Ontario's Agricultural Planning Tools Suite (AgriSuite) AgriSuite icon

Note: Existing NMAN users will receive an automatic update prompt the first time they use the software with an Internet connection. This is because NMAN is now part of AgriSuite - a new online web application. Older versions of NMAN files will be compatible in AgriSuite. See the "Using AgriSuite" section below for details on updating your version of NMAN.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How do I get AgriSuite?
  3. What's in AgriSuite?
    1. Nutrient Management Planning (NMAN)
    2. Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae
  4. How do I use the NMAN software to meet the legal requirements of the Nutrient Management Act?
  5. How do I use the MDS Formulae software to meet the requirements of the Provincial Policy Statement?
  6. Updating AgriSuite, NMAN and MDS Formulae
    1. AgriSuite
    2. NMAN
    3. MDS
  7. Installing AgriSuite to use offline
  8. Where can I find more information about AgriSuite?
  9. AgriSuite Updates

1. Introduction

Ontario's Agricultural Planning Tools Suite (AgriSuite) is an online system developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). AgriSuite is a web application that hosts OMAFRA's nutrient management planning software, called NMAN, and the Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae software. AgriSuite will host other resources as they become available.

AgriSuite allows OMAFRA to:

  • keep the NMAN and MDS Formulae software up-to-date
  • add new functions when available
  • improve performance of the software
  • improve your experience using the software

These functions help us to give you the most current information and resources available, and help you to manage your files easier.

The NMAN software has a series of functions and worksheets that you can use for your business. The system can help you to:

  • save money by potentially reducing the amount of fertilizer and other materials you use
  • reduce the environmental impact of on-farm generated nutrients
  • protect our sources of drinking water
  • reduce soil erosion and maintain soil productivity
  • recycle municipal waste

The MDS Formulae software has a series of worksheets that municipalities, land use planning consultants and nutrient management consultants can use to help you:

  • calculate MDS setbacks to reduce the potential for land use conflicts due to odour
  • calculate MDS setbacks in accordance with the requires of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) issued under the Planning Act

Since AgriSuite is a web application, you will always be using the most current version of the system if you use it when connected to the Internet. If you are using the system offline, you will need to manually download the newest version of AgriSuite to your desktop. See the "Updating AgriSuite" section below for more details.

2. How do I get AgriSuite?

AgriSuite is an online web application hosted by Microsoft Silverlight. Silverlight is a free software component, or plug-in, that allows you to run AgriSuite using different web browsers, devices and operating systems. You will first need to install or update Silverlight before using AgriSuite:

1. Go to the Microsoft Silverlight web page
2. Follow the directions to install Microsoft Silverlight

You can use AgriSuite once Silverlight is installed on your computer.

3. What's in AgriSuite?

a) Nutrient Management Planning (NMAN) NMAN icon

NMAN is now a part of AgriSuite. With the recent improvements to the software, you can use NMAN for both regulatory purposes and to determine the best ways to manage nutrients on your farm.
You can use NMAN to develop non-agricultural source material (NASM) plans, and nutrient management strategies and plans to submit to OMAFRA, demonstrating compliance with the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA) and the Nutrient Management Regulation (Ontario Regulation 267/03).

NMAN now contains a Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater (GNF) worksheet to help you develop GNF registrations, strategies and plans to demonstrate compliance of the NMA and the Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Regulation (Ontario Regulation 300/14).

You can print the documents you create in NMAN to submit to OMAFRA. Read the Using NMAN for Regulatory Purposes web page for more information on how to use NMAN to show compliance with the act and regulations.

See the Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Regulation web page for more information about using NMAN for GNF purposes.

NMAN can help you to determine the best way to store, treat and use nutrients, such as manure, on your farm. You can use NMAN to create agricultural or field management plans by calculating the estimated on-farm nutrient generation, the required nutrient storage you need and nutrient application rates that will maximize your crop production.

You can use the GNF worksheet to develop GNF strategies and plans to determine the best management practices of handling GNF at your operation or for your farm.

Read the Using NMAN for Best Management Practices web page for more information.

b) Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae MDS Icon

MDS is now part of AgriSuite. You can use MDS to calculate MDS setbacks in accordance with the requirements of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) issued under the Planning Act.

You can use MDS to calculate MDS I setbacks for proposed new development from existing livestock barns, manure storages and anaerobic digestors for building permit applications and applications under the Planning Act.

MDS also calculates MDS II setbacks for new or expanding livestock barns, manure storages and anaerobic digestors from existing or approved development, road allowances and lot lines for building permit applications.

4. How do I use the NMAN software to meet the legal requirements of the Nutrient Management Act?

To ensure your documents reflect up-to-date legal requirements, you should use the most recent version of AgriSuite within three months of its release. Otherwise, your submission will be returned to you.

Find information about the act, its regulations and protocols on these web pages:

5. How do I use the MDS Formulae software to meet the requirements of the Provincial Policy Statement?

Publication 853, “The Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Document Formulae and Guidelines for Livestock Facility and Anaerobic Digester Odour Setbacks,” can help you use the MDS Formulae software. The publication contains the revised MDS I and II formulae that are used to determine the recommended separation distance between a livestock barn, manure storage or anaerobic digester and other land uses. The publication contains MDS definitions, factors, implementation guidelines, calculation forms, explanatory schematics and additional training information.

Visit the OMAFRA website for more information about Publication 853.

You can:

  • Order a PDF version of the document through the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.
  • Order a free hard copy version from ServiceOntario on their website or by calling 1-800-668-9938.

Find information about the MDS Formulae and the Provincial Policy Statement on these web pages:

6. Updating AgriSuite, NMAN and MDS Formulae

a) AgriSuite

AgriSuite will automatically update for you when you are connected to the Internet if the system detects that a more recent version of the system is available. Once updated, the version number will be updated in the lower right-hand corner of the AgriSuite screen.

If you use AgriSuite offline, AgriSuite will automatically update when you open AgriSuite from your desktop when you have an Internet connection.

b) NMAN

If you have an older version of NMAN installed on your desktop to use offline, you will need to manually download AgriSuite. This is because the name of the web application has changed and it is not compatible with an automatic update. When you have an Internet connection, you will receive this notification when you run the older version of NMAN from your desktop:

Screenshot showing the manual upgrade notification window.

c) MDS Formulae

Previously, the MDS Formulae software and updates were released as a CD when you ordered a copy of the “Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae – Publication 707.” Unlike previous updates of MDS, we will not be issuing CDs with this update. Also, you will not be able to update previous versions of the software now that the MDS Formulae software is in AgriSuite. Instead, you will need to follow the directions above to access and download AgriSuite and the new MDS Formulae software.

If you already have AgriSuite installed on your computer, simply update your version of AgriSuite and you will be able to access the MDS Formulae software to support the MDS updates found in Publication 853, “The Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Document Formulae and Guidelines for Livestock Facility and Anaerobic Digester Odour Setbacks.”

7. Installing AgriSuite to use offline

You can use AgriSuite offline by installing the system to your desktop. Click the "Install AgriSuite to Desktop" button when you are on the AgriSuite start page.

Screenshot showing "Install AgriSuite to desktop" link

For more information about loading and using AgriSuite, contact the the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

8. Where can I find more information about AgriSuite?

Read the AgriSuite Help page for in-depth information about using AgriSuite, NMAN and the MDS Formulae. You can download a copy of the document to use when working offline.

For more information on installing and using AgriSuite, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

9. AgriSuite Release Updates

Read the summary of AgriSuite updates.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA staff
Creation Date: 03 March 2015
Last Reviewed: 7 November 2016