A new online record keeping tool is available for conservation planning

The Computer Assisted Nutrient Management Planning Program (CANMaPP) is a free, online record keeping tool available to help track on-farm conservation practices.

Nutrient Management Planning

Nutrient management planning for farms is important for both economic and environmental growth and stability. Keeping records of nutrient management practices that you implement on your farm is critical for several reasons. Records allow a farm to balance nutrients with regards to crop requirements and soil nutrient levels. Additionally, they can help make future management decisions by comparing and contrasting practices that have been successful and those that have not been as successful or have failed. This increases your efficiency. Furthermore, good record keeping can aid in giving consumers confidence in the agriculture production practices used to make their food, which is important to your marketing strategy.

Basic record keeping components of nutrient management planning include:

  • Soil and manure analyses
  • Other sources of contributing nutrients
  • Crop rotation and crop yield goals
  • Actual yield
  • Fertilizer application and method
  • Time of year and weather forecasts
  • Identification of any sensitive areas

What is CANMaPP?

CANMaPP is a free, online record keeping tool for nutrient management planning developed by the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research. The tool allows users to document, store, review, and update their farms’ nutrient management practices. Using the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 590 Nutrient Management Planning spreadsheet as a base for the application makes it easier for NRCS to verify payments issued for practices funded through NRCS.

How you can use CANMaPP

First, go to the CANMaPP website and create a user account. The user account only requires an email address ensuring all personal information remains anonymous. Next, set-up a user ID and password; then log back into the CANMaPP homepage and click on “My Dashboard.” From there, import or enter your nutrient management data. This can be done with a pre-existing, filled out NRCS 590 spreadsheet to import data, or by downloading a blank NRCS 590 spreadsheet from the CANMaPP website and fill it out. Then, upload that spreadsheet into your CANMaPP account. CANMaPP populates the information into the appropriate fields in the online plan. Once importation is completed, review the online plan to make sure it is accurate.

You are now ready to start benefitting from CANMaPP! A couple of important features that CANMaPP offers are the calendar function and reports function. The calendar function allows the user to enter projected and actual dates of inputs such as manure or fertilizer application, planting, and harvesting of crops. The reports function has the ability to generate reports for current and previous years of nutrient management inputs that have been entered into the system. These reports allow NRCS to streamline the verification and payment process.

Conclusion

Nutrient management planning is important when talking about farming practices from both an economic and environmental standpoint. CANMaPP can help with the recordkeeping portion of nutrient management in a way that is uniform and helps make NRCS nutrient management program payments easier to verify. If you need help using CANMaPP you can watch a recorded training or contact MSU Extension educators Erica Rogers or Sarah Fronczak.

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