greenComprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs)

 A CNMP is a group of conservation practices and management procedures implemented as a conservation system. These activities ensure that both production and natural resources goals will be achieved. CNMPs may focus on manure, soil erosion, and organic by-products and their possible impacts on water quality. Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs) also address all aspects of nutrient management including nutrient needs of different crops, nutrients from fertilizer, irrigation water, and manure application. The main goal of a CNMP is to assist an animal feeding operation (AFO) owner/operator to meet all water quality goals and regulations.

Who Needs a CNMP? 

According to the Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations, all facilities with more than 1000 animal units are required to develop and implement a CNMP.

  • Facilities with less than 1000 animal units but with unacceptable environmental conditions can avoid being sited by developing and implementing a CNMP.
  • Smaller facilities with no environmental concerns are strongly encouraged to develop and implement a CNMP.

CNMPs can provide economic benefits through increased efficiency, as well as environmental benefits to many agricultural operations.
Certified planners can develop your CNMP or you can write part or all of your CNMP. Click below for list of certified planners or information to assist in developing your own CNMP.

What are the Benefits of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan? 

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning incorporates the three E's of stewardship: Economics, Efficiency, and Environment. CNMPs can increase economical success, improve efficiency, and protect the environment.

Economics, Efficiency, and Environment Economics 

The majority of Utah farmers raise some type of livestock. More than 13 million tons of manure are produced by livestock in Utah each year. The N-P-K fertilizer value of this resource exceeds $60 million.
Farmers can test manure to determine its nutrient content. Using manure and soil tests together when developing a nutrient management plan can reduce the need for commercial fertilizers. By implementing small changes to your operation, you could create larger revenue as well as improve the efficiency of your operation.

Click here to see an economic evaluation of an operation through CNMP planning (Excel Document).


While it may be convenient to apply manure during the winter or on fields near the barn, this is often not an efficient use of nutrients contained in manure. Efficiency means applying manure at the proper rate, time and in the proper location so that nutrients can be utilized for optimum crop yields.


Manure is a valuable resource. It benefits plant growth by improving soil structure and fertility. However, if manure is handled improperly water pollution may result. Responsible farmers who manage manure appropriately gain maximum benefits while protecting the environment.

 12 Step Guide and CNMP Curriculum

 This on-line 12 Step guide provides you with instructions, on-line forms, and examples of a CNMP. You can use this guide to prepare a CNMP to be approved by a certified planner. You can also use the online curriculum to develop most of the documentation you will need for a CNMP which will save you time and money when working with a certified planner and ensures that you understand all the elements of a CNMP.

 Click here for a PDF version of the complete curriculum