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Date: November 14, 2002

State nutrient management training at two Virginia sites

(Richmond, VA) - Two nutrient management training schools will be held in central and southwestern Virginia in December. Many farms in Virginia, depending on their operations, benefit from nutrient management. Following the training, participants can be certified by the state via exam to write nutrient management plans.

The four-day schools, conducted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), are recommended for anyone involved in agriculture or related industries, as well as natural resource professionals. Topics include manure use on poultry and dairy operations, land application of biosolids, establishing realistic crop yield goals and spreader calibration.

In Abingdon, the training session is Dec. 17 - 20 at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. In Ashland, the session is Dec. 10 - 13 at Comfort Inn on N. Cottage Ln.

The first two days of the school are lectures by Virginia Tech professors covering soil science, soil fertility, crop production and managing organic nitrogen sources. The last two days, DCR staff explains to participants the various components of a nutrient management plan, while using a case study to write a plan in class.

Classes are 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. each day. There are no pre-requisites for the training, however space is limited and participants must pre-register before Nov. 18, 2002.

DCR's nutrient management training and certification teaches people to write detailed plans. Recommendations in these plans show farmers how to efficiently apply fertilizers and manures to get the most benefit for their crops. While some people know nutrient management involves following planned recommendations, just how a nutrient management plan works for an individual situation, or finding someone to write a plan, can be confusing.

Nutrient management identifies how plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, are managed annually for
expected crop production. Nutrient management plans are written, site-specific guidelines that address these issues. They achieve minimal adverse environmental effects, primarily upon water quality, and avoid unnecessary nutrient applications.

To register for the training schools contact Susan Townsend at (804) 443-6752. The fee is $75 for four days' training, supporting materials and refreshments.

On Feb. 7, 2003, DCR administers the Nutrient Management Certification Exam in Abingdon and Sandston, Va. Call Susan Townsend for exam applications. Applications with the $100 application fee must be submitted by 5 p.m., Jan. 7, 2003.

For information about DCR's Nutrient Management Certification and Training Program contact David Kindig at (804) 371-8095. Training session and exam information is on DCR's web site at


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