Writing a nutrient management plan to meet regulations imposed in the Chesapeake Bay is a lot like writing manure management plan in Iowa.

Delaware, Virginia and Maryland require farmers to file plans for all fertilizer applications made to crop fields as part of their strategy to meet the EPA-imposed pollution diet put in place in 2010.

It can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor, said Jason Scott, a farmer and Pioneer seed dealer from Hurlock, Maryland. Some farmers are hiring consultants to prepare the plans for $3-$4 per acre, he said. Others, like Scott, became certified to prepare the plans themselves.

He writes ...