Service providers for the Illinois livestock industry have a new online resource to help them prepare a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP). University of Illinois (U of I) Extension and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) will offer the CNMP Development Course on Thursday evenings, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., Sept. 8 through Nov. 17, 2011.

This 11-week, online webinar will discuss conservation planning, nutrient management, land treatment practices and manure waste handling and storage. The course will conclude with information on the national and state regulations pertinent to CNMPs, the records producers need for a CNMP, and construction of a CNMP. A question-and-answer session will feature experienced plan writers.

For participants interested in receiving Technical Service Provider (TSP) certification, attendance at three field days is also required. Field days will be held on Fridays, Sept. 16, Oct. 7 and Oct. 28. Laura Pepple, Extension specialist with ABE, says the field days will provide hands-on experience using technical resources, such as RUSLE2 and Websoil Survey, and implementing the three phases of CNMPs, which includes gathering site information, evaluating alternative conservation practices and implementing plans.

"We'll make farm visits on the first field day (including the U of I Dairy farm), and participants will be placed in groups of five," Pepple explains. "Each group will meet with a livestock producer teacher who has a specific mindset and management technique for his or her farm. Each group will develop a plan to meet that management technique. On the third field day, they’ll do a short PowerPoint presentation on how they adapted their plan to meet the specific needs of their producer."

This course has been approved for 24 certified crop adviser continuing education units, 14.5 in the nutrient management area and 9.5 in the soil and water area. In addition, for students wanting Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) CNMP certification, this course is the first of two parts needed to meet the training and education requirements for certification. Part 2 will be offered in spring 2012 by U of I Extension and ABE.

The registration fee for the online course only is $375. The fee for TSP certification is $750, which includes all course materials and additional resources, and will be provided electronically on a University of Illinois Extension USB drive. The course fee also covers refreshments and lunches during each of the field days.

For additional information, or to register for the course, visit web.extension.illinois.edu/tsp/. You may also email Laura Pepple at lpepple2@illinois.edu or call 217.244.0083.