How Many Nutrient Units Do I Have?
Beef Operations

If you own a beef operation, Ontario Regulation 267/03 under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 applies to you if your operation generates 300 or more nutrient units (NU) annually. It also applies to you if your operation generates more than five (5) NU annually and you:

  • apply for a building permit* to build any structure that is used to house livestock or to store manure; or
  • construct an earthen manure storage.

If you own a beef operation and keep no other livestock on your farm, you can use the following chart to easily determine the nutrient units for your farm operation.

Determine Total Nutrient Units for Your Farm

Type of Beef Operation

# of Animals

NU Conversion Factor

Divide # of Animals by NU Conversion Factor

Beef Cows (includes calves to weaning)


1 animal/NU


Beef Backgrounders: 261-408 kilograms (575-900 pounds)


3 animals/NU


Beef Shortkeeps: 408-590 kilograms (900-1,300 pounds)


2 animals/NU


Beef Feeders: 261-567 kilograms (575-1,250 pounds)


3 animals/NU


Total Nutrient Units on Farm


* O. Reg. 267/03 also applies to those operations that would require a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 but are exempt from having to obtain a permit under the application of clause (b) of Division C of the building code made under that Act.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 01 July 2003
Last Reviewed: 19 November 2013