NMAN iconUsing NMAN for Best Management Practices

Table of Contents

  1. What is NMAN?
  2. Loading NMAN
  3. Nutrient management planning worksheets
  4. Using the NMAN worksheets
    1. Field Management Plan
    2. Manure Worksheet (MSTOR)
    3. NASM Plan Worksheet
    4. Nutrient Management (NM) Strategy and Plan Worksheet
    5. Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Worksheet
  5. NMAN flags
  6. Other resources

1. What is NMAN?

NMAN is a tool you can use to determine the best way to store, treat and use materials, such as manure, on your farm. We refer to these methods as best management practices. NMAN can help you determine the best management practices on your farm, which in turn will

  • help you to increase your business profit
  • save you money by decreasing the amount of material or fertilizer you need to apply
  • help you protect the environment by limiting the impact of the nutrient you use

This web page gives an overview of using NMAN to help you to manage nutrients on your farm.

The Using NMAN for Regulatory Purposes web page has more information on using NMAN to demonstrate you are meeting the legal requirements of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA).

2. Loading NMAN

The latest version of NMAN is part of OMAFRA's Ontario's Agricultural Planning Tools Suite (AgriSuite) system. AgriSuite will notify you when there is a new release of the system, and will automatically update for you when you have an Internet connection. Once updated, you will see an updated version history in the lower right-hand corner of the AgriSuite screen.

Since AgriSuite is a web application, it will not be able to automatically check for updates if you are not connected to the Internet. Once you have an Internet connection, AgriSuite will automatically find the most recent version for you. If AgriSuite detects that a newer version is available:

  • a dialogue box informing you of the update will open
  • you will be prompted to exit the program and restart AgriSuite to use the newly updated version
  • the system version number will be updated the next time you open AgriSuite

If you have an older version of NMAN installed on your desktop to use offline, you will need to manually download Agrisuite. This is because the name of the web application has changed and it is not compatible with an automatic update.

Visit the AgriSuite web page for instructions on how to install, download and save the most recent version of NMAN to your desktop or web browser. You can also read the AgriSuite Help page under the "Help with using AgriSuite" section.

3. Nutrient management planning worksheets

NMAN is organized in a series of linked sections called worksheets. There are five worksheets in NMAN that you can use to help manage nutrients on your farm:

  1. Field Management Plan worksheet
  2. Manure (MSTOR) worksheet
  3. Non-agricultural source material (NASM) Plan worksheet
  4. Nutrient Management Strategy and Plan worksheet
  5. Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater worksheet

The most common worksheets used to determine best management practices are the field management plan and MSTOR worksheets. The NASM Plan, Nutrient Management Strategy and Plan and Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater worksheets are typically used to show you are complying with the NMA. However, they can still be used for best management practices purposes.

Nutrient management consultants and others that have taken the appropriate training and are certified by OMAFRA can develop strategies and plans to meet the legal requirements of the NMA. For more information on using NMAN for regulatory purposes, visit OMAFRA's Using NMAN for Regulatory Purposes web page. For more information on the training requirements under the NMA, visit the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus's nutrient management website and OMAFRA's Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Regulation web page.

4. Using the NMAN worksheets

When you first download AgriSuite, you will need to fill out the user information on the "File Information" tab. After filling out the user information, go back to the "Start Page" tab and click "New." This will take you to a new screen where you can select one or more of these worksheets you would like to use in NMAN.

a) Field Management Plan Field management plan icon

The field management plan worksheet in NMAN will help you to determine the best application rates of nutrients such as manure, biosolids and fertilizer. NMAN calculates crop nutrient balances using data bases, lab information, crop recommendations and the information you add about your farm. NMAN will identify missing information, and economic and environmental risks using a flagging system (described below). You can make adjustments in your plan to eliminate the flags.

NMAN also includes a crop records feature that you can use to track what was applied to your field(s). You can then use this information for future planning.

To use the field management plan worksheet, click on the tabs to reveal pages where you can enter information. The "Field Inputs" tab allows you to enter the crop types, crop yields and nutrient applications for your chosen field. If you want to add nutrients other than fertilizer to the field management plan, click the "Add Material Type" icon in the top left-hand side of the screen.

b) Manure Worksheet (MSTOR) MSTOR worksheet icon

The MSTOR worksheet will help you to determine the volume of manure generated on your farm and the resulting amount of storage you will need.

This worksheet allows you to include other materials, such as milking centre washwater, silo seepage and treatments such as anaerobic digesters. For more information related to these topics, read OMAFRA's Factsheets on Handling Milking Centre Washwater and Anaerobic Digestion Basics.

Read the Manure Management web page for more information about using the MSTOR worksheet to determine best practices for managing nutrients.

c) NASM Plan Worksheet NASM Plan worksheet icon

This worksheet can be used to decide if you want to apply NASM as a nutrient (such as leaf and yard waste, fruit and vegetable peels, food processing waste, pulp and paper biosolids and sewage biosolids). In most cases, if you use NASM on your farm you will need a NASM Plan prepared by a certified NASM Plan developer. The plan may need OMAFRA approval. The steps that are required to complete this worksheet are used to comply with the NMA. The information that is marked as a required field must be entered into the worksheet before you are able to print out the final report.

Visit the NASM web page for more information on completing a NASM plan. You can also read OMAFRA's Factsheet Understanding When Farms Require a NMS, NMP or NASM Plan for information on how to meet the nutrient management requirements for farms regulated under the NMA.

d) Nutrient Management Strategy and Plan Worksheet Nutrient management strategy and plan worksheet icon

This worksheet is used to prepare nutrient management strategies and plans. This is to ensure that the nutrients generated on the farm are managed appropriately.

Although the NM strategy and plan worksheet is typically used to meet the regulatory requirements under the NMA, it can also be used to prepare farm plans and to determine the best management practices of nutrients on your farm.

e) Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Worksheet GNF worksheet icon

The Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater (GNF) worksheet is typically used by certified nutrient management consultants to develop GNF strategies or plans to submit to OMAFRA as required by the NMA. However, farmers and greenhouse operators can use the GNF worksheet to calculate storage requirements and application rates of GNF.

See the Greenhouse Nutrient Feedwater Regulation web page for more information on the regulation.

5. NMAN flags

There are several "flags," or alerts, that NMAN uses to tell you that the worksheet is missing information, or if information poses a concern for your business or the environment.

Information triangle icon (blue) missing information - NMAN requires more information in order to complete the calculation

Yellow stop sign with a money sign inside may present an economic concern for your business

Yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside may present an environmental concern - for example, you may be applying more nutrients then required

Stop sign with an exclamation mark inside presents an environmental concern - if you are using NMAN for regulatory purposes, this means you may be exceeding a limit

You can find more information on NMAN flags on the AgriSuite Help page under the Using NMAN for Best Management Practices section.

6. Other resources

OMAFRA has a series of Best Management Practices publications that:

  • give more information about protecting soil and water on farms
  • help farmers make business decisions that protect the environment while maintaining business goals

You can find more information about field and nutrient management planning in these OMAFRA resources:

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca