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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Nutrient Management Planning: Justification, Theory, Practice


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 1, p. 72-79
    Received: Sept 25, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): dbb@psu.edu
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  1. D. B. Beegle *,
  2. O. T. Carton and
  3. J. S. Bailey
  1. D ep. of Agronomy, 116 ASI Building, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802;
    T eagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Ireland;
    D ep. of Agriculture and Environmental Science, QUB, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland.



Traditionally, nutrient management has been concerned with optimizing the economic return from nutrients used for crop production. Today, the agronomic and economic requirements of nutrient management remain central, but in addition, the process must consider the potential impact of these nutrients on environmental quality. The nutrient-management process is critical for maximizing the economic benefit from nutrients while minimizing the environmental impact. This process includes assessment, analysis, decision making, evaluation and refinement. A tactical nutrient-management plan developed from this process must be based on a firm set of strategic objectives agreed upon by the farmers and society. The nutrient-management process must also be practical to implement, if the performance goals are to be met. While nutrient-management plans have resulted in benefits to farmers and society, implementation has not been as great as desired. Several factors have been identified as key to the successful implementation of nutrient-management planning: the full participation of a broad range of stakeholders, the use of established infrastructure, targeted nutrient-management planning efforts, voluntary vs. mandatory programs, and the economics of nutrient management. Experiences in Pennsylvania, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland illustrate aspects of the implementation of the nutrient management process.

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