A nutrient management plan should take into account all sources of nutrient supply as well as soil nutrient status and the influence of soil type, rainfall and irrigation. The plan should follow a recognised fertiliser recommendation system (see appendix 1 for suggested guidance) and should be prepared in conjunction with a FACTS (Fertiliser Advisers Certification and Training Scheme) qualified person. A nutrient management plan must be documented and include the following steps:

  • Maintain an up-to-date soil analysis. Soils must be analysed for pH, P, K, and Mg every three to five years, depending on the cropping system. Use the results to adjust inputs of lime and phosphate, potash and magnesium nutrients.
  • Assess the nutrient requirement of the crop using a recognised fertiliser recommendation system.
  • Assess the nutrient supply from organic manures (see appendix 2 for suggested guidance).
  • Calculate the need for fertiliser nutrients by deducting the contribution from organic manures from the crop nutrient requirement.
  • Spread organic manures and fertilisers as accurately and uniformly as possible. Equipment should be in good working order and recently calibrated.
  • Keep clear field records of cropping, organic manure and fertiliser applications. This will aid future decisions on nutrient management and demonstrate the practical outcome of the plan.
  • Update the plan at the start of each cropping year.

A nutrient management plan completed for other schemes (such as a farm assurance scheme or LEAF) will count as a nutrient management plan under this option, providing it includes all the steps described above.

EM2, 2 points per ha. This must be based on the area of land which receives inputs of manure and/or fertilisers.