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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 50. Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board
Chapter 85. Chapter 85 Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations
8/8/2020

4VAC50-85-60. Examination.

A. The department shall administer nutrient management certification examinations at least once per year. The examinations shall require a demonstration of the ability to prepare a nutrient management plan. The department may limit the number of applicants taking the examination based upon available examination space.

B. Applicants for certification shall achieve a passing score on each of the parts of the nutrient management certification examination to become eligible for certification.

C. The examinations for persons involved in agricultural nutrient management shall address the elements listed below. To address nutrient management on urban land uses, specialty specific examinations may be added to or substituted by the department for the elements below.

1. General understanding of overall nutrient management concepts such as nutrient cycling on farms, the purpose of nutrient management planning, economic aspects of nutrient use, and components of a nutrient management plan;

2. Basic soil science concepts such as soil physical and chemical properties including texture, structure, organic matter, and horizon development, and how such characteristics influence crop productivity and adaptation, water runoff, and infiltration;

3. Environmental management concepts such as the water cycle, nutrient loss mechanisms, environmental effects of nutrients in waters including Chesapeake Bay, identification of high risk sites relating to nutrient use and appropriate nutrient management practices to reduce nutrient losses;

4. Nutrient sampling, testing, and analysis such as basic sampling procedures, relationship of soil test level with the likelihood of crop response, soil nitrate testing, manure and biosolids sampling and interpretation, and determining nitrogen supplied by legumes;

5. Basic soil fertility concepts such as relationship of soil pH to nutrient availability and toxicity, essential elements for crop growth, limiting factors to crop production, cation exchange capacity and related concepts, nutrient cycles, and forms of nutrients in soils;

6. Fertilizer management concepts such as types of fertilizers, nutrient analysis of common materials and grades, basic calculations and blending, calibration of equipment, and application methods;

7. Manure management concepts such as nutrient content and volume produced, determination of plant available nutrients, selecting sites for manure application, proper timing and placement, coordination of fertilizers with manure, application methods and calibration;

8. Biosolids management concepts such as determination of plant available nutrients, nutrient content, forms of nutrients, types of sludges, coordination with fertilizer applications, and application methods;

9. Nutrient management training and certification regulatory requirements, and requirements of other nutrient management related laws, regulations, and incentive programs; and

10. Development of multiple components of nutrient management plans and completion of calculations comparable to development of nutrient management plans such as, but not limited to, determination of specific soil types in fields, determination of specific nutrient requirements based on soil productivity and soil analysis results, evaluation of field limitations based on environmental hazards or concerns, timing of nitrogen applications, phosphorus nutrient management planning methods and assessment techniques, and interpretation of manure analysis results.

D. An individual who is unable to take an examination at the scheduled time shall notify the department at least five days prior to the date and time of the examination; such individual will be rescheduled for the next examination. The department may consider accepting notice of less than five days due to individual hardship situations on a case-by-case basis. Failure to notify the department may require the individual to submit a new application and payment of fees in accordance with 4VAC50-85-40.

E. The department shall establish acceptable passing scores for the examinations based on the department's determination of the level of examination performance required to show minimal acceptable competence.

F. All applicants shall be notified of results in writing within 60 days of the completion of the examinations.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC5-15-60, derived from VR217-03-00 § 6, eff. January 24, 1996; amended, Volume 22, Issue 07, eff. January 11, 2006; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. February 26, 2014.

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