Nutrient Management

Save money with a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP)!  Farming is a balancing act in so many ways, and managing nutrients well is a crucial part of that balancing act. When done well, effective nutrient management can lead to productive land and cost effective farming.  Harrison Sears is our Water Quality Technician (WQT) for Crawford County.  It is his job to write the Nutrient Management Plans for our county.  If you are a farmer or landowner in Crawford County with more than 2.5 acres, a Nutrient Management Plan is a great tool that we can provide at absolutely no cost to you!

Nutrient Management Plans do two things:

1)  They help farmers understand what nutrients their soils need in order to be as productive as possible.

2)  They help keep farmers from over-fertilizing, which protects our region’s waterways.

Why is too much fertilizer bad?  Not only is it wasted money, it is also likely to runoff from fields into ponds, creeks and rivers and may degrade water quality.  Nutrient Management Plans will tell you what each field requires as well as maximum amount that you are allowed to apply in order to prevent nutrient runoff.  These plans are based on soil samples taken from your fields and are customized to your operation. 

Applying Poultry Litter/Fertilizer Inside Crawford County:

Landowners in a Nutrient Surplus Area who apply poultry litter or commercial fertilizer on 2 ½ acres or more must have a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) prepared by a certified planner of the State of Arkansas.  Landowners who are also spreading litter or fertilizer must take a private applicators class to apply nutrients legally.  Commercial businesses that clean out or cake out poultry houses inside this area must be certified by the State of Arkansas. 

What is it?

  1. The Nutrient Surplus Area is a small area (shown here in red) where “nutrients” like manure and phosphorus-containing commercial fertilizers are regulated by how much can be applied to the land.
  2. “Nutrients” are elements that are used to help the plant/crop grow and increase the nutrition value.

What does it mean to you?

  1. Land owners/Landscapers/Turf Grass Businesses applying nutrients in the Nutrient Surplus Area (NSA) must receive certification through Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to apply nutrients, such as poultry litter or commercial blend fertilizers.
  2. There are two different certifications for application: Private and Commercial.

Private Applicators

  1. A person applying nutrients to land owned in whole or part, or to land that is under his/her control through a property interest other than ownership i.e. rental agreements, or persons who work exclusively for one landowner (farm hand/golf course).

Commercial Applicators

  1. A person applying nutrients who derives a substantial portion of income (about 50%) from the application of nutrients to land not under his ownership or control

If you need a plan, contact the Crawford County Conservation District at (479) 474-2281.