Nutrient management specialist training for certified crop advisers
by Chris Murray, Agribusiness Association of Iowa
The Iowa Certified Nutrient Management Specialist Program is a joint venture between the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program. An Iowa CCA with certified nutrient management specialist credentials will be able to write and approve nutrient management plans required of landowners by the NRCS for cost sharing and technical assistance. NRCS and ASA determined that a professional working relationship should be encouraged. A memorandum of understanding was produced and each state was charged with setting up rules and procedures to facilitate the development of the program.
In the upcoming months, the 2002 farm bill will become a reality. As written, the bill places emphasis on conservation programs in both the House and Senate versions of the federal farm legislation. It may be assumed that there will substantial increases in money available for conservation practices. When that money comes through the USDA, there will be requirements for nutrient management planning as required by each individual program. A nutrient management specialist designation for a CCA will allow him or her to construct nutrient management plans with landowners and farm operators. The plans that are created will be accepted by NRCS as fulfilling the program requirements without further review. The NRCS will consider the CCA to be a "third party" service provider and a valuable member of their team.
In the next few weeks, a detailed description of the nine-step process to eventual certification will be mailed to all Iowa CCAs. The process will involve Web-based learning, a facilitated training session, and the creation of an actual nutrient management plan to be checked for content and format. After certification, CCAs will be required to maintain their certification and submit five of their nutrient management plans for review.
Please contact Chris
Murray at Agribusiness Association of Iowa (800-383-1682 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
for further information about the Certified Nutrient Management Specialist
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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