Phosphorus Management Tool

This risk assessment tool helps producers make livestock and nutrient management decisions to minimize phosphorus losses.


The Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool (APMT) is a Windows-based (Excel) program developed by the Government of Alberta as part of the Alberta Phosphorus Watershed Project.

The APMT is a risk assessment tool designed to help producers make livestock and nutrient management decisions that will minimize environmental risk associated with the loss of phosphorus (P), and to maximize the benefits of manure and fertilizer nutrients. It also serves as an educational tool to explain how management practices and landscape features impact P loss, and which beneficial management practices (BMPs) can be used to mitigate that loss. This risk-assessment tool helps farmers plan their on-farm phosphorus management.

Risks assessed by the APMT include:

  • flooding
  • run-on and run-off
  • nutrient accumulation
  • facility management

Factors that can impact risks include:

  • Site characteristics – proximity to water bodies, topography, soil type, ground cover.
  • Environmental conditions – regional precipitation and snow fall.
  • Management practices – manure or fertilizer application rates and frequency, incorporation practices, run-on and run-off control mechanisms.

The tool takes you through a series of farm management and site questions to assess the risk of phosphorus loss. Based on your responses, the tool will identify the level of risk and suggest beneficial management practices (BMPs) that can be adopted to reduce the risk of P loss. The BMPs are presented with a relative cost and the environmental benefit designation. Although cost and benefit varies greatly, the intent for the designation is to provide producers with a relative way to compare BMPs to help with practice adoption decisions.

Completing the assessment

The assessment begins with a general questionnaire, then rapid assessment worksheets that collect basic information about the operation. These initial worksheets customize the APMT to the operation, so only the applicable detailed worksheets appear. They also help to identify facilities or fields on which a detailed assessment should be completed first.

You can complete the assessment on your own or with an extension agent. Or you may find it helpful to talk to an extension agent after you complete the assessment to discuss BMP suggestions and their applicability to your operation.

Completing the more detailed assessment worksheets will assess the P loss risk for facilities or fields. Each question on these worksheets is accompanied by an explanation as to why the question is important with respect to P loss. This provides context so the user can identify solutions beyond those suggested in the final summary. Links to additional web resources on each sheet provide the user with information about the tool.

After all data is entered, the APMT provides an overall assessment summary report, as well as a summary for each worksheet completed, including BMP suggestions based on the responses provided.

User guide

The Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool User Guide provides background information on the APMT, system requirements and how to get the program up and running the computer. More importantly the guide:

  • briefly reviews the look and features in the APMT
  • discusses the process used to complete the assessments, how the worksheets and the questions look and how they can be answered
  • explains the reports that the APMT generates and how to read them
  • explains the relative rating system being used to compare the relative cost and environmental benefit of the BMP options so as to provide some context for discussing practice adoption
  • provides answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for additional assistance
  • is supplemented with online help pages

The APMT User Guide can be viewed online or downloaded.


The APMT is a science informed risk assessment tool, which builds on previous risk assessments, such as the Environmental Farm Plan and the Wintering Site Assessment and Design Tool. It provides the user a relative P loss risk rating and BMPs based on the users’ responses to questions. It does not predict P loss rates or occurrences; it is forecasting potential losses based on the livestock and facility management practices being completed and site specific landscape questions. The cost to implement and the environmental effectiveness of any BMP is dependent on site specific conditions. Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation has no control over individual site conditions, costing factors or management practices and makes no representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the predicted P risk assigned or the cost/benefit of BMPs generated by this system and assumes no responsibility or liability for use of the program.


By downloading this software, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement as set out below. If you do not agree to be bound, do not download this software.

  • The software and any written materials that might accompany the electronic version of APMT ("written materials") are proprietary to and all rights except those expressly given herein remain with His Majesty the King in right of Alberta ("Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation").
  • The software and written materials are protected by Canadian copyright law and international treaty provisions.
  • You are hereby authorized to transfer the software to a single system.
  • You may not copy written materials.
  • You may not rent or lease the software but you may transfer all of your interest in it, accompanied by written materials, if you retain no copies and the recipient agrees to the terms of this agreement.
  • You may not reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or create derivative works from the software.
  • In no event will Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation be liable to you for any claims, costs, losses or damages, including without limitation, lost profits or lost data arising out of the use or inability to use the software or any data or any advice supplied therein.

Download software

Step 1.

Check system requirements.

The estimated file size is (14,800) kilobytes. To use the program you’ll need:

  • Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program capable of handling an MS Excel spreadsheet. Note: Microsoft Works is not sufficient.

Estimated download time: approximately 9 minutes on a 28.8K modem.

Step 2.

Download the program:

  • Click the button below to download the application file to your computer.
  • You will be prompted to Save the application file. You can save it either to your desktop for easy access, or to a location on your computer where you store management tools.

Download software

Step 3.

Run the APMT:

  • Double-click the file “APMT v74” in the location where you saved it, then follow the instructions.
  • Enter the information needed to perform risk assessment exercises.

The APMT allows you to pause and save the assessment at any time.

Sign up for updates

Fill out the online form below to get future updates about the program.

By clicking the submit button below the form you accept the above terms and conditions.

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.


For inquiries about the Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool:

Phone: 780-980-7587
Fax: 780 980-4237
Email: [email protected]

Trevor Wallace, P.Ag.
Agriculture Business Centre
6547 Sparrow Drive
Leduc, Alberta  T9E 7C7