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Last updated: 31 Jul 2014

Essential nutrient management

Nutrient Management Leaflet_275_370The CFE guide to Nutrient management for your farm business gives an introduction to nutrient management and signposts to where you can find technical advice. 

Download the guide from here.

Nutrient management is good for farm businesses and the environment; it can help save money, improve farm profitability and reduce pollution. CFE promoties good practices in nutrient management at events across the country, and have launched a new guide to signpost to the best advice.

CFE’s partner initiative, Tried & Tested, aims to help farmers find the right level of guidance. Through its website, Tried & Tested provides tools and resources to assist farmers and their advisers to improve whole farm nutrient management in an environmentally friendly, cost effective and practical way.

The essential elements of nutrient management:

1. Farm productivity hinges on the nutrient availability

2. This depends on many factors: soil type, pH, climate, rotation and farm type so it’s important to regularly test soils for key nutrients and to evaluate soil structure and organic matter levels

3. Seek expert up to date advice and or guidance on how to interpret soil analyses and improve the efficiency of nutrient use. This will enhance farm profitability and protect the environment


1. MEASURE and manage your soils

There is no substitute for regularly examining soil condition in order to maintain its long-term physical, chemical and biological health. For chemical analysis, it is recommended that soil fertility is tested every 3-5 years and all soils are assessed for soil structure, to ensure there are no limiting factors, such as compaction that might compromise nutrient uptake and production.

2. THINK about training and professional advice

The FACTS Scheme offers training to farmers and advisers in crop nutrient management. It requires those giving professional advice (FACTS Qualified Advisers) to complete Continuing Professional Development to keep up-to-date and maintain standards. FACTS provides information on the technical elements of nutrient management and good agronomy for crops and grassland.

The Feed Adviser Register (FAR) recognises standards in animal feed advice. Advisers on the Register can help farmers to improve feed efficiencies and so reduce the risk of nutrient loss from production systems.

3. PLAN with recognised guidelines and tools

Good nutrient management is central to optimal production and environmental compliance. Both farmers and advisers have essential publications to rely on which support decision-making through the season. Using established and recommended approaches is likely to give positive results for the farm productivity and can help demonstrate that legal obligations are being met.

Pick the guides, services, tools and advice for optimising productivity and reducing pressure on water and air. Tried & Tested can provide free basic tool kit items, in paper or electronic format, full details on the website.

For more information see the Tried & Tested website

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