Harvest season is coming, have you considered your soil health?

Harvest season is soon to be upon us in southern Ontario!

Dust will be flying as growers race to harvest their crops at the optimal time. Shortly after harvest, planning and planting for next year will begin. Be sure to consider your soil health when harvesting and planning for next year. There are a number of options available for growers to improve their soil, including:

  • Fertilizer
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Non Agricultural Source Materials (NASM) such as biosolids

Each nutrient source can help to boost your soil health and can provide unique benefits for your soil and the coming season. Each nutrient source has specific requirements for use under the Nutrient Management Act (NMA) that are important when considering which to use. Check out details for nutrient use here.

Wessuc’s primary recommendation is to pay attention to your manure storage. If your manure storage is filling up again, it should be your primary nutrient source as it also provides a great source of organic matter and micro nutrients to improve your soil health.

If you need help emptying it prior to any fall planting or field preparation contact us, we’d be happy to help with spreading. However, if you aren’t sure which nutrient source works best for you Wessuc can create custom nutrient plans and strategies in time for harvest season. Get started by emailing us at info@wessuc.com

How the Nutrient Management Act Applies to Non-Agricultural Source Material

What is the Nutrient Management Act?

The Nutrient Management Act (NMA) outlines its purpose “to provide for the management of materials containing nutrients in ways that will enhance protection of the natural environment and provide a sustainable future for agricultural operations and rural development.”

The are two key things to note, protect the environment, and sustain agriculture.  The act and the associated regulations then proceed to lay the foundation, the how, where, when, what, and who to obtain those two goals.

What is non-agricultural source material, or NASM?

The Nutrient Management Act  provides a lot of detailed description regarding what qualifies NASM along with specifications, sampling requirements, and a defined beneficial use requirement for NASM. As a rule of thumb any material from a non-agricultural source that can provide a benefit to the soil or crop in a field is a NASM.  If the intent is to use a non-agricultural source material on agricultural soil it must be shown to provide some benefit. This could be as a nutrient source or as a soil conditioner (reducing pH, adding organic matter).    Once a benefit is established then the NASM must pass additional quality criteria which is typically a sample analysis demonstrating it’s benefit and conversely lack of detriment. Depending on its source the NASM criteria varies.

Generally the source of the NASM will place it into one of three categories:

  1. Category– Unprocessed Plant Material (eg. Vegetable peels, vegetable washwater that contains food grade cleaners, etc.)
  2. Category – Processed Plant Material (eg. food waste, Bakery Waste)
  3. Category- Anything not found in category 1 or 2, including animal based material (eg. meat processing plant waste, municipal biosolids)

Depending on the category of the material different use restrictions  are applied, such as timing of application, application rate, storage, approvals required etc.

The NMA then proceeds to covers the remaining aspects of NASM use:

  • Who can spread (license requirements)
  • When the material can be spread (time of year)
  • Where the NASM can be spread (setbacks from sensitive features)
  • How the NASM must be spread (injection, irrigation).

In this way the Nutrient Management Act covers all aspect of NASM use, from its generation to its final use on agricultural land. Once the who, when, where, and how the Nutrient Management Act applies to NASM is covered, farmers must understand how it affects them.

Farming Using NASM

Farmers using NASM need to be aware of the requirements under the Nutrient Management Act. They will be held responsible for ensuring NASM is applied when beneficial for crop production, must comply with any waiting periods between application and harvesting or grazing, and use best practices to optimize benefits and minimize environmental risk. Depending on the NASM being used they may be required to obtain an approval from OMAFRA prior to incorporating NASM into their Nutrient Management Strategy.

NASM can provide many benefits beyond those of commercial fertilizer. The addition of organic matter enhances soil structure, moisture retention and permeability while reducing erosion potential.  NASMs typically also provide micro nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and copper, in addition to the macro nutrients required for plant growth.  The sequestering of carbon in the organic material into the soil also helps reduce GHGs.

Interested in receiving NASM or have a NASM that you are thinking of using on your farm. Our staff have extensive experience obtaining NASM plans. We can evaluate the benefits with you and assist in obtaining any necessary approvals for your NASM use. We can also help with the field spreading and reporting required. Visit the land application page to contact us. Or download the Checklist to determine the best solution to managing your Biosolids.


Turning Organic Waste Into Value: A Free Download to Determine the Optimal Solution for your Business

NEWS RELEASE – Brantford, Ontario – May 2018 –Wessuc, a leader in waste stream solutions, is pleased to introduce the Turning Organic Waste into Value Download. The free 10-page guide is a three step self-audit process to help determine the optimal solution for your business. This worksheet can be used to gain a better understanding of your waste stream and provide some insight into available options.

The Turning Organic Waste into Value download highlights a variety of factors and considerations that are crucial to a waste stream audit that you may not have thought about when searching for a solution including:

  • Benefits of a waste stream audit
  • Best practices when conducting an audit
  • How to interpret your waste stream based on sources and characteristics
  • How to determine which solution is best for you

Turning Organic Waste into Value is a waste stream audit process that allows you to identify opportunities for diverting waste streams away from the landfill and toward recycling or composting.

“The Turning Organic Waste into Value Audit was developed because there are so many factors to consider when dealing with waste and many people don’t realize the full extent of their options. A waste stream audit allows you to organize all factors into an easy to follow worksheet that makes deciding on a solution easier.” Said Hank VanVeen Vice President of Wessuc Inc., “We focus on turning your waste into value so you can focus on your business.”

Those interested in the three step self-audit process can download Turning Organic Waste into Value worksheet for free on the Turning Organic Waste into Value download page. Those interested in reviewing their audit with one of Wessuc’s experts and ask questions about a custom solution can contact them here or by emailing info@wessuc.com.

“The team at Wessuc is passionate about turning organic waste into value to ensure a greener and environmentally safe place to live and work. We wanted to develop the concept of turning organic waste into value into a download to help people recognize all of the options available for their waste besides a landfill.” said Phil Cron, Director of Sales at Wessuc. “We constantly strive to lead the industry in focusing on waste as a value and a solution that benefits your business and the environment.”

About Wessuc Inc.

Established in 2000, Wessuc is a family owned and operated business that cares about the environment and how our operations affect it. We don’t just pump, clean, inspect, and haul. We continue to expand our services and our capabilities to a make a greener and environmentally safer place to live, work, and play.

We do all of this with a safety-first mindset and a quest for the latest in technological advances. We’re dedicated to constantly improving our processes and finding new ways to meet the needs of our customers. The status quo is never enough and at Wessuc it never will be.

It’s why we’re the leader in our industry and the reason our relationships with clients go beyond to just getting the job done. We really do care about and are proud of everything we do. It’s in our DNA and the only way we know how to do business.

For more information about Wessuc, please visit www.wessuc.com or contact our experts.