Skip Navigation

News Release

NRCS Releases Revised Nutrient Management Standard for Public Comment

DES MOINES, IA, Jan. 7, 2013 - The public has until Feb. 6 to provide comments on Iowa's version of the revised nutrient management (or 590) standard released by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

"This practice is used to guide producer's use of fertilizer and manure to grow profitable crops while minimizing impacts on Iowa's lakes, rivers and streams," said Eric Hurley, nutrient management specialist for NRCS in Des Moines. "Careful use of nutrients is especially important to address hypoxia issues in the Gulf of Mexico."

USDA updates this conservation practice standard at least every five years to reflect the latest technologies and agency objectives. The revised 590 Standard, as well as instructions for providing comments, can be found at The public may also call 515-284-4370 to request a copy.

Key changes in the Iowa revised standard include:

  • Uses The Fertilizer Institute’s 4R nutrient stewardship decision-making framework – that is to apply the Right nutrient source at the Right amount in the Right place at the Right time.
  • Specifies that fall applied manure with high ammonium content, MAP, and DAP along with anhydrous ammonia should be applied when soils are 50 degrees and trending colder.
  • Adds a "Rescue Nitrogen Application" section, which provides a method to assess N loss due to weather conditions and describes how to make a supplemental N application decision.
  • Adds tile inlets to the list of water quality sensitive areas to be protected when applying nutrients.
  • Requires certified labs for manure testing.

Iowa NRCS worked with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, industry, producer and environmental groups, and other partners to incorporate these updates to match Iowa agriculture and resource protection goals.

NRCS offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to producers nationwide for planning and implementing on-farm nutrient management plans. Producers can use this assistance to help meet federal, state, tribal and local environmental regulations.


Eric Hurley, Nutrient Management Specialist, 515-284-4370