2004 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 4 - Introduction to Nutrient Management Strategies and Plans

Table of Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. NMAN
  3. The Difference Between a Nutrient Management Strategy and a Nutrient Management Plan

4.1 Purpose

4.1.1 Nutrient Management Strategy

A nutrient management strategy sets out an environmentally acceptable method for managing all prescribed materials generated at an agricultural or non-agricultural operation. All generators of prescribed materials must complete a nutrient management strategy if they are phased in by the Regulation, Part 2.

4.1.2 Nutrient Management Plan

A nutrient management plan (NMP) details how nutrients are to be applied to a given land base. A nutrient management plan is based on both the components of the nutrients used and the characteristics of the field. This plan optimizes the utilization of the nutrients by crops in the field and minimizes environmental impacts. A person who owns or controls an operation, which is phased in by the Regulation, Part 2, must complete a nutrient management plan if they land apply nutrients on their farm unit.

4.2 NMAN

OMAFRA has developed "NMAN", a nutrient management computer program with an associated workbook for the purpose of completing a nutrient management strategy or nutrient management plan for agricultural operations. A nutrient management strategy or plan for an agricultural operation must be completed using the NMAN Software program or the associated workbook developed by OMAFRA. Only nonagricultural generators are exempt from the requirement to prepare nutrient management strategies using NMAN. Nutrient management strategies for the nonagricultural generators must be prepared in accordance with Part 6 of this protocol.

NMAN is designed to either produce or accommodate all of the components of the nutrient management strategy and plan. NMAN can be found on the OMAFRA website and is available from OMAFRA for use with this Protocol and the Regulation. The person developing a nutrient management strategy or plan must use the most recent version of the NMAN software or associated workbook.

For farm units, the farmers with training under Part 10 of the Regulation, can develop nutrient management strategies or nutrient management plans on their own or hire consultants trained and certified in accordance with the Regulation, to develop nutrient management strategies and nutrient management plans. The same applies to nonagricultural operations developing nutrient management strategies.

4.3 The Difference Between a Nutrient Management Strategy and a Nutrient Management Plan

Prior to the Act nutrient management strategies and nutrient management plans were dealt with in a single document called a nutrient management plan. A nutrient management plan was typically used for livestock operations and included information about the production and storage of manure, as well as the field- by-field plan for application of the manure, plus any commercial fertilizer or biosolids utilized on the farm.

Now nutrient management strategies will be completed by nonagricultural and manure generators to deal with production, storage and use of manure and other nutrients. Nutrient management plans will be completed for agricultural operations that apply nutrients to land.

4.3.1 Agricultural Operations that Do Not Generate Prescribed Materials

An agricultural operation that does not generate any prescribed materials (i.e. such as a cash crop operation) should be aware of the regulatory requirement for high trajectory guns, use of sewage biosolids during the winter and on snow covered or frozen soil and application of nonagricultural source material near surface water. These exceptions are found in Part 6 of the Regulation and reiterated in part 1.3 of this protocol.

4.3.2 Agricultural Operations that Do Generate Prescribed Materials

An agricultural operation that has been phased -in by the regulation and that does generate and land applies all or part of the prescribed materials generated requires both a nutrient management strategy and plan (see Part 5 of this Protocol). The nutrient management strategy and plan must reference each other and should be kept together for the approval, certification, and inspection/enforcement processes.

4.4 Identification of the Components

A nutrient management strategy for agricultural generators includes the following components that are also the required components of a nutrient management plan

  1. Description of the operation
  2. Contingency plan
  3. Nutrient analysis
  4. List of storage facilities
  5. Farm Unit Declaration Form
  6. Farm Unit sketch

A complete list of components required for nutrient management strategies and nutrient management plans for agricultural operations is found in Table 4.4.1 below. Information on the requirements for a nonagricultural operation nutrient management strategy can be found in part 6 of the protocol.

Within this protocol, each component required to be in a nutrient management strategy and nutrient management plan in relation to prescribed material is discussed in relation to either a plan or strategy. Some components are required by both the nutrient management strategy and nutrient management plan.

Table 4.4.1. Identifying Components Required in Nutrient Management Strategies and Nutrient Management Plans for Agricultural Operations
Component Considerations in a Strategy
Y = Yes
N = No
Considerations in a Plan
Y = Yes
N = No
Operation Information Description of the Operation Y Y
Agreements Y Y
For Farm Units Farm Unit Declaration Form Y Y
Farm Unit Sketch Y Y
Inventory and Description of Prescribed Materials List of Prescribed Materials (generated and received) Y Y
Analysis of Nutrient Content Y Y
Destination and Storage Destinations Y N
Storage Facilities Y Y
Contingency Plan Contingency Plan Y Y
Sign-off form Sign-off form Y Y
Field Information Field Properties N Y
Field Sketches N Y
Soil Samples and Analysis N Y
Crop Information Crop Rotation and Yields N Y
Tillage Practices N Y
Nutrient Application Information Commercial Fertilizer Application N Y
Application of Prescribed Materials N Y
Agronomic and Crop Removal Balance for Nitrogen N Y
Nitrogen Index N Y
Agronomic and Crop Removal Balance for Phosphorous N Y
Phosphorous Index N Y
Common Land Application Setbacks/Limits N Y
Demonstration of Adequate Land base N Y

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 14 June 2004
Last Reviewed: 14 June 2004