Nutrient Management for Vegetable Production
Resources on this page may be used by vegetable farmers subject to the 330 CMR 31.00 Plant Nutrient Application Requirements for Agricultural Land and Land Not Used for Agricultural Purposes.
Planning and Record Keeping
Fertilizer Record Keeping Template:
This excel spreadsheet was developed by Becky Maden, a Vermont farmer and UVM Extension agent. It allows you to easily calculate and record nutrient applications for vegetable crops based on soil test results and recommendations from the New England Vegetable Management Guide. You must have the capability to run 'macros' on your computer in order to save your records for each field, but the calculator may still be used without 'macros'. The template is available through the VT Veg & Berry Growers' website: https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/NMPlinks.html.
New England Vegetable Management Guide
The New England Vegetable Management Guide has extensive information about managing soil nutrients that includes the following sections: Plant Nutrients, Fundamentals of Soil Fertility, Soil Testing, Fertilizers and Soil Amendments, Guidelines for Organic Fertility Management, and Nutrient Management Regulations (including information about relevant regulations in the other New England States).
The Crops section of the Guide, http://nevegetable.org/crops, includes a nutrient management table for each crop. These crop-specific nutrient management tables give recommended application rates for N, P, and K based on soil test results (very low, low, optimum, above optimum). The tables also provide recommendations on making split applications (e.g. pre-plant broadcasting and sidedressing rates). These tables are an essential tool for developing a nutrient plan for each crop.
Nutrient Management Guide for New England Vegetable Production
The first part of this manual discusses the basics, including the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. Developing a healthy soil requires attention to all three properties. The second part is about management practices to achieve healthy soils including various sources of nutrients, soil amendments, and how the management of these resources is necessary for optimum vegetable production. The Nutrient Management Guide is also available in hard copy from the UMass Extension Vegetable Program office (tel. 413-577-3976).
Best Management Practices
Massachusetts Commonwealth Quality (CQ) program checklist
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources developed Commonwealth Quality (CQ) to help consumers easily find farm fresh fruits and vegetables that are safe, sustainable, and produced in an environmentally friendly way by local farms in Massachusetts. The CQ program checklist includes a section on nutrient management useful in the formulation of a nutrient management plan. To qualify for CQ, growers must meet a minimum percentage of the practice points in the CQ guidelines established by UMass Extension. The summary score sheet lists 6 fundamental nutrient management practices: Commonwealth Quality Checklist.
The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment and UMass Extension are equal opportunity providers and employers, United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Contact your local Extension office for information on disability accommodations. Contact the State Center Director’s Office if you have concerns related to discrimination, 413-545-4800 or see ag.umass.edu/civil-rights-information.