Nutrient Management Credit (NMCredit)
The NMCredit Program encourages heightened stewardship of manure resources to improve water quality and provides the Watershed Agricultural Program (WAP) a means to enhance implementation of Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs). It also puts money into farmers’ pockets by rewarding them for following prescribed manure spreading schedules on planned field rotations. NMCredit also pays farmers for the additional time and mileage that may be required to follow the plan correctly.
In 2011, 81 farms participated in the NMCredit Program and earned $327,893 in credits that they can utilize to reimburse nutrient management related expenses. The WAP also reviewed and approved manure spreading records for the first 10 farms participating in the NRCS Agriculture Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), which is similar to NMCredit and has similar benefits as NMCredit, but extends beyond the Cannonsville Basin. These farms earned a total of $59,584 in federal funds for implementing their nutrient management plans. The WAP received an AWEP award from the NRCS to extend the program to 11 additional farms in 2011, with the opportunity to add more farms through 2012.
During 2011, the NMTeam contributed to the WAP in several other ways in 2011, including:
- Adapting manure transportation credit to semi-solid manure, to accommodate the growing number of semi-solid manure storages.
- Researching new NMCredit rate proposals for review by the NM Sub Committee. Assisting NRCS and participating farms fulfill AWEP nutrient management contracts. This included summarizing and reviewing manure spreading records, providing training for participating AWEP farms required NM record keeping, and providing NRCS with AWEP reporting requirements.
- Contributing to Farmer Education and Precision Feed Management educational as well as efforts to secure funding to implement dairy feed management into the future in the NYC Watershed.
- Providing support to whole farm planning teams at various times throughout the year. Efforts typically were related to manure management BMP planning and operations and maintenance.
- Updating soil sample status for program farms, developing the annual farm soil sample list, and training and supervising the soil sample interns. Over 2,077 samples were taken and sent out for analysis, our most productive year to date.