2007 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. Required Contents of a Nutrient Management Strategy (Part III of the Regulation)

5.1 Review and Updating of a Nutrient Management Strategy

A NMS is a 5-year document that must be reviewed by the generator annually to ensure that it accurately reflects the anticipated operation on the farm unit during the following year. It is also recommended to identify and explain any deviation from the strategy in records that are kept of actual events. Part XI of the Regulation sets out the requirements for record keeping. Before 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, a new regulated mixed AD facility or a new storage, including an earthen storage, 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 III of the Regulation)

A completed NMS must include requirements set out in the Regulation as well as:

  1. Farm unit information and identifier numbers
  2. Description of the operation
  3. Farm Unit declaration form including details on the location of each farm property, roll number, generator or not, name
  4. Agreements
  5. Farm unit sketch
  6. List of prescribed materials generated - manure/nutrient information (including type and analysis)
  7. Information on a regulated mixed anaerobic digestion ("AD") facility
  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". The 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 NMS 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 I of the Regulation.

4. Agreements:

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

Broker Agreement - This agreement is required for a transfer from a generator who is required by the Regulation to have a NMS to a broker, or, from a broker to a receiver who is required by the Regulation to have a NMP. 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 OMAFRA.

Nutrient Transfer Agreement - 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 NMP under the Regulation or
  • an authorized representative of the 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 OMAFRA. 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 requires that the NMS and/or NMP of each farm unit reflect that transfer. This form must be signed by the supplier and the receiver and must be included in the NMS or NMP 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 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

Location, description and dimensions of AD facility including:

  • dimensions of any further treatment systems and digester system
  • description of facilities used for the storage of farm feed or other anaerobic digestion materials
  • dimensions of all storages used for the storage of for both on and off-farm anaerobic digestion materials

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 I of the Regulation)

Location and dimensions of a vegetated filter strip system ("VFSS") including:

  • location and dimensions of the extended vegetated filter strip area
  • location and dimensions of any permanent vegetated area or flow path associated with a VFSS
6. List of Prescribed Materials Generated:

Every NMS 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 NMP.

Manure - 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 NMS 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.

AD output:

The quantity of material to be land applied that is produced by the regulated mixed AD facility must be accounted for in the NMS. If the operation is land applying AD output from a facility that is under a Certificate of Approval or a provisional Certificate of Approval issued under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act, then the output must be categorized as either agricultural source material or non-agricultural source material and the volume must be accounted for in the NMS.

Other Prescribed Materials - The quantity of prescribed materials, other than manure or AD output 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 NMS.

7. Additional information required regulated mixed AD facilities:

If the farm has an AD facility installed or about to be installed, the NMS will need to describe the off-farm material that is delivered to the property. The annual volumes of materials coming on to the farm property must be provided and it must be clearly demonstrated that the materials are listed in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Regulation.

If the off-farm material is listed on Schedule 2 the NMS must demonstrate what the further treatment process will be and what temperature will be used for this treatment.

The NMS must demonstrate how the proposed AD facility will operate including the temperature and average treatment time for material to be processed in the AD facility.

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 NMP for the same farm unit,
    • transferred to the NMS of another farm unit under a Nutrient Transfer Agreement,
    • transferred to another farm unit or operation which is not required to have a NMP or NMS under the Regulation,
    • transferred to an intermediate operation by a Nutrient Transfer Agreement, or
    • transferred to a broker under a Broker Agreement.
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" and with "Part IX.1 Anaerobic Digestion" of the Regulation.

Note that if the operation would like to make a case that the volume of material to be stored will be reduced by use of a regulated mixed AD facility, then this must be demonstrated in the calculation of the storage volume required. In demonstrating this reduction, the calculation for the operation must also take into account the addition of the off-farm material that will be used as AD materials that are to be put into the AD facility.

For the purposes of calculating the storage capacity, those components of a VFSS that store nutrients are not considered to be part of the permanent nutrient storage facility on the farm. The components of a VFSS are not a permanent nutrient storage facility in this 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

Solid Manure Density
Dry Matter (%) Density (kg/m)
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


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.

10. Contingency Plans:

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

11. Sign-off Form:

The "Nutrient Management Strategy and/or Plan Sign-off" form is found at the Government of Ontario Central Forms Site and serves as a sign-off document for the farmer and the person who prepared the NMS.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 20 July 2007
Last Reviewed: 20 July 2007