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Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP’s) are conservation plans that are unique to livestock and poultry operations.  These plans document the practices and strategies adopted by the land owner or operator to address the natural resource concerns related to soil erosion, water quality, utilization of manure, and disposal of organic by-products.

The development of a CNMP begins with a comprehensive resource inventory of the current site conditions. Management options, which may include structural alternatives, are developed to address the resource concerns identified during the inventory process.

The NRCS National Planning Procedures Handbook (NPPH), Part 600.5, and Part 600.6--Exhibit 15, define the minimum criteria for developing a CNMP.

Resources for Developing a CNMP

General Manual

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel.

Document Description PDF DOC XLS
CNMP Statement of Work Describes the minimum requirements for deliverables associated with planning a CNMP. PDF    
CNMP  Template A recommended format for plan development and organization of the information that the CNMP should contain when manure is generated and applied to land.  This template describes the type of information to include in the CNMP, and can be modified as necessary to address specific situations. PDF    
Practice Descriptions and O&M Narratives To provide environmental benefits, conservation practices must be operated and maintained as designed. This document provides practice descriptions and O&M Narratives that can be inserted into the CNMP Template. For existing conservation practices, use this document to copy/paste the operation and maintenance requirements into the CNMP Template, Section 4. Where available, Job Sheets in Section IV of the eFOTG may also be used. (DOC; 92 KB)   DOC  
CNMP Checklist A summary of resource issues and supporting documentation that may be needed when developing a CNMP. PDF    
Inventory Needed for Developing a CNMP A complete guide for items needed when developing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan based on NRCS standards      
  Animal Site Evaluation PDF    
  Poultry Site Data Collection PDF    
9 Steps of Planning The nine steps of conservation planning are used to develop a CNMP, so the end product meets the short- and long-term goals of the producer. All applicable local, Tribal, State, and Federal water quality goals or regulations are followed, including evaluation and documentation of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. (XLS; 81 KB)     XLS
Worksheets Poultry Waste Storage Structure Sizing      
Record Keeping Requirements for Producers This document summarizes the required records that farm operators must keep to satisfy requirements of Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Nutrient Management Regulations and requirements set forth by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Animal Feeding Operation CAFO/MAFO Permit (if applicable). (PDF; 64 KB) PDF    


Additional Resources

MDE/EPA Regulations for Animal Feeding Operations

Animal Waste Management

  • Animal Waste Management Software (AWM) - AWM is a planning/design tool for animal feeding operations that can be used to estimate the production of manure, bedding, process water and determine the size of storage/treatment facilities. The procedures and calculations used in AWM are based on the USDA-NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook.

Conservation Planning


Steve Strano
State Resource Conservationist
Phone: 443-482-2929