Crop production depends heavily on having nutrients readily available for plant uptake. Management of all nutrient sources, including commercial fertilizer, compost, and manure, within the constraints of farm production systems and operational goals are prerequisite for both profitable crop production and environmental sustainability. Inappropriate management of these sources can lead to a reduced economic return and environmental degradation of both, surface and ground water. It is imperative that nutrient management planning activities are recognized and carried out.
Development of sound nutrient management programs involves knowledge of a wide range of information. Soil test records are an important piece of required information, but other factors such as soil moisture conditions, land ownership/tenure, crop and cropping sequence, pest management, cultural practices, environmental issues, and other management items are vital for developing sound nutrient management programs.