Free Nutrient Management Services Offered to Agriculture
Producers This Summer
March 12, 2010
The West Virginia Conservation Agency in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture will be offering free nutrient management planning services this summer for agricultural producers within the Potomac Valley and Eastern Panhandle Conservation Districts. A technician will be dedicated to pulling soil and manure samples within the counties of Hardy, Grant, Hampshire, Mineral Pendleton, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties. These samples will be prepared and sent to a West Virginia Certified Nutrient Management Planner for the development of a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP).
Nutrient management plans are one of the most beneficial tools that farmers can utilize both economically and environmentally. Nutrient Management planning is the practice of using nutrients wisely for optimum economic benefit, while minimizing impacts on the environment. Plant nutrients, which come primarily from chemical fertilizers, manure, and in some cases sewage sludge, are essential for crop production. When applied in proper quantities and at appropriate times, nutrients (especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) help achieve optimum crop yields. However, improper application of nutrients can cause water quality problems both locally and downstream. Nutrient Management Plans (NMP’s) are recommended for all producers who are applying nutrients to amend their soils.
NMP’s should be updated every three years with a new soil and manure analysis. If you are interested in updating your plan or developing a new plan for your operation, contact the West Virginia Conservation Agency Moorefield Field Office at 304.538.7581 or the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District at 304.263.4376 to schedule an appointment for this free service.