Nutrient Management Plans at Dairy Event

UK - Despite many British farmers now using a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) to significantly reduce costs and protect the environment, many are still missing out on the opportunities that good nutrient management can bring.
calendar icon 4 September 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

To help farmers realise the benefits of a NMP, and ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities under the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) Regulations, the Environment Agency will be on-hand at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show 2009 at Stoneleigh Park on 16 and 17 September.

Livestock farmers will also be able to find out more about the Grassland Derogation, which will bring changes to the rules around NVZ Regulations for farmers with more than 80% grassland for grazing livestock. This change will apply to over 1,000 farmers in England and Wales who will be able to operate at a livestock manure N farm limit of 250kg/ha.

Benefits of a Nutrient Management Plan

Careful nutrient planning ensures that the right quantities of nutrients are available when the crop needs them and that these nutrients are applied appropriately. By ensuring that they have a good NMP in place, farmers can:

  • Make the most of the nutrients in their soil,
  • Avoid wasting money on overuse of fertilisers,
  • ncrease the quality and yield of their crop,
  • Reduce the risk of nitrate and phosphate pollution,
  • Take account of NVZ Regulations, and
  • Unlock the value of nutrients contained in slurry and manure.

The typical nutrient content of 30m3 of cow slurry which contains 6% dry matter is 90kg nitrogen, 36kg phosphate and 105kg potassium oxide. These nutrients can be of significant value to farmers, saving them more than 40% in fertiliser costs.

Jamie Letts, Policy Advisor for Land Quality, at the Environment Agency said: “There are considerable financial and environmental benefits to good nutrient management. The agricultural industry has developed the ‘Tried and Tested’ nutrient management plan which we fully support. Location, precision and timing of nutrient applications will benefit crops, livestock and the farm business. We all need to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our environment and for dairy farmers this is one of the easiest ways to do it. The Environment Agency will be attending the Dairy Show in September to give more information to farmers on the importance of understanding their soils and the regulations that they need to abide by.

“For anyone who is unable to visit us at the show, there is a lot of help available to farmers by calling the national NVZ helpline on 0845 345 1302 for free and confidential advice.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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