FACTS - Nuttional Management Planning Agr






Course Outcome:

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Course Content:

Module 1 — Achieving crop nitrogen utilisation efficiency

Attention to the relationship between crop yield and farm income per tonne of nitrogen used and greenhouse gas (nitrous oxide) emissions, ammonia emissions and nitrate in water are highlighted as being a priority for farm businesses and politically important issues for the next 5 years.

The trade bodies of agriculture have committed their members to being global business leaders in nitrogen use efficiency. Demonstrable improvements will need to be delivered by an overall better integration of all key nutrients and their interaction with nitrogen on the farm. The work of the farmer and the advisor to deliver these changes is being relied upon.

Matching nitrogen inputs with crop or plant requirements

  • Total nitrogen requirement of the crop
  • Uptake of nitrogen in relation to the growth of the crop
  • Nitrogen supplied from the soil
  • Managing nitrous oxide by improving efficiencies in N utilisation


Interaction of nitrogen with other nutrients, particularly P, K and S

  • Importance of other nutrients for nitrogen use efficiency
  • Nitrogen, disease and pesticide use
  • Harvest date influence on nutrition needs, e.g. early crop removal, mowing

Canopy management

  • Cereals
  • Oilseed rape
  • Potatoes

The concept of “Nmax”

  • Calculation (as distinct from crop requirement)


Carbon footprint of nitrogen fertilisers and the reduction of emissions of other associated N gases

Module 2 — Managing farm phosphorus

The future uncertainty over fertiliser input prices and the precise relationship at a local level between rates of nitrogen and phosphate applied to land, and the quality of water in associated water bodies, will be
the subject of the food security versus environment debate. The solutions will no doubt lie in the balance and land managed in a more integrated and sustainable way. More soils will need to be at their target index and field balance calculations will be necessary. Advice and tools to help achieve this are required. Phosphate regulations already exist in Northern Ireland, the rest of the United Kingdom seeks to address the issues by a more targeted approach.

Matching phosphorus inputs with crop or plant requirements

  • Forms of phosphorus in soils and their availability
  • Nutrient requirement of the crop and application techniques
  • Uptake in relation to the growth of the crop
  • Forms of phosphate fertiliser and their availability

Phosphorus in water

  • The Water Framework Directive
  • Pathways for phosphorus entry to watercourses
  • How to reduce the risk of phosphorus loss from soils
  • A planned approach to improvement

The concept of a Phosphorus Balance

  • Case study undertaking a phosphorus balance

Module 3 — Techniques for in-field nutrient management

The need for widespread uptake of the basic crop management techniques, as well as new technologies, more sophisticated tools of the trade and professional abilities becomes obvious when one considers the challenges ahead for increased nutrient efficiencies and environmental protection. This module seeks to
outline the next generation of possibilities in terms of tools and processes for nutrient management planning. Advanced training may be required to pursue some of the detail.

The use of soil sampling techniques, GPS, remote sensing and precision farming for nutrient management.

  • Routine oil sampling techniques for P, K, Mg and pH
  • Tissue nd sap testing
  • Overview f GPS/GIS. How GPS and GIS works
  • Illustration f soil sampling
  • Automated frtiliser application systems
  • Fertiliserapplication tools using in-field data e.g.
    • Satellite imagery
    • Aerial photography with digital cameras & remote controlled aircraft
    • Farm machinery-mounted sensors
    • Crop reflectance and soil nutrient maps

Module 4 — Efficient use of manures and other organic materials

There are sound reasons for driving the better use of available nutrient resources in organic manures and other organic materials which are safe to use on land and can enhance soil quality. The legislative framework for activities is complex and non-compliance issues (with financial penalties) face the uninformed. Farmers and advisers need to be abreast of the wider issues of good practice. Not all of today’s requirements are regulatory, there are many aspects which fall down to voluntary action with sound advice playing a key part.

Utilisation of manures and storage

  • Assessing the potential benefits of manure application
  • Look-up tables (Fertiliser Manual or NVZ Guidance) – Understanding and interpretation
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • On-Farm Analysis
  • Storage requirements


Application techniques

  • Field selection
  • Timing
  • Reducing nutrient losses with application techniques
  • Rates of application
  • How to prevent oversupply of a nutrient with organic manures
  • Awareness of the potential negative effects from the use of other organic materials
    • Over-supply of nutrients
    • Imbalances between N and P
    • Potential heavy metals
    • Carbon/nitrogen ratios

Impact on fertiliser advice. Using software to provide recommendations.

  • Integrating manures into nutrient recommendations
  • PLANET/other packages

Module 5 — Integration of nutrient management decisions with environmental regulations and policies, including nutrient planning and record keeping

The means of conducting an integrated nutrient management plan and using it as a tool to annually review activities is seen to be central to achieving the objectives of sustainable farming. To demonstrate that this is
so, accurate records will be needed, both because they are essential to the process of planning and to demonstrate good practice. Use of computer data capture systems for nutrient planning and record-keeping will become increasingly important to the farmer. Regulations alone will not deliver the positive changes in nutrient management which are expected and demonstration of good nutrient management practices overall will be necessary.

Implications of NVZs on nutrient management, compliance with Nmax and record-keeping:

Implications for livestock/grassland farmer with case study

  • Calculate Farm N capacity and the amount of N produced as livestock excreta and any imported N manures
  • Storage capacity required for high available N manures
  • Calculate the area available for spreading
  • Integration of manure and fertiliser N to meet crop requirements, considering compliance within Nmax limits

Implications for arable farmers with case study

  •   Calculate available N in any manures — if applied
  •   Integrate all nutrient sources to meet crop requirements and check compliance with Nmax limits for areas of relevant crops
  • Nmax limits for areas of relevant crops


Module 6 – FertiliserIndustry Assurance Scheme (FIAS) and farm security

In 2004, the UK Fertiliser Industry was given the remit by Government to address fertiliser security and traceability concerns to reduce the potential of fertiliser materials being purchased by anyone but responsible users. Hence, the emergence of a self-governing industry assurance scheme (FIAS — the Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme). While the Scheme’s reach is to the farm gate — not within
it, there are some elements of the Scheme requirements which require a duty of care by the farmer and the FQA. These should be known and put into action in order for the fertiliser supplier to be confident that the user/ customer carries due responsibility for fertiliser products whilst they are stored and used on farm.

FIAS covers the assurance of all fertilisers intended for agriculture, horticulture, forestry, amenity and any other such commercial use. (It does not apply to fertilisers packaged for home garden use). Eventually, it will be difficult for farmers to source product from a non-FIAS fertiliser supplier.

The purpose and scope of FIAS and the importance of fertiliser security on farm.

  • Ten Point code for Fertiliser Security (NaCTSO) for farmers and review of farm storage and transport regulations
  • Assures compliance with ;
    • legislation
    • security
    • traceability
    • safety
    • good practice


  • Separate standards for
    • manufacture
    • merchanting
    • transport
    • storage



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Duration of Course:

1 Day

Maximum Delegates:


Course Price:

 £145 per delegate

All prices are based on delivery at our training centre near Chichester, West Sussex.

Prices include all training materials, certificates and refreshments throughout the day (including lunch for full day courses).

We can deliver on-site and bespoke training packages to meet your business needs.   Please contact us for further information and quotations.

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