Nutrient Management Plans

Manure Management Plans

Due to more environmental regulations, MMP planning continues to be a more complex issue, especially with the introduction of phosphorus index-based plans. Any field that will receive manure applications will need to be soil tested prior to developing an MMP and must be retested every four years. We can assist you in the complete process from soil testing your fields to developing, updating and maintaining an MMP for your operation. The information below describes some of the requirements and what needs to be included in an MMP.

What is an MMP?

A manure management plan (MMP) is a tool for producers to use when they plan their nutrient placement to optimize crop production. Filling out an MMP helps producers identify the amount of manure being produced, the nutrient concentration in the manure, the number of acres that are required for land application and the amount that will be applied to each available acre. Mid-size and large producers are required by state law to fill out and file an MMP with the DNR. MMPs can be based on the nitrogen uptake needs of the crop, although phosphorus index-based plans will be phased in until 2008 when all plans must be phosphorus index-based.

Who Needs a Plan?

Iowa law requires that a manure management plan (MMP) be submitted to the DNR for confinement feeding operations meeting any of the following criteria:

  • The operation has an animal unit capacity of more than 500 animal units and the operation was constructed or expanded after May 31, 1985;
  • The operation proposes to construct a manure storage structure and will have an animal unit capacity of more than 500 animal units; or,
  • A person applies manure from a confinement feeding operation located outside of Iowa on land in Iowa (does not apply if the operation's capacity is 500 animal units or less).

Manure management plans are not required for open feedlots, except when specifically required as part of a permit or an agreement with the DNR. Owners of a combination open feedlot and confinement operation must file an MMP for the confinement operation if the confinement facilities have capacity for more than 500 animal units.