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Recordkeeping is an important part of nutrient management. By law, you are required to keep certain records.Effective November 2012, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) released the new Nutrient Management Recordkeeping Requirements (WAC 16-611). Be sure you are following the requirements laid forth. Contact your nutrient management planner if you have any questions.

Here are the basics of the rule:

1. In accordance with RCW 90.64.010 (17)(c) and 90.64.102, dairy producers must maintain records [for 5 years] to demonstrate that applications of nutrients to crop land are within acceptable agronomic rates.

2. Dairy producers must maintain the following records to demonstrate that applications of nutrients to the land were within acceptable agronomic rates:

a. Soil analysis

(i) Annual post-harvest soil nitrate nitrogen analysis;

(ii) Every three years, a current soil analysis that includes:

(A) Organic matter;

(B) pH;

(C) Ammonium nitrogen;

(D) Phosphorus (the Bray-1 method must be used to determine soil phosphorus for soils below pH 7 and the Olsen bicarbonate method must be used for soils at or above pH 7);

(E) Potassium; and

(F) A measure of electrical conductivity.

b. Nutrient analysis for all sources of organic and inorganic nutrients including, but not limited to, manure and commercial fertilizer supplied for crop uptake. Manure and other organic sources of nutrients must be analyzed annually for organic nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and phosphorus.

c. Application records must include:

(i) Field identification and year of application;

(ii) Crop grown in each field where the application occurred;

(iii) Crop nutrient needs based on expected crop yield;

(iv) Nutrient sources available from residual soil nitrogen including contributions from soil organic matter, previous legume crop, and previous organic nutrients applied;

(v) Date of applications, method of application, nutrient sources, nutrient analysis, amount of nitrogen and phosphorus applied and available for each source;

(vi) Total amount of nitrogen and phosphorus applied to each field each year; and

(vii) Weather conditions twenty-four hours prior to and at time of application.

d. Manure transfer records, including imports or exports. Records must include:

(i) Date of manure transfer;

(ii) Amount of nutrients transferred;

(iii) The name of the person supplying and receiving the nutrients; and

(iv) Nutrient analysis of manure transferred.

e. Irrigation water management records. Records must include:

(i) Field identification;

(ii) Total amount of irrigation water applied to each field each year.

New WSDA Recording Keeping Requirement Factsheet (PDF, 2017) - external link.