Step 12

Review and Update the Plan

            picture NRCS
            picture NRCS

Developing a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) is not a one-time process, nor should the CNMP exist and operate separately from the overall farm management plan. As part of the farm management plan, the CNMP must be regularly reviewed and updated as conditions change.

The Agriculture Environmental Management System (AEMS) model describes a cycle of continuous improvement through regular plan review, updating, implementation, and monitoring. This model is used extensively by manufacturing industries, but is adaptable to livestock industry. Adaptation of the AEMS model can help facility owners and managers continuously improve environmental conditions, productivity, and profits.

This step will help you keep your nutrient management plan current as your implement new practices, and also outlines what you could do to make your operation more efficient, or even compliant with local laws and rules.

To get started, read the complete text of Step 12 (link at the bottom of the page). Then, read over this page.

Remember that keeping accurate and up-to-date records is the most important aspect of building your CNMP.

File all documents in an organized manner for later reference.

Here are some final suggestions for developing and implementing a CNMP: 

  • Commit to the planning process. Set aside a large block of time (40 hours or more) to initially develop a CNMP.  Winter or other slack times may work well with fewer interruptions.
  • Develop the Plan. Purchase a large (4-inch spine) 3-ring binder and tab system to organize the CNMP.  A 12 tab system works well, using one tab divider for each part of the plan.
    • Example
  • Follow the link, and then type in "CAFO" into the search box on the left side of the page. Click on "Sample CNMP" and then on "Milk Shake Dairy" for an example of supporting documentation for a completed CNMP.  This link provides examples of the documents filled out completely.
    • To see just the text and general description of the Milk Shake Dairy CNMP, click here .
  • Implement the Plan. Refer to the plan regularly as the appropriate farm activities are conducted.  Document activities, quantities, yields, soil-test information, etc., and file all documentation in the appropriate place in the plan binder.
  • Check the plan and organize documentation frequently.
  • Review the CNMP at the end of the year and make necessary modifications in preparation for the next year.  Set new goals during the review.  Also, at this time transfer any older documentation to an archive file such as a metal cabinet for long-term storage.
    • Keep records throughout the year after you implement new changes to your operation to determine your operation's productivity and costs.
  • Include photographs where necessary to document improvements made over time.
  • Remember to always keep good records.  Use the record keeping forms below.

Soil and Manure testing record sheet

Manure application record sheet

Spreader calibration summary table 

  • Word
  • PDF                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Cropland/Hayland record keeping 

Full Text of Step 12 from USU/NRCS CNMP Curriculum: 

Back to CNMP 12 steps