Nutrient Management Planning Guide

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 The Nutrient Management Planning Guide is designed for extension agents, agri-business service providers and producers who want to learn more about effective nutrient application and management.

Nutrient management planning involves several key steps such as:
  • assessing field characteristics,
  • manure and soil sampling,
  • determining crop nutrient requirements and
  • developing an application plan to maximize yield.
The planning guide provides information, techniques and tips on how to evaluate fields, collect important information and calculate nutrient application rates. In addition, the manure management information in the publication is linked back to Alberta’s manure and nutrient application regulations, which are part of the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA), ensuring that management decisions meet regulatory requirements.

The guide is divided into eight modules, and each module is broken down into chapters on specific topics. This allows you to quickly identify the specific information you need.

In addition to the Nutrient Management Planning Guide, other Alberta Agriculture and Food tools available to assist with nutrient management planning include; Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information and Recommendation Manager (AFFIRM) and Alberta Manure Management Planner (MMP).

Developed by:
Alberta Agriculture and Food

Funded by:
Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Program
Alberta Agriculture and Food


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgroEnviro Consulting Services
Alberta Environment
County of Two Hills
Kneehill County
Manitoba Agriculture and Food
Natural Resources Conservation Board
Red Deer County
Starland County

The committee gratefully acknowledges the many Alberta Agriculture and Food (AF) staff, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) staff, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) staff and industry staff who contributed information for this manual

Module 1 - Introduction Module 2 - Nutrient Cycling and Interactions Module 3 - Field and Soil Evaluation Module 4 - Manure Inventory and Application Module 5 - Fertilizer Application Module 6 - Determining Nutrient Requirements Module 7 - Record Keeping Module 8 - Land and Production Management Appendices
      Download the Manual (14.2 Mb)

      This manual was prepared for Alberta’s agricultural industry to support nutrient management planning decisions and management. It was created using the best available information at the time of writing from published references as well as through consultation with industry, government and other stakeholders.

      While the authors have made every effort to ensure the manual is accurate and complete, it should not be considered the final word on areas of law and practices it covers. Individuals should seek the advice of appropriate professionals and experts as the facts of each situation may differ from those set out in the manual.

      All information (including descriptions of or reference to products, persons, websites, services or publications) is provided entirely “as is”, and the authors make no representations, warranties or conditions, either expressed or implied, in connection with the use of or reliance upon this information. This information is provided to the recipient entirely at the risk of the recipient, and because the recipient assumes full responsibility, the author shall not be liable for any claims, damages or losses of any kind based on any theory of liability arising out of the use of or reliance upon this information (including omissions, inaccuracies, typographical errors and infringement of third party rights).


      The Nutrient management Planning Guide is also available as an e-book.

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      For more information about the content of this document, contact Trevor Wallace.
      This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
      This information published to the web on January 29, 2008.
      Last Reviewed/Revised on October 29, 2018.