Nutrient Management Page
Nutrient management involves managing the type, timing, and application of nutrients (whether as animal waste, commercial fertilizer, or other form of nutrients) to plants. The purpose is to supply plant nutrients for optimum pasture and crop yields, minimize entry of nutrients to surface and groundwater and maintain or improve the condition of the soil
The basic elements of nutrient management planning include: livestock manure and wastewater management, nutrient budgeting for farm soils and animal feeds, and resource conservation through appropriate land management practices. Nutrient management plans are developed to address the needs of individual farmers as well as applicable regulations and other resource conservation goals.
In Vermont, guidelines, regulations, and resources exist to help encourage good practices that will ensure high water quality. The following are a list of the most common of these:
Accepted Agricultural Practices: These are guidelines that are required of anyone owning any livestock, including dairy, beef, goats, chickens, horses, and sheep. Some examples include the ban on spreading manure in the winter, and riparian buffer management requirements. The complete guidelines are available at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture website or
Large Farm Regulations: Farms with greater than 700 mature dairy cows, (950 beef cattle, 475 horses, or 2375 swine over 55 lbs), for example; are required to meet the standards of Vermont's Large Farm Regulations.
Medium Farm Regulations: Farms with greater than 200 but less than 700 dairy cows must meet the guidelines of the Medium Farm Operations regulations. (Other species are also addressed, including beef, horses and chickens).
There are a number of resources, both financial and educational, to help farmers understand the state and federal guidelines, meet mandated requirements, and work towards a farming system that protects water quality and increases farm sustainability.
The Southern Vermont Nutrient Management Program (SVNMP) is a joint project of the Poultney-Mettowee, Rutland, Bennington, Winooski, White River and Windham Conservation Districts. The program aims to improve management practices and increase farm sustainability while also working to maintain and improve local water quality. Nutrient Management Educator Jennifer Alexander works one-on-one with agricultural producers and coordinates research and educational programs.
Land Treatment Planners:
Agricultural Resource Specialists (ARS):
Natural Resources Conservation Service:
State cost-share programs:
Further information about these programs is available at the PMNRCD office at 287-8339, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,
Poultney - Mettowee