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What is PLANET?
PLANET (Planning Land Applications of Nutrients for Efficiency and the environmenT) is a nutrient management decision support tool for use by farmers and advisers in England/Wales and Scotland for field level nutrient planning and for assessing and demonstrating compliance with the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules.
The NVZ Action Programme rules in England/Wales and Scotland were updated in 2013. PLANET has been updated to take account of these rule changes. The new version 3.3 (released August 2014) also includes a number of improvements to the software. Full details and explanation of all the changes in PLANET v3.3 can be found in 'What's new in v3.3' available from the Tutorials and Help section.
There are several modules in PLANET that carry out different calculation, record keeping and reporting functions.
Field-level nutrient planning and record keeping. This module provides recommendations for individual fields that mimic industry standard recommendations (Defras Fertiliser Manual (RB209) in England and Wales; SRUC technical notes in Scotland). Fertiliser recommendations are given for all major nutrients and lime, and for most agricultural and horticultural crops. Recommendations take account of the crop nutrient requirement, the soil nitrogen supply, other soil analysis results, and the nutrients supplied from any organic manure applications. A nutrient application plan can be developed and updated during the season. Detailed records can be kept of cropping, soil analyses, and each actual fertiliser and manure application. Reports can be produced.
The Livestock Manure N Farm Limit. This module calculates the manure N capacity and the manure N loading of both derogated and un-derogated farms. Compliance with the Livestock Manure N Farm Limit is required by all farms within an NVZ.
Organic manures inventory and the NVZ Minimum manure storage requirement. The Inventory calculates the quantities of slurry, dirty water, poultry layer manure, poultry litter and other solid manure produced on a farm and their NPK content. The module also calculates the minimum slurry and poultry manure storage requirement of a farm in order to meet the requirements of the NVZ regulations.
Existing manure storage capacity. This module calculates the capacity of existing slurry, dirty water and solid manure stores.
The N max limit. This module calculates compliance with the N max limit for individual crop types on the farm, grown on land in an NVZ. Compliance with the N max limit is required by the NVZ regulations.
Farmgate nutrient balance. This module calculates the balance (i.e. surplus or deficit) of nitrogen, phosphate and potash for the whole farm. The balance results from calculation of nutrients imported onto the farm (e.g. in fertilisers, feedstuffs, organic manures) compared to the nutrients exported off the farm (e.g. in crop and livestock produce, organic manures). For each nutrient, the calculated balance is compared with typical benchmark values for the farm type.
Who has developed PLANET?
PLANET has been developed by ADAS and SRUC with funding and support from Defra and the Scottish Government. The software is maintained by ADAS. Support is provided by ADAS (in England and Wales) and SRUC (in Scotland).
How do I get a copy?
PLANET is available free of charge as a download from this site, or on DVD. To obtain a copy, register here or ring the helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (PLANET England) or 08456 023864 (PLANET Scotland).
What help is there for PLANET users?
Help to users is available as audio-visual tutorials, or as Help files for each module that can be shown on screen or printed off. There is a helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (PLANET England) or 08456 023864 (PLANET Scotland).
The information supplied in the PLANET software is for guidance purposes only and is not intended to fully substitute for professional agricultural advice. The specific statutory elements concerning water and nitrates are set out in the relevant national legislation land and you should refer to this legislation to find out exactly what you must do. The nutrient recommendations provided by PLANET are in line with national industry standard guidance. If in doubt, farmers should seek help from a qualified adviser.
The user is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of all data entered and used by PLANET, and for any commercial decisions taken based on any of the PLANET recommendations or other outputs of this software. Use of the PLANET software is subject to the terms and conditions of the PLANET User Licence.