2005 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 5 - Nutrient Management Strategy for Agricultural Operations

Table of Contents

  1. Review and Updating of a Nutrient Management Strategy
  2. Required Contents of a Nutrient Management Strategy (Part 3 of the Regulation)

5.1 Review and Updating of a Nutrient Management Strategy

A nutrient management strategy is a 5-year document that should be reviewed by the generator annually to ensure that it is still relevant and accurate. It is also recommended to identify and explain any deviation from the strategy in records that are kept of actual events. Part 11 of the Regulation sets out the requirements for record keeping. At the end of the 5 years a new strategy must be prepared. If the generator has applied for a building permit for a new barn or structure to house animals or a new storage, including an earthen storage, then a new strategy would be needed at that time.

It should be noted that it is also possible for a provincial officer or Director under the Act to issue an order under Section 29 or 30 of the Act requiring that the strategy be updated.

5.2 Required Contents of a Nutrient Management Strategy (Part 3 of the Regulation)

A completed nutrient management strategy must include:

  1. Farm unit information and identifier numbers
  2. Description of the operation
  3. Farm Unit declaration form including location, roll #, generator or not, name
  4. Agreements
  5. Farm unit sketch
  6. List of prescribed materials generated -manure/nutrient information (type, analysis etc)
  7. Analysis of nutrient content or nutrient values provided in Appendix 1
  8. Destinations of nutrients generated
  9. Storage information- yearly amount, days of storage, amount remaining including storage sizing calculation
  10. Contingency plan
  11. Sign-off form

These requirements are explained in more detail below.

5.2.1 Farm Unit Information and Identifier Numbers

1. Farm Unit Information:

An operation that is either approved or registered will receive an "operation identifier". OMAFRA will be responsible for assigning operation identifiers.

2. Description of the Operation:

The description must give details about the general type of operation for which the nutrient management strategy is being prepared. The written description should include items such as; the size of operation, overview of the livestock facilities, and the prescribed material being produced and/or received. It must include the name and contact information for the operator of the operation.

3. Farm Unit Declaration Form:

For an agricultural operation only, a Farm Unit Declaration is required. It identifies the contact information for the farm unit operator and identifies the facilities and land base associated with the operation. The Farm Unit Declaration is described in Part 2 of this protocol. The farm unit must comply with the rules set out in Part 1 of the Regulation.

4. Agreements:

Any agreements required by the strategy must be signed and copies attached to the nutrient management strategy. There are two types of agreements recognized by the Regulation. The agreements are:

Type of Agreement: Broker Agreement

Details: This agreement is required for a transfer from a generator who is required by the Regulation to have a nutrient management strategy to a broker, or, from a broker to a receiver who is required by the Regulation to have a nutrient management plan.

Each party to the agreement must have a signed copy. 

Brokers must have the identifier of each generator or receiver who is subject to the Regulation and with whom they have an agreement, if an operation identifier has been previously assigned by the Ministry.

Type of Agreement: Nutrient Transfer Agreement

Details: Where an owner /operator of one operation intends to have another person manage the prescribed materials s/he has generated, then a Nutrient Transfer Agreement is required to be executed by:

  • the generator of the prescribed material and the owner or controller of any other farm unit required to have a nutrient management plan under the Regulation or
  • intermediate operation to which the prescribed material is transferred for management.

The agreement must include the identifier for the generator and the person to whom the material is transferred, if an operation identifier has been previously assigned by the Ministry. The agreement must also include - a statement setting out the quantity of prescribed material that is to be transferred.

This form indicates that nutrients are being transferred to or from a farm unit and implies that the nutrient management strategy and/or plan of each farm unit reflect that transfer. This form must be signed by the supplier and the receiver and must be included in the nutrient management strategy or plan for the supplier and the receiver of the agricultural source materials.

5. Farm Unit Sketch:

Maps or sketches can be hand drawn, photos, or computer generated. A farm unit operator/controller may choose to do more than one sketch if it is not possible to show the land belonging to the farm unit on one sketch or if there is too much information for one sketch. Every map or sketch should be neat and readable and be presented with the direction north to the top of the page, denoted by a north arrow.

The sketch must address the following items (either by including them or stating that they do not exist):

Location of the entire land base declared in the farm unit:

  • Land that is owned or controlled (rented or leased) or otherwise forms part of the farm unit
  • Road names, municipal boundaries

Location of generation facilities and storage(s):

  • Permanent, temporary and proposed generating facilities
  • Permanent, temporary and proposed storage facilities and sites
  • Dimensions of all generating and storage facilities and sites

Distance to sensitive features within the farm unit and outside within regulated distances:

  • Known wells (includes gas, oil, test and water wells)
  • Municipal wells
  • Tile inlets
  • Surface water (as defined in Part 1 of the Regulation)
6. List of Prescribed Materials Generated:

Every nutrient management strategy must have a summary of all the prescribed materials and volumes generated by the operation. The summary should identify whether each material is liquid or solid.

Note: when a farm that generates prescribed materials also receives nutrients, the receipt of the nutrients must be dealt with in the nutrient management plan.


All the calculations required to determine the volume of manure generated are based upon the following rule:

Farm Animal Numbers

"Farm animals" is defined in the Act as: "livestock, including poultry and ratites, fur-bearing animals, bees, cultured fish, deer and elk, game animals and birds or any additional animals, birds or fish prescribed by the regulations".

For manure storage calculations on new or expanding facilities the number of farm animals must be equal to or greater than the number determined using the Housing Capacity Guidelines (provided in Table 3.1) or documentation must be included indicating that the maximum housing capacity of the barn is less than the Housing Capacity Guidelines. For all facilities NU is based on actual usage.For existing facilities; manure storage calculations are based on actual usage of the facility. For all facilities, manure production (and consequent land base calculations) is based on actual usage of the facilities. In all cases, a comprehensive, written explanation must be included if the declared housing usage is less than the maximum housing capacity of the barn.

Animal Weights

If the nutrient management strategy utilizes animal weights that are lower than the values provided by Table 3.1, a comprehensive, written explanation must be included to justify the lower weights.

Manure Volume

The total volume of liquid or solid manure generated annually on the farm unit must be provided for each type of farm animal present on the farm unit.

Other Prescribed Materials

The quantity of prescribed materials, other than manure generated at an operation must be listed using industry-specific documentation or records from previous time periods that can project the quantity to be produced over the time period to be covered by the nutrient management strategy.

7. Analysis of Nutrient Content:

A nutrient analysis for each of the prescribed materials listed in the nutrient management strategy be provided. The nutrient analysis can be determined either by conducting laboratory analysis or by applying the average values found in the Appendix 1. The databank is currently part of the NMAN program and depends on the type of prescribed material and the percentage of dry matter projected to be in the material.

Sampling and Laboratory Analysis

Sampling and laboratory analysis must be done by an accredited laboratory". If laboratory analysis produces results that vary by more than 30% of the Appendix 1 values, documentation is required to justify the difference. It should be noted that management practices or feed additives could potentially alter the nutrient content of a farm animal's manure.

Feed Additives

If manure nutrients are modified due to the use of feed additives, adequate information must be attached to verify that the feed additive was actually used, and to verify the influence of the additive on the nutrient content of the manure. In addition, records must be maintained to confirm the continued use of the additive.

5.2.2 Description of Nutrient Destinations

8. Destinations

For all prescribed materials generated on the farm unit or other operation, a detailed, written description of their intended destination is required. The description should include:

  • the quantity and type of prescribed materials;
  • any applicable signed agreements
  • where prescribed materials are not intended to be used for nutrient purposes, the location and name of the destination of the materials; and
  • where prescribed materials are intended to be used for nutrient purposes, the location and name of the destination of the materials including a statement as to whether the materials are to be:
    • applied to land according to the nutrient management plan for the same farm unit, transferred to the nutrient management strategy of another farm unit under a Nutrient Transfer Agreement, or
    • transferred to another farm unit or operation which is not required to have a NMP or NMS under the Regulation, or
    • transferred to an intermediate operation by a Nutrient Transfer Agreement, or
    • transferred to a broker under a Broker Agreement.

5.2.3 Storage Information

9. Storage Facilities

Storage facilities on the farm units or operations must be listed. For each storage facility, a written description is required that gives the capacity, dimensions and type of storage (for example: circular, rectangle, pile, covered, exposed to precipitation). Nutrient storage facilities must comply with "Part VIII: Siting and Construction Standards" set out in the Regulation. Determination of the size for new or expanding operations should make use of Table 3.1 and the following two tables - Table 5.1 and Table 5.2.

Table 5.1 Solid Manure Density
Dry Matter
15 961
18 913
20 881
25 833
30 801
35 753
40 721
43 673
45 641
48 593
50 561
53 513
55 481
58 400
60 320
65 320
70 320
Notes: 1. Density has been rounded to 3 significant digits.

Table 5.2 Allowances for Freeboard and Precipitation

Covered Storage
(except covered barns with slatted floors):
0.15 m
Uncovered Storage:
0.30 m

Notes: 1. Freeboard dimensions have been rounded to 2 significant digits.

Precipitation Effects
Livestock Yard Runoff
0.56 m/year
Solid Manure Storage Runoff
0.56 m/year
Roof Runoff
0.56 m/year
Direct Entry into Liquid Storage
0.83 m/year

Notes: 1. Precipitation effects have been rounded to 2 significant digits.

5.2.4 Contingency Plan and Sign-off form

10. Contingency Plans

A written contingency plan is required to describe actions in the event the nutrient management strategy cannot be followed. See Part 11 of this Protocol for more detail on contingency planning.

11. Sign-off form

The "Nutrient Management Strategy or Plan Sign-off form" is found in the government electronic registry of forms and serves as a sign-off document for the farmer and the person who prepared the nutrient management strategy.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 12 August 2005
Last Reviewed: 12 August 2005