Preparing Your Animal Waste Management Plan

Photo of manure storage.

Before You Start

There are a number of things that you should do before you start completing your plan.

  • First, ideally you should soil test any fields on your farm where you plan to spread manure, but this is not required by the rule.
  • Second, sample the nutrient content of the manure in your manure storage. The electronic program will automatically determine an estimate of manure nutrient content (N, P2O5, and K20). However, this is determined by published values from a book. An accurate representative value of the manure on your farm will be better.
  • It will be helpful to determine the slope of your fields. A short fact sheet describing how to estimate slope is under Startup Resources at right.
  • Prepare a farm map.
  • Determine how many animals you have and how much they weigh.
  • Estimate the amount and type of bedding you use.
  • Find phone and address of your local Public Health officials.
  • For detailed resources to help you get started, please see the resources in the Startup Resources menu at right.

Upcoming Educational Meetings

Rutgers Cooperative Extension is providing a series of educational meetings around the state about preparing your Animal Waste Management Plan (AWMP). These will be regular over the course of the next two years.

Preparing a Digital Report

You can prepare your report right from your computer. Just download the file below, unzip it, and double-click on the RutgersAWMPReportCreator.exe file.

Preparing a Paper Copy Report

The book On-Farm Strategies to Protect Water Quality will describe how to prepare an Animal Waste Management Plan (AWMP). It will also include as example as a template for you to follow in preparing your plan.

What Should Be Included in Your Final Report?

  1. Contact and farm information such as location, acreage, number and type of animals, etc.
  2. Emergency Management Information. This clarifies who should be contacted in case of emergency.
  3. A Farm Map. Information for map preparation is included in the Dtasrted Resources at right, and in the book On-Farm Strategies for Managing Animal Waste if you are doing a handwritten report. You can use MapQuest to help you draw a more accurate map of your farm
  4. A determination of Animal Units. An AU is 1,000 pounds of live animal. If you have 50 goats that weigh 120 pounds each then you would have (50*120) 1000 or 6 AU. If you have 15 1,000 pound horses you will have 15 AU. If you have 7 or fewer AU or if you accept for spreading less than 142 tons of animal manure, then you don't have to do a formal report, although it is recommended. If you have more than 7 AU or if you accept more that 142 tons of animal manure, then you must complete an Animal Waste Management Plan (AWMP).
  5. Animal density. This is Animal Units divided by acreage. If your animal density is >1 AU/acre then you must have your AWMP reviewed by a conservation professional and approved by your local Soil Conservation District. If <1AU/acre you can write and certify your own plan. Just remember that you must follow the requirements of the rule in doing so.
  6. The electronic program will allow you to print a report that includes most plan information. Printouts could be as long as 10-15 pages, depending on farm size and number of fields for manure spreading.
  7. Please fill out the Animal Waste Management Plan (AWMP) Summary page. Data to fill this out can be found in the printout if completing the electronic version. This is where you discuss how manure will be disposed of on your farm, what your spreading plan is, and if you have enough acreage to dispose of animal waste.
  8. If completing the electronic version, please respond to the Environmental Advisories in the printout. These appear in response to your answers about certain environmentally sensitive issues.

Submitting Your Report

Your report is confidential. A Declarations page should be submitted to your Cooperative Extension office. Your local office does not evaluate or review your plan, but will record that you have completed it. It is confidential. File it for safe keeping. If you have more than 1 AU/acre you will have to have your plan reviewed by a conservation professional. Please contact your local Soil Conservation District for assistance.


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences