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SOIL AND WATER

Golf Course Nutrient Management Plans
Frequently Asked Questions


When are golf courses required to have nutrient management plans? All golf courses are required to have a nutrient management plan by July 1, 2017.

What is the penalty for not having a nutrient management plan by July 1, 2017? The golf course owner is subject to a $250 civil penalty if a nutrient management plan is not submitted for approval within 90 days of July 1, 2017.

How long is a nutrient management plan valid? Nutrient management plans for golf courses are valid for five years unless the course undergoes major redesign or renovation during that time. If major redesign or renovation occurs, the nutrient management plan will need to be revised.

Who can write nutrient management plans? Only a certified nutrient management plan writer can write a nutrient management plan. Anyone who has a background in turfgrass/horticulture production can become certified, but he or she has to meet the education, experience and exam requirements. For more information about certification, click here or contact Derik Cataldi, DCR's Urban Nutrient Management specialist, at derik.cataldi@dcr.virginia.gov or 804-371-7489.

There are also private certified planners who write nutrient management plans. See the directory of certified nutrient management planners.

Do planners charge different rates to write nutrient management plans? Yes. All planners have their own fee structure for writing nutrient management plans. The fee to write a plan usually does not include taking soil samples.

What areas need to be covered by the nutrient management plan? Any area that has the potential to receive nutrients during the five years of the plan needs to be covered.

If every area that receives nutrients needs to be covered by the nutrient management plan, how many plans will a course have? A golf course will only have one plan, but the organization of the plan allows for areas that are managed similarly to be grouped together in management units. Each management unit will have its own nutrient application worksheet (the schedule of nutrient applications). Talk with a certified planner about the organization of a nutrient management plan; they will be happy to explain the details, or contact Derik Cataldi, DCR's Urban Nutrient Management specialist, at derik.cataldi@dcr.virginia.gov or 804-371-7489.

What are the soil sample requirements for a nutrient management plan? Soil sampling is the start of every nutrient management plan. Soil test results used to write a plan must be less than three years-old. Each management area must have soil test results in order to make nutrient recommendations. Talk with a certified planner to discuss the details of this requirement or contact Derik Cataldi, DCR's Urban Nutrient Management specialist, at derik.cataldi@dcr.virginia.gov or 804-371-7489.

What are the components of a nutrient management plan? Each plan consists of a cover sheet, maps, soil test results, nutrient application worksheets, and reference materials. There are specific details for each part that are required by the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia. Work with a certified planner to learn the specific details.

How long does it take to complete the process of getting a nutrient management plan? The length of time that it takes to get a nutrient management plan written is highly variable. This is one of the first topics that should be discussed with a certified plan writer. Ultimately, the time it takes depends on how much initial information is provided to the planner.

What information should be provided to the plan writer? To help expedite the plan writing process, have soil test reports that are less than three years old for all of the management areas on the course, the golf course site map and information about the current fertility schedule readily available. Talk with certified planners to learn more about the specific information they need to meet plan requirements.

How long will it take for the Department of Conservation and Recreation to approve a plan? DCR will approve or contingently approve plans within 30 days of submission.

If a plan is written before July 1, 2017, is it still good for five years? If a course already has a nutrient management plan and the soil tests are less than three years old, the plan writer can make a plan revision to update the plan end date to be valid for five years.

What if the course does not have an approval letter, but already has a valid nutrient management plan? If a course already has a valid nutrient management plan but does not have an approval letter, work with the certified plan writer to submit the plan to the Department of Conservation and Recreation. For instructions on how to submit a plan, contact Derik Cataldi, DCR's Urban Nutrient Management specialist, at derik.cataldi@dcr.virginia.gov or 804-371-7489.

Do nutrient management plans have to be submitted to any other state agencies? Nutrient management plans for golf courses should only be submitted to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). When a plan is approved, the planner will receive an approval letter from DCR that should be kept with the plan.