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Research Influences Agency Nutrient Management Policy

Research results (found here) are integrated into a nutrient management planning tool SNAP-Plus and a P loss risk assessment tool Wisconsin Phosphorus Index. The Wisconsin P Index provides a field-specific estimate of the risk of P loss based on readily accessible field and soil characteristics and management practices used in the field. Examples of these characteristics and practices include soil type, slope, soil test P level, crop rotation, manure and fertilizer applications, and tillage.

Recently, P-based nutrient management planning has been adopted as an approach for minimizing P losses from farmland and increasingly incorporated into State and Federal government agency nutrient management policy and regulations. Soil Science faculty and staff participated in technical committees composed of technical experts, agency staff, agricultural professionals, agribusiness representatives, farmers, and other stakeholders to develop the NRCS Nutrient Management Standard and the WDATCP Agricultural Livestock Siting Technical Criteria. The research base on management issues and management practice effects on nutrient losses provided the foundation for the nutrient management provisions in these agency documents. The strong science base that this research provides for agency nutrient management policy is essential for ensuring the credibility and integrity of these polices. Specifically, the Wisconsin P Index was incorporated into the NRCS 590 Nutrient Management Standard Code 590 as the primary approach for P-based nutrient management planning. The 590 Standard was adopted as the technical criteria for nutrient management planning by the Agricultural Livestock Siting Technical Criteria Committee.

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