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Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP)

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP)

Photo of cows. Caption: Manure be profitable!

A Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) is a conservation plan that is unique to animal feeding operations. It is a grouping of conservation practices and management activities, which, when implemented as part of a conservation system, will help to ensure that both production and natural resource protection goals are achieved.

The objective of a CNMP is to document the Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) owner's and/or operator's plan to manage water, manure and organic by-products by combining conservation practices and management activities into a conservation system that will help achieve the goals of the producer, control soil erosion, and protect or improve water quality.

A CNMP addresses the following elements of the AFO:

  • Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage
  • Land Treatment Practices
  • Nutrient Management
  • Record Keeping
  • Feed Management
  • Other Utilization Activities

The CNMP document itself is organized into different sections that include:

  • General information about the operation, including contact information
  • Maps, description of producer's manure management, local environmental information, and current permits
  • Results of evaluations and assessments
    • Farm-wide nitrogen balance
    • Production area (facilities) assessment
    • Cropland erosion and runoff assessment
    • Irrigation evaluation
    • Nutrient management evaluation
    • Evaluation of manure distribution on cropland
  • Issues identified and alternatives to address them
  • Actions to address concerns/issues identified through the evaluations and assessments
  • Emergency response, preventive maintenance and mortality management plans

Air quality considerations for dairy producers are substantial. Pollutants typically generated by dairies include ammonia, nitrous oxides, other oxides of nitrogen, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and dust. The following links can be used to assist with planning for limited air emissions from the dairy.

Assistance with meeting regulations for dairies in the Central Valley is available though the Environmental Stewardship Program of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP). To obtain more information on regulations affecting AFOs in the Central Valley and other parts of California go to the State Water Resources Control Board/Regional Boards.

Producers who want fundamental information on CNMP should go here.  Producers may also want to review the documents on this site designed for Technical Service Providers (TSP) and NRCS employees and partners assisting with CNMP preparation.

NRCS employees and partners who want to learn about getting certified as CNMP providers or who want technical information and tools should go here.

Technical Service Providers (TSPs) who want to learn about getting certified as CNMP providers or who want technical information and tools should go here.

Information for Feed Management Professionals.

NRCS uses the Manure Management Planner (MMP) Tool as part of the CNMP plan.  Click here for more information on this program.