Skip

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Program (CNMP)

What is a CNMP?

A Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, or CNMP, is a conservation plan unique to animal feeding operations. An animal feeding operation or AFO is categorized as a lot or facility where:

  1. animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in a 12-month period, and

  2. where crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot of facility.

A CNMP includes a grouping of conservation practices and management activities which, when implemented as part of a conservation system, will help ensure that both production and natural resource protection goals are achieved. For specific information on AFOs by county in Pennsylvania, visit EPA Region III.

The development of a CNMP requires a comprehensive engineering and conservation planning resource assessment of current site conditions. Management options and structural alternatives are developed to address resource concerns identified during the assessment.

At a minimum, a CNMP must address quality criteria to the sustainable level of soil erosion and water quality for the planning unit associated with the animal feeding operation.

Any CNMP that is developed by NRCS or partner employee must be approved by a Certified Conservation Planner.
 


CNMP Content

Each CNMP must include Environmental Compliance for the planned system and may be comprised of six possible elements:

1.  Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage - a technical element
2.  Land Treatment Practices - a technical element
3.  Nutrient Management (planned for three future years) a technical element
4.  Record Keeping (non-technical element)
5.  Feed Management – a technical element (optional, as needed)
6.  Other Utilization Options – a technical element for manure not applied to land (optional, as needed)

Detailed CNMP Development Requirements and Guidance

The documents on this page require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Pennsylvania's CNMP Statement of Work (PDF, 28KB) provides for a concise listing of all required CNMP components.


General requirements applicable to entire CNMP

o  Signature Page and Checklist for CNMP Practice/Activity Code 102 (located in PA eFOTG Section III)
Environmental Compliance Documentation

 

Requirements for each technical element are provided in the links below.

o Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage (HTML)
o Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage (PDF, 21KB)
o CNMP Engineering Inventory Worksheet (PDF, 177KB)
o Land Treatment Practices
o Nutrient Management planned for three future years
o Recordkeeping (PDF, 496KB)
o Feed Management
o Other Utilization Options (optional, as needed)


Special Note on Record Keeping (a non-technical element)

Record keeping is a task completed solely by the owner and/or operator and is not an element that involves an approval by a certified specialist. The CNMP document must include record keeping guidance for the landowner/operator.

Technical Service Providers (TSP) Resources and Information

 
TechReg Certification is required of all TSPs who sign a PA CNMP Plan and Element Approval Signature Page and Checklist.


CNMP Plan Approval

CNMP Plan Approval certification is required for any TSP who approves a total CNMP package including all technical elements and Environmental Compliance documentation. The TSP who approves the total CNMP is responsible for ensuring that the producer plays an active role in the development of the plan and that the plan satisfies the objectives of the producer. The TSP who approves the total plan also certifies that all technical elements are correct, complete, and meet NRCS requirements. The final CNMP must be delivered to and reviewed with the producer and the producer must be satisfied with the plan before it can be certified. NRCS will review the first CNMP approved by each TSP with CNMP Plan Approval certification.

Technical Element Development

Each technical element of a CNMP must be developed by a TSP who is certified in TechReg in the appropriate CNMP Plan Development category. Each technical element of the CNMP requires a certain level of acquired expertise to adequately address. To adequately address a specific CNMP element requires the planning and implementation of conservation practices that address the resource concerns identified during the conservation planning process. An individual who has a demonstrated competency in planning and implementing conservation practices associated with one or more of the specific CNMP elements is qualified for the designation "certified specialist," and may become certified at the NRCS TechReg website.

TechReg Certification Requirement Process

Participating TSPs are required to be certified by NRCS through the TechReg process and appear on the TechReg website.  Click here to learn more about the TechReg process. TechReg certification categories for CNMP are as follows:

  • CNMP Plan Approval

  • CNMP Plan Development - Feed Management

  • CNMP Plan Development - Land Treatment

  • CNMP Plan Development - Manure and Wastewater handling and storage

  • CNMP Plan Development - Nutrient Management

Table Summarizing relevant TechReg categories

TechReg Category  Signature Certifies
CNMP Plan Approval Coordination and Approval of the entire CNMP, including Environmental Compliance documentation, each technical element and producer agreement.
CNMP Plan Development - Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage Development and approval of the Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage Element
CNMP Plan Development - Land Treatment Development and approval of the Land Treatment Element
CNMP Plan Development - Nutrient Management Development and approval of the Nutrient Management Element
CNMP Plan Development - Feed Management Development and approval of the Feed Management Element

 Minimum Standards for TSPs providing Conservation Technical Assistance Associated with CNMPs

Minimum requirements for certification are established for certified specialists who develop CNMP elements or approve CNMPs. The NRCS state conservationist has established a certification program to satisfy these requirements. To review TSP certification qualifications required to develop and approve individual CNMP elements and/or to become a certified conservation planner with CNMP Plan Approval authority click here (PDF, 29KB). After meeting requirements listed in the linked document, go to TechReg to continue certification process.

Quality Assurance

NRCS will review the first CNMP approved by each TSP with CNMP Plan Approval certification. All CNMPs are subject to annual 5 percent quality assurance review and random spot-checking at any time.

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) Completed by Technical Service Providers (TSP) in EQIP contracts

CNMPs shown as a practice in an EQIP contract must be completed and approved by certified TSPs listed in TechReg in the correct categories in order for the farmer to receive reimbursement. The overall CNMP must be approved by a TSP who is currently listed in TechReg as having "CNMP Plan Approval" certification and qualified by NRCS as a Certified Conservation Planner before reimbursement to a farmer can be made by USDA NRCS within an EQIP contract for the development and approval of a CNMP. EQIP contracts included in this requirement are those CNMP Plan Approval contracts that have a single Contract Item: “Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan.” In addition to the “CNMP Plan Approval” signature, all other required technical elements of the CNMP must be developed and signed off on the PA CNMP Signature Page and Checklist by a TSP who is certified in that specific CNMP category. It is not acceptable to merely have the knowledge or training; the person must be listed in TechReg as being certified in that category in order to approve that element as being technically adequate. Other supporting consultants may contribute information but only a certified TSP may approve the element or plan. 

Please Read Carefully
Before USDA NRCS will reimburse a farmer through an EQIP contract for receipt of a CNMP written by a TSP, a copy of the plan including the completed Signature Page and Checklist for CNMP Practice/Activity Code 102 (Located in PA eFOTOG Section III) must be submitted to the local NRCS office along with a copy of the Practice Approval and Payment Application Form NRCS-CPA-1245 that has been signed by the farmer. These two documents are normally submitted to NRCS by the farmer, although the TSP may submit the CNMP on behalf of the farmer. The farmer should receive his/her own copy of the CNMP to keep and use. For the EQIP program, the checklist must be signed by a TSP certified in the Technical Registry category “CNMP Plan Approval” on the line labeled “CNMP Plan Approval.” Any Specialist who certifies an individual CNMP element as being technically adequate must be a TSP certified in the appropriate certification category below.

For Plans written outside of EQIP Contracts

CNMPs that are written outside of an EQIP contract can be approved by any Certified Conservation Planner who has had their first CNMP product reviewed and accepted by the Pennsylvania NRCS CNMP review team. Any Specialist who certifies an individual CNMP element as being technically adequate must be either a TSP certified in the appropriate certification category OR an NRCS employee or partner with equivalent Job Approval Authority or others with NRCS recognized qualifications.

Field Office Resources

CNMP Work Order Process

The purpose of the Work Order is to help the farmer explain what the CNMP must include when he is interviewing perspective TSPs to develop his EQIP CNMP. Provide the Work Order to the farmer when contracting an EQIP TSP developed CNMP. The farmer may provide the Work Order to perspective TSPs when negotiating the development of their agreement. This may avoid confusion between the farmer and the TSP. 

Receiving CNMPs developed by TSP for an EQIP contract

When receiving a CNMP written and approved by a TSP for an EQIP contract, Field Office staff should check the CNMP for completeness, i.e., make sure each of the required elements and all required Environmental Compliance is included in the CNMP documentation. The following Quality Control documents are provided to facilitate the check-in process: 

Field Office Worksheet for TSP TechReg and State Office Verification (PDF, 24KB)

PA CNMP Acceptance Checklist for CNMPs Completed by TSPs (PDF, 21KB)

 

Pennsylvania CNMP Contacts