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What is a Nutrient Unit?

What is a Nutrient Unit and how many does my farm have?

Nutrient Units

Nutrient units are calculated based on the number of livestock housed on a farm unit. A nutrient unit is defined as the number of animals that will give the fertilizer replacement value of the lower of; 43 kilograms of nitrogen or 55 kilograms of phosphate per year as nutrients.

The numbers of horses of various sizes that generate nutrients equivalent to or greater than five (5) NU are:
  • 4 large framed horses (mature at >1500 lbs, includes unweaned foal)
  • 5 medium framed horses (mature at 500-1500 lbs, includes unweaned foal)
  • 10 small framed horses (mature at <500 lbs; includes unweaned foal)
Two other examples:
Example #1
Seventy Holstein cows, including all calves and heifers. Also two 40' x 300' two story chicken broiler barns on farm across road. The entire operation is managed as one farm unit.

70 cows ÷ 0.55 (dairy cows / NU, including calves and heifers) 127 NU
48,000 sq. ft. floor broiler growing area ÷ 267 (sq. ft. / NU) 180 NU
Total 307 NU

This farm generates enough nutrients to require a NMS / P by December 31, 2008.

Example #2
1200 finishing pigs, 9000 laying hens, and 60 beef feeders (575 lbs. to 1250 lbs.) The entire operation is managed as one farm unit.

1200 finishing pigs ÷ 6 (finishing pigs / NU) 200 NU
9000 laying hens ÷ 150 (laying hens / NU) 60 NU
60 beef feeders ÷ 3 (beef feeders / NU) 20 NU
Total 280 NU

Location

Crop Quest Inc.
Consultants Servicing all of Ontario
P.O. Box 357
74 Sylvia Street.
Mitchell, Ontario.
N0K-1N0

Toll Free: 1.866.630.2767
Office: 519.348.1121
Fax: 519.348.0030
E-mail: cropquest@quadro.net
Location: Contact Us