Maryland law requires all farmers grossing $2,500 a year of more or livestock producers with 8,000 pounds or more of live animal weight to follow nutrient management plans when fertilizing crops and managing animal manure. Nutrient management plans specify how much fertilizer, manure or other nutrient sources may be safely applied to crops to achieve yields and prevent excess nutrients from impacting waterways. Because of their complexity, these plans must be prepared by a certified University of Maryland specialist, certified private consultant, or farmer who is trained and certified by the department to prepare his or her own plan.
Modifications to the department's Nutrient Management
Regulations took effect January 3, 2017. The
modifications add an emergency
provision to avoid potential overflows of liquid manure, prohibit
from applying manure, commercial fertilizer, biosolids, and food wastes
from December 16 to March 1, and eliminate the requirement to
incorporate manure into the soil if crop management
is under a no-till system. Read changes to Maryland's Nutrient Management Regulations here.Maryland's Phosphorus Management Tool regulations became effective June 8, 2015. They provide a multi-year process for farmers to transition from the Phosphorus Site Index to the Phosphorus Management Tool. This updated environmental risk assessment tool identifies farm fields with high soil phosphorus levels and allows farmers to evaluate management options to reduce the risk of phosphorus runoff into nearby waterways. Effective immediately, fields with the greatest risk for phosphorus runoff into waterways as indicated by a Fertility Index Value of 500 or greater are banned from receiving additional phosphorus. Click here for the Phosphorus Management Tool Technical Users Guide.
Farmers are required to submit copies of their initial nutrient management plans to the Nutrient Management Program, update plans before they expire, take new soil samples a minimum of once every three years, obtain manure analyses (if using manure) at least every other year, and submit Annual Implementation Reports documenting how they implemented their plans during the previous year. These reports are due to the department by March 1. Farmers who apply nutrients to 10 or more acres a year are required to attend a two-hour nutrient applicator course once every three years. Farmers who are certified to prepare their own nutrient management plans are exempt from this requirement. Click here for upcoming voucher training and farmer certification classes.
Dwight DottererProgram AdministratorPhone: 410-841-5959Fax: 410-841-5950Office Address50 Harry S. Truman ParkwayAnnapolis, MD 21401
Nutrient Management Regional Offices
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50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401