Nutrient Management

A nutrient management plan (NMP) helps farmers make science-based decisions about when, where and how many nutrients to apply to their cropland. A NMP begins with current soil test data to know the baseline of your soil fertility by field. By knowing the soil fertility and the nutrient need for your crop you can calculate how many nutrients (manure and/or commercial fertilizer) to apply to meet your crop need - not too much, not too little but just the right amount. By applying too much fertilizer or applying at the wrong time nutrients may be lost to the air, surface water or groundwater. If you apply too little you may lose yield. The goal is to apply just the right amount to maintain soil fertility, provide enough nutrients for your crop and obtain a good economic yield. 

NMP components: 

  • Current soil test (less than 4 years old and 1 sample every 5 acres)
  • Restriction maps
  • Planned crop rotation
  • Nutrient spreading plan
  • Soil conservation plan
  • Animal type and numbers for manure inventory (if applicable)

Calumet County NMP acres

There has been a steady increase in the number of farms/acres that have a NMP. Currently, 75% of Calumet’s cropland acres are covered in a certified NMP submitted to the Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD). NMP plans over 11 years


Since 2008, the department has been able to assist our local farmers with $640,000 in cost-share funds. That is over 21,690 acres of cropland. Cost-share may be available, please contact Amanda Kleiber to learn details and availability.

Maps to Help Spread Nutrients

The state has developed the Manure Management Advisory System as a set of maps to help farmers and others who apply nutrients to identify suitable cropland areas for spreading. The maps are in two categories: Short-term runoff risk assessment, for daily application planning, and WI 590 nutrient management, for long-term application planning. For more information, visit the Manure Advisory System online.

Who needs an NMP

  • Since January 1, 2008, all farms are required to have an NMP for their cropland
  • Required by the WI Department of Natural Resources for concentrated animal feeding operations with 1,000 or more animal units.
  • County Manure Storage and Runoff Management Ordinance require an NMP before a permit is issued to build a new manure storage facility or to substantially alter an existing facility.
  • Participants in the Farmland Preservation Program.