Skip to Page Content
Delaware.gov  |  Text Only Governor | General Assembly | Courts | Elected Officials | State Agencies
  Photo: Featured Delaware Photo
 
 
 RSS  Phone Numbers   Mobile   Help   Size   Print   Email

Department of Agriculture: Nutrient Management

DELAWARE GUIDELINE FOR: AGRICULTURE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PLAN



Delaware Guideline For: Agriculture Nutrient Management Plan
Preamble:

This policy has been developed pursuant to Title 3, of the Delaware Code, Chapter 22. That statute established the Delaware Nutrient Management Commission and authorized the Commission to develop, review, approve, and enforce nutrient management standards. The following standards are designed to provide general guidance and structure for the development of a nutrient management plan and animal waste plan. Specific and technical recommendations are dependent upon the best professional judgement of the consultant developing the plan and must be based on expertise and current available research. The professionalism and technical expertise of the consultant is critical to successful plan development. Periodic review of plan development will be the responsibility of State Nutrient Management Program.    Top

Stakeholder Summary:

Operator

Requirement

8 Animal Units only:

Animal Waste Plan developed by a person certified as a nutrient generator or higher.

10 acres of nutrient applied land:

Nutrient Management Plan developed by a certified nutrient consultant.

Both 8 Animal Units and 10 acres of nutrient applied land:

Animal Waste Plan and Nutrient Management Plan developed by a certified nutrient consultant.


Authority:

This policy is developed pursuant to the authority provided by Section 2220, Title 3, of the Delaware Code, Chapter 22.     Top

Purpose:

The purpose of these policies is to establish requirements of a nutrient management
plan developed by a nutrient consultant and implemented by an operator. Additional
plan requirements for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) shall be
defined with further policies and/or regulations. 
    Top

Definitions:

1. "Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)" means an agricultural enterprise where animals are confined, or kept and fed, or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period.
2. "Animal unit" shall be defined by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, and is approximately 1,000 lbs. "average" live body weight.
3. "Commission" or "DNMC" means the Delaware Nutrient Management Commission.
4. "Nutrient consultant" means a person who is engaged in the activities of advising or consulting with another person who is required to have a certificate under these regulations, regarding the formulation, application, or scheduling of organic or inorganic nutrients within the State. Provided, however, any employee of any federal, State or local government agency or the University of Delaware, or other organization duly recognized by the Commission for such purpose, who provides advise or consultation in his/her capacity as such an employee, without compensation, shall not be deemed to be a nutrient consultant unless such advise and consultation constitutes a direct and substantial part of a nutrient management plan developed pursuant to these regulations.
5. "Nutrient management plan" or "plan" means a plan by a certified nutrient consultant to manage the amount, placement, timing, and application of nutrients in order to reduce nutrient loss or runoff and to maintain the productivity of soil when growing agricultural commodities and turfgrass.
6. "Nutrients" means nitrogen, nitrate, phosphorus, organic matter, and any other elements necessary for or helpful to plant growth.
7. "Operator" means a person responsible for the actual application of nutrients to property or anyone who owns or leases an AFO where nutrients are being generated.
8. "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture or his/her designee
9. "Soil test or valid soil test result" means a nutrient analysis, no older than 3 years, of a land area representing similar characteristics to include fertility and crops to be grown. Soil samples generally represent no greater than 20 acres and must be justified in the nutrient management plan if greater than 20 acres. 

    Top

Nutrient Management Plan Content Development:

1. All animal feeding operations with greater than 8 animal units or any person who owns, leases, or otherwise controls property in excess of 10 acres upon which nutrients are applied shall develop and implement a nutrient management plan in accordance with the schedule outlined in this policy.
2. The State shall make nutrient consultants available through the conservation districts to provide free nutrient management plans assistance to anyone requesting such assistance. For those persons wishing to hire private nutrient consultants, the State, through the conservation districts, shall reimburse any person establishing a nutrient management plan or updating an established nutrient management plan at a rate and amount that shall be determined annually by the Commission and subject to annual appropriations.
3. All nutrient management plans shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements that are applicable to the specific operation:  
   Top
(a) Plan Identification

(1) Operator's name
· Mailing address
· Telephone number
· Fax (optional)
· E-mail address (optional)
· Real-estate tax parcel identification number
(2) Nutrient consultant's name and company
· Address
· Telephone number
· Fax (optional)
· E-mail address (optional)
· Nutrient Management Certification number and issuing state
(3) Date plan was prepared and duration of plan not to exceed 3 years.
(4) A summary of the land farmed where nutrient generation and application occurs:
· Farm identification name as represented in the nutrient management plan;
· Acres of nutrient applied cropland;
· Real-estate tax parcel identification number.
(5) Total acres represented by the nutrient management plan and a brief description of agriculture commodities produced within the operation.
(6) A statement signed by the operator documenting the intention to implement the nutrient management and/or animal waste management plan.
     Top

(b) Field maps or aerial photos that include:

(1) Individual field identification;
(2) Individual field boundaries;
(3) Copy of soil survey map showing all soil types on each field or the soil texture identification of all pertinent soil(s);
(4) Location of all surface waters (e.g., drainage ditches, streams, ponds, etc.);
(5) Irrigation systems where applicable.

(c) An animal waste management plan(s) shall be an element of a nutrient management plan if the operator of the AFO is also the operator utilizing the nutrients for crop production. In the case of an AFO where no nutrients are land applied by the AFO facility operator, an animal waste management plan may be substituted for a nutrient management plan. These plans must be developed by a person maintaining a certification of a nutrient generator or higher. Record keeping, reporting, and all other applicable contents of this policy pertain to animal waste plans. An animal waste plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements that are applicable to the specific operation:     Top

(1) Plan Identification as defined in D.3.(a)
(2) Animal waste generation and handling information to include:
a) Animal type and average annual capacity;
b) Total animal units;
c) The estimated annual quantity of animal manure/waste produced and the available amount for utilization;
d) A description of the manure/waste handling, storage system, and capacity to include any storage/stockpiling of manure outside. Outdoor manure storage must be implemented as directed in paragraph E.5.;
e) A description of the mortality disposal method;
 f) Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommendations to reduce environmental impacts from an AFO or manure storage site. BMPs shall be recommended to better advise and educate persons and are not to be interpreted as mandatory implementation actions of a plan (e.g., manure storage structures, storm water control structures, roof runoff structures, manure additives, stock piling methods other than regulatory setbacks, etc.). 
    Top

(d) Determination of Crop Nutrient Requirements:

(1) Determine realistic yield goal:
a) Expected yields based on best 4 out of 7 year data.
b) Without yield records, or with yield goals higher than the average, one shall use soil productivity classes with written justification.
a) Valid soil test results from an agronomic laboratory approved by the DNMC.
b) Current and planned crop rotation(s) 
    Top

(e) Determination of Efficient Nutrient Application Rates and Methods:

(1) Determine nitrogen rate based on expected yields of crops to be grown;
(2) The application rate of phosphorus to soil phosphorus levels greater than 200 fertility index value (University of Delaware equivalent for P, to lbs. P/acre, by Mehlich 1 soil test) cannot exceed a three-year crop removal rate. For plans developed prior to the deadline established in E.1., the Phosphorus rate shall be recommended as reference, but only be limited by the nitrogen base rate;
(3) Manure analyses results from an agronomic laboratory approved by the DNMC or a nutrient value estimate based on historical analysis along with written justification;
(4) Estimated residual nitrogen from organic nutrient applications, fertilizer applications, or legume crops from previous year(s);
(5) Estimated nitrogen value of well or pond water irrigation system if the application(s) would potentially supply 20% of the recommended nitrogen needed for production;
(6) Nutrient source selected, rates, approximate timing, and methods of application;
(7) A summary of all nutrient sources and amount needed for production. 
    Top

(f) Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommendations to enhance agronomic and environmental practices. BMPs shall be recommended to better advise and educate persons and are not to be interpreted as mandatory implementation actions of a plan (e.g., Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test, cover crops, vegetative buffer strips, litter additives, manure incorporation timing/method, etc.)

Nutrient Management Plan Implementaion:

1. The following persons identified as needing a nutrient management plan shall develop, implement, maintain records, and report the elements of this policy no later than January 1st of the indicated years:
(a) 2003: Those operating (as determined by the DNMC)
(b) 2004: Those operating (as determined by the DNMC)
(c) 2005: Those operating (as determined by the DNMC)
(d) 2006: Those operating (as determined by the DNMC)
(e) 2007: Those operating (as determined by the DNMC)
2. The Commission or its delegated authority may provide an extension for any operator unable to obtain a nutrient management plan who also notifies the State Nutrient Management Program at least 60 days prior to deadline.
3. Upon completion and implementation of the original/non-updated nutrient management plan required by E.1., the owner/operator/planner shall notify the Commission within 60 days of the completion of the plan.
4. In the event of circumstances impacting implementation of a nutrient management plan that are beyond the control of the person implementing the plan pursuant to this policy, such person shall notify the Department of any actions he or she intends to take as a result of those circumstances. The Commission may issue a waiver to this requirement upon an evaluation of the circumstance(s).
5. If a person is required to develop a nutrient management plan, regardless of the development deadline, and intends to store manure, other than in an approved manure storage structure or facility, such outdoor storage will be required within 30 days upon approval of this policy, and shall:
(a) Be at least 100 feet from any body of water or drainage ditch;
(b) Be at least 100 feet from any public road;
(c) Be at least 200 feet from any residence that is not located on the person's property; and
(d) Be at least 6 feet high and in a conical shape.
6. County, municipal, and industrial facilities discharging solid or liquid waste and permitted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control under The Guidance and Regulations Governing the Land Treatment of Wastes shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Provided, however that they provide the Commission with an annual report as required by their land treatment permit.     Top

Maintenance and Implementaion Records:

1. Nutrient management plans shall be updated a minimum of every 3 years or upon significant alterations to include, but not limited to, a 25% increase in animal units or acres of crops grown. Such plans shall be reported to the Commission no later than December 15 of the year in which it must be updated.
2. The Commission or its delegated authority may provide an extension for any operator unable to obtain a nutrient management plan who also notifies the State Nutrient Management Program at least 60 days prior to deadline.
3. Those persons required to develop a nutrient management plan or animal waste plan must maintain records of implementation for 6 years. All animal waste management plans, nutrient management plans, and records of implementation shall be kept by the landowner or person responsible for the plans or records. Animal waste management plans, nutrient management plans, and records of implementation shall not be considered as public records under the Freedom of Information Act and shall not be disclosed, except, however, that they shall be made available for inspection by the Secretary and the Commission. Records of implementation shall include:
(a) Soil test results and recommended nutrient application rates or the nutrient management plan;
(b) Quantities, analyses, and sources of nutrients applied to crop land;
(c) Dates and methods of nutrient application(s);
(d) Crops planted, yields, and residues removed from land;
(e) Amount and type of manure exported from farm and the name, address, and organization of person(s) responsible for utilizing manure;     Top

Reporting Requirements:

1. Each person required to maintain a nutrient management plan or animal waste management plan shall submit to the Commission by March 1 of every calendar year, on a form developed and supplied by the Commission, a report detailing, at a minimum, the following:
(a) The amount of animal wastes applied to the land and the quantity of land it was applied to;
(b) The amount of animal wastes transferred for alternative uses (if applicable); and
(c) The amount of inorganic fertilizers applied to the land.
(d) The Plan Identification as defined by D.3.(a).
2. All reports submitted under this subsection shall not be considered public records under Delaware's Freedom of Information Act and shall not be disclosed. Such data may be used for data compilation.     Top



Last Updated: Monday, 19-Mar-2007 09:37:37 EDT
site map   |   about this site   |    contact us   |    translate   |    delaware.gov

Link to the State of Delaware Web PortalLink to the State of Delaware Web PortalLink to Delaware Facts and Symbols