News Release: For Immediate Release

For more information, contact Gini Knight at (608) 441-2677 or

NRCS Releases Nutrient Management Standard for Second Public Comment

June, 2015 – Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) uses a team approach to incorporate statewide technical expertise into their technical standards for conservation practices.   To ensure appropriate input into one of the most commonly used technical standards, 590, Nutrient Management, NRCS will release the proposed revisions for open comment a second time in August of 2015.

NRCS uses the Standards Oversight Council (SOC) process to revise standards and charged the team with revising the Wisconsin Nutrient Management practice standard to comply with the national NRCS Nutrient Management practice standard. The SOC team consisting of 13 nutrient management and water quality experts, spent the last two and a half years discussing current research and farm technologies appropriate for Wisconsin operations to include into the draft standard. The proposed revisions have already been through two thorough reviews from outside expertise.  Last fall, 17 targeted experts, from agronomist and manure haulers to county conservation departments, were asked to submit initial feedback on the draft content.  In April of this year, the draft 590 standard and accompanying Technical Note, which provides additional detail, guidance, and references, were released for broad review open to the public and targeted to standard users such as farmers and nutrient management planners.  Due to the convergence of spring planting and season preparations, farmers and agronomists felt that they did not have sufficient time to comment on the proposed changes.  Another version of the standard updated with the latest round of comments will be released again for public comment in August of 2015.

The purpose of the nutrient management practice standard is to provide guidance to improve nutrient utilization while maintaining agronomic profitability and adequate environmental protections to the waters of the state.  The most important technical issues addressed in the revisions are nitrogen management practices based on soil type, planning criteria for safe winter spreading of manure, and nutrient restrictions in close proximity to direct conduits to surface waters and groundwater, including karst landforms.

The Standards Oversight Council is an inter-agency effort that coordinates the development of uniform, high quality technical standards to be used for all Wisconsin conservation programs.  The Standards Oversight Council is supported by NRCS, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and WI Land+Water.