The Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT)
The Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT) is a free, online, user-friendly tool that quantitatively estimates the nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment losses from crop and pasture lands. With the most recent release of NTT, we now have a platform for the tool that can be used to estimate environmental improvement opportunities on farms across the country. NTT was developed by the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University with support from USDA's Office of Environmental Markets.
NTT allows producers to evaluate how different conservation practices, like cover crops and reduced tillage, can improve water quality on their fields and farms. The tool’s estimates are based on site-specific conditions (such as soils, slope, and weather) and on-farm management practices. Users can compare environmental impacts (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment losses) as well as estimated yields of various management scenarios in both tabular and graphical formats.
These data are valuable in allowing producers to make informed decisions on the types of conservation practices that can most benefit their operations. The data that farmers provide to run the tool is password protected and not shared. Underpinning the NTT Tool is the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model, the same model used for USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) to assess environmental impacts at the national and regional scales.
While NTT can be used anywhere within the contiguous United States, its initial release includes validated parameters for the Ohio and the Western Lake Erie Basin that were developed in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Subsequent updates to the tool will include validated parameters for other regions of the country where availability of measured data makes it possible.
Access NTT at ntt.tiaer.tarleton.edu