2009 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 10 - Common Land Application Requirements

Table of Contents

  1. Determination of Percentage of Crop Residue
  2. Minimum Depth to Groundwater

10.1 Determination of Percentage of Crop Residue

In some circumstances, application of prescribed materials to the soil without incorporation is allowed where at least 30% of the soil surface is covered with crop residue at the time of application. This is provided for in Part VI of the Regulation.

The percentage of crop residue cover can be determined using the rope transect method. The material required is a light rope (about 8 m in length) with knots or other markings spaced along the rope at 15 cm intervals so that there are a total of 50 knots. This rope is laid out across the soil surface, preferably at an angle to the crop rows, and pulled slightly taut. The number of knots that are touching pieces of crop residue (minimum dimensions 2 mm by 2.5 cm) is counted. This number, when multiplied by two, is the per cent crop residue cover. This determination should be made a minimum of four times in different parts of the field, and the results averaged.

10.2 Minimum Depth to Groundwater

Part VI of the Regulation prohibits the application of non-agricultural source material to land unless there is at least 30 centimetres of "unsaturated" soil at the surface of the land.

10.2.1 Procedures for Determining Unsaturated Soil Conditions

"Unsaturated", in relation to soil condition, refers to a soil water content that is less than 100 per cent of the total pore space, or is at a negative soil water pressure as determined using the following procedure:

  • dig a hole or remove a soil core to a 30 cm depth,
  • observe whether water flows into the hole from the surrounding soil (this may take up to an hour in clay soils).

Water will only flow under saturated conditions, so if water is observed, the soil does not meet the applicable criteria for unsaturated soil.


For more information:
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Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 14 September 2009
Last Reviewed: 14 September 2009