Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2009
Publication Date: 7/11/2009
Citation: Gross, C., Delgado, J.A., Morris, T., Kuenstler, W., Lemunyon, J., Widman, N. 2009. Adaptive management and the USDA-NRCS Nutrient Management (590) conservation practice standard. Soil and Water Conservation Society. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The purpose of the USDA-NRCS Nutrient Management (590) conservation practice standard is to budget and supply nutrients for plant production, to properly utilize organic amendments as plant nutrient sources, to minimize pollution from application of nutrients, and to maintain or improve the condition of soil. The 590 standard requires the use of soil/plant tissue testing to manage organic amendments and fertilizers. Incorporating the results of soil and plant tissue tests into a nutrient management plan is a complex process. This process can be augmented by the use of adaptive management techniques. A key component of adaptive management is the post-mortem evaluation of a nutrient management plan or parts of a plan to improve nutrient utilization. The 590 standard already requires evaluation using soil and plant tissue tests, but post-mortem evaluation to specifically improve a nutrient management plan with time has not been an explicit component of the 590 standard. Development of a clearly defined adaptive management process for improving nutrient management could protect natural resources and be beneficial to farmers. Including adaptive management concepts into the 590 nutrient management standard would improve the Nutrient Management (590) conservation practice standard. NRCS is participating in a multistate and multi-disciplinary coordinating committee on adaptive management to evaluate the potential benefits of adaptive management for nutrient management purposes.