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Nutrient Management Planning 

What is an NMP?

A Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) is a budget of nutrients on your farm that is required for all farms that are CSFO or lager in Vermont. To find out if your operation is large enough to be a CSFO, visit our Required Agricultural Practices page and look through the farm size document, or contact us. 

Nutrient Management Plans help you:

  • Plan manure and other nutrient applications to meet your yield goals
  • Save money on unneeded fertilizers
  • Maintain or improve soil health
  • Protect water and air quality

Who Writes the Plan

You have two options:

  1.  Take UVM Extension’s winter class and write it yourself! The instructors are registered TSPs and will certify the plan you write. Not only will you learn the tools to write and update your NMP, you will learn the basic science of soil health, crop needs, and nutrient management. For more information, contact UVM Extension at 802-524-6501, ext. 432. 
  2.  Hire a private TSP. Some work with fertilizer dealers and some are independent. For a list of registered TSPs, visit

Do you Need a Nutrient Management Plan?

All farms in the state of Vermont that are CSFO or larger (for more information on farm size classification, click here

We can assist your farm with the cost and development of a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP).  NMPs account for the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application), and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments.  Farms in Vermont are required to track and balance nutrient applications.  More information about NMP requirements can be found here: 

Required Information

  • A Land Treatment Plan.
  • Current (<3 yrs old) soil tests
  • Current (this season) manure tests

If you take the UVM class, contact your local USDA Service Center to get started with these necessary class prerequisites. If you hire a TSP, they can collect this information as they create your NMP.


If you take the UVM class, the tuition and soft ware are $800. Lab fees for soil samples are $15 per fi eld (20 acre maximum) and $40 per manure sample. You can take the samples yourself, or your local Conservation District or UVM Extension staff may be able to take soil samples for you. If you hire a TSP, total charges vary anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000 depending on the size of your farm.

Sampling for Your Nutrient Management Plan (NMP)

Keeping a Nutrient Management Plan up-to-date requires that you sample the soil in your fields every three years and sample your manure every year. The results help a producer apply nutrients to achieve the optimum growing conditions.

If you would like to sample the soil on your fields we have soil probes that can be loaned out.  If you would like help with soil sampling, set up an appointment with a Conservation Specialist from our District.  We can also supply the sample kits for testing manure.

Manure Sampling Instructions

Manure Sample Form

Soil Sampling Instructions

Soil Sample Form

Tools you will need:

  • a map of the fields with field and tract numbers
  • a clean bucket
  • soil probe
  • sample baggies
  • a permanent marker

UVM’s goCropTM soft ware is a good tool for record-keeping ($250 per year). The Agency of Agriculture also provides complimentary paper booklets. Call 802- 828-2431 to have one mailed to you.

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