The West Virginia Department of Agriculture recently announced that it would be offering nutrient management planning services to farmers in the state free of charge.
According to a release from the department, proper nutrient management plans will not only help farmers reduce the environmental impact of nutrient runoff but will help them maximize their profitability as well.
West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass said in a release that such planning is important and that it was the job of the government to help farmers put these plans in place.
"Nutrient management planning is a vital conservation practice because it provides the framework for many other conservation activities," he said. "I have always believed that farm conservation should be a cooperative venture with government and not an enforcement action by government."
According to West Virginia University's Extension Service, there are four necessary steps that all nutrient management plans must touch on. They are: proper manure storage, correct land application of manure, site management for each particular field and record keeping regarding land practices.
The WVDA says that nutrient management plans stop excess nutrients from making their way into waterways.