SnapPlus Help Version 16

12 Steps to Developing a Plan Using SnapPlus

12 Steps to Developing a Plan Using SnapPlus

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12 Steps to Developing a Plan Using SnapPlus

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Below are the twelve basic steps involved in developing a Nutrient Management plan using SnapPlus software.  For more information on each of the steps, please refer to the related topics in the Help file. There are also a variety of how-to videos available at

1.Install and open the current version of SnapPlus from

2.Create a new SnapPlus farm.  At the very top left hand corner of screen, left click on File and select New SnapPlus farm to select the folder location and name the farm file you will be making.  When the file opens, you should enter the farm and contact information. Note that the green stripe at the top of screen provides the directory location and the file name of your new farm file.

3.On the Farm screen, add a Farm Narrative to explain components of the plan, manure handling, and unique aspects of your farm.  Add information regarding the state of the channelized flow areas.   The standard requires these areas to be protected with perennial cover.  Select the county(s) and the crops grown for this farm; the program will not work without these. If the farm is a CAFO, click on the WPDES permitted farm (CAFO) checkbox. This will bring up the CAFO SWQMA Manure Spreading Strategy dialog box. Select a strategy for Annual and Perennial crops and click on Accept – you will not be able to leave the farm page until the strategies are accepted.

4.Import your farm’s soil tests from a DATCP certified soil testing laboratory using the SnapPlus .txt , .csv. or xls format.  Go to Import/Export and select Import data  Soil Tests to browse for the file from the lab.   Browse to where you saved your soil test import file. Check your soil test file in the SnapPlus viewing/editing window to insure correct field naming. Once soil sample field names match plan field names, select Import to SnapPlus to import your soil tests into SnapPlus. Close the dialog box and click on the Field tab.

5.From the Snap Maps screen, use the SnapMaps companion website to draw your crop fields and have soil and spreading restriction information automatically calculated for you. You can also enter this information manually on the Field Screen if you prefer.

6.The column Below Field Slope to Water (%) should describe average slope from the edge of the field to perennial water.  This slope is usually no greater than the field’s slope. Use the slope classes on the soil map units between the field and the stream for guidance.  Choose each field’s Distance to Water (ft) range by looking at the scale on your map.  The Below Field Slope to Water and Distance to Water data is used in calculating the P Index.

7.On the Nutrient screen, click on the Nutrient sources tab. Add all of your manure types, volumes, and fertilizers for one crop year.  If you have a manure analysis, enter the nutrient content and date analyzed. Go to the Manure Production Estimator screen to estimate manure volume by entering the number of animals per size class.  Manure storage volumes and manure spreader calibrations should also be entered. Transfer the manure volume for each source to the Known Annual Volume column on the Nutrient Sources screen to assist in allocating manure each year.

8.On the Cropping Tab screen, use the Rotation Wizard to enter crop and nutrient application information for multiple years and multiple fields. Select Add crop and application data to fields. Create a rotation description after clicking on Edit Rotations and + by entering the rotation name and then the crop, yield, tillage, and nutrient applications for each year in the rotation. Select the fields with that rotation and in the next step select the crop year you want to start data entry and the rotation sequence year for that starting year

9.You can also enter cropping information for individual fields directly on the Cropping tab screen, ensure that all rows are filled.  Enter nutrient applications for each year by clicking on the white fertilizer and manure boxes for that year and selecting nutrient sources and amounts on the Nutrient Application Planner dialog box which appears.  Click Apply to see the over/under amount before leaving that screen.  The row Over(+)/Under(-) adj UW Rec shows the applications in comparison to the soil test recommendations.  N applications supply annual plant needs, and multiple years cannot be applied together. If N applications are highlighted in red, N is over applied and the nutrient application should be reduced or explained.  Multiple years’ worth of P and K can be banked for future years. Fertilizer P2O5 applications must not exceed the total UW recommendation for the rotation. An additional 20 lbs/ac/yr of P2O5 starter fertilizer is allowed for corn if the rotation requirement has already been met.    

10. Under Rotation Settings on the right side of the screen, set Start and Years to display the correct info for that field's rotation in the Summary.  Left click on Calculate all years to view the PI and Soil Loss results. Be sure to enter all years of the crop rotation and address the P2O5 nutrient need, or the P planning assessment required to meet the 590 standard will be incomplete.  If manure is applied during the rotation, the Avg P Index must be 6 or less for the rotation or the P2O5 balance must follow NRCS 590 Criteria C.  SnapPlus provides a P2O5 balance target in the lower left corner of this screen when the soil test P standard requires that P applications be equal to or less than crop P removal.

11. Check for compliance with the 590 standard using the Nutrient Management Plan group of reports.

12. Make a snapshot using Save snapshot. You should also make a back-up copy on another hard drive or thumb drive. Or you can use the Archive feature under the File menu to save the file in a ZIP format. See How to Archive Completed Plans for Future Reference for more information.