We conducted case studies on four Connecticut dairy farms to evaluate how well farmers implemented their nutrient management plans (NMPs). Our findings can help Extension educators develop programs to improve NMPs and NMP adoption by farmers. We identified three educational topic areas that would likely increase NMP understanding and acceptance: (a) soil testing protocol, results interpretation, and nutrient recommendations; (b) manure fertilizer-equivalent value, proper application, and effective distribution; and (c) costs and benefits of substituting on-farm manure for purchased commercial fertilizer. A new adaptive nutrient management program presents a timely opportunity for cost-effective and collaborative on-farm education efforts by Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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