same as an operation permit. The permit provides a site-specific management plan, including engineering designs for any structures that will be built to comply with water quality standards. All permits have site-specific monitoring and recordkeeping requirements, such as keeping records on rainfall and manure management. Visit http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/immag/openfeedlot/plan.html for more information about open feedlot requirements in Iowa.

Voluntary programs. Nutrient management plans (NMPs) and comprehensive nutrient management plans (CNMPs) are voluntary guidelines set forth by the federal government. However, some participants in Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), 319 projects, and Water Protection Fund projects need to implement a nutrient management plan as part of their participation in these programs.

NMPs. NMPs are developed by the NRCS and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship-Division of Soil Conservation program staff. These plans also can be developed by private service providers. A certified person, approved by the NRCS, must review and approve the plan. Specific planning forms are not required. Nutrient management plans must follow the requirements of the NRCS's 590 Nutrient Management Standard. These plans deal specifically with managing the amount, source, placement, form and timing of applications of all nutrients, and soil amendments. For more information about the 590 Nutrient Management Standard please visit ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/IA/news/590info.pdf (pdf)

CNMPs. Components of a CNMP may include feed management, manure handling and storage, land application of manure, land management, recordkeeping, and other use options. These components, when used as management activities in combination with conservation practices, help ensure that agricultural production goals are achieved while protecting water quality. Currently, CNMPs are voluntary in Iowa.

For additional terms and definitions see Nutrient Management Q and A: Quick Answers to Iowa Producer Questions available soon at the Iowa NRCS Web site or contact your local NRCS office to get a copy.

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Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management is published by Iowa State University Extension, with funding support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service through Cooperative Agreement No. 74-6114-8-22. To subscribe or change the address of a current subscription, write to Angela Rieck-Hinz, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011-1010 or call 515-294-9590, fax 515-294-9985 or email: amrieck@iastate.edu. Please indicate you are inquiring about the Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter. The newsletter's coordinators are Angela Rieck-Hinz, extension program specialist, Department of Agronomy, Wendy Powers, environmental extension specialist, Department of Animal Science, and Robert Burns, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; the editor is Jean McGuire, the subscription manager is Rachel Klein, the production designer is Beth Kroeschell, and the web page designer is Liisa Jarvinen.

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