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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Fertilizers > AFREC > Request for Proposals > Projects RFP

Notice of Contract Opportunity

PROJECT NAME: Notice of Availability of Funding for Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Projects

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is requesting proposals for the purpose of directing fertilizer research and outreach programs. The enabling legislation establishing the governing Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (referred to as “AFREC” or “Council”) is MN Statute18C.70, 18C.71, and 18C.801 . The Minnesota Legislature also established the funding mechanism for the program. This year, up to $1,100,000 is available for this Request for Proposals (RFP) and was generated by fertilizer sales from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Project priorities: Research and educational priorities have been categorized within three priority classifications. Applicants of new projects are cautioned that a substantial amount of the available funding (65-75%) may be used to support continuation projects.

Continuation Projects

There are approximately 17 on-going AFREC projects that will be given priority for continued funding this funding cycle. “Continuations’ are defined in this RFP as projects that have been previously funded by AFREC for shorter durations than the length specified in the original proposal. Projects previously fully funded by AFREC are not considered “continuations”.

Soil Fertility Research (new)

  • Nitrogen and sulfur rescue application: Recent extended wet periods have raised questions on nitrogen loss and need for rescue side-dress nitrogen applications. Research is needed on decision tools for determining need, rates, source, and timing of rescue applications.
  • Placement, source, equipment and timing of planned or split side-dress nitrogen and sulfur applications.
  • Special consideration for partnership approaches/external funding to enhance water quality activities under on-going AFREC funded soil fertility research sites.
  • Sentinel nutrient (NPK) loss plots documenting natural background losses

Education and Outreach (new)

  • Enhancement tools, calculators, mobile Apps and supporting educational materials to assist farmers and ag professionals to understand fertilizer cost benefit relations.
  • Improve communication and outreach amongst AFREC member groups and their membership including activities that assist getting pertinent research findings to the end users as quickly as possible.a

The following three priorities related to “on-farm” research and demonstrations, which operate at different scales. Responders may apply for individual scales or may blend the scales into one proposal.

  • Develop and administer a pilot program on a regional scale that provides oversight, design, technical support, and data interpretation for "on farm" soil fertility research/demonstration activities. Applicants are encouraged to use existing "on farm" feasibility recommendations previously funded by AFREC.
  • Develop and administer programs that provide basic technical guidance and financial assistance to producers interested in conducting their own on-farm research/demonstration. Applicants are encouraged to consider existing models such as Minnesota's Nutrient Management Initiative.
  • Develop and administer an "on-farm" support type program that bring retailers, crop advisors, and producers into the program as engaged cooperators to assist with evaluating UM fertilizer recommendations. Program would support (not compete) with UM validation activities.

Other considerations:

  • Continuation projects: The AFREC council desires increased project outreach and use of new communication tools.
  • Fertilizer efficiency measurements: researchers should consider to include this in their experimental design.
  • Work is anticipated to start after April 1, 2017.

COPY REQUEST: To get a copy of the Request for Proposals, please send a written request, by email, to:

Department of Agriculture
Bruce Montgomery, Project Coordinator
625 N. Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
E-Mail: bruce.montgomery@state.mn.us

Other MDA personnel are NOT authorized to discuss this request for proposal with responders nor should they be listed as a collaborator or partner anywhere within the proposal. Contact regarding this RFP with any MDA personnel not listed above could result in disqualification.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Proposals submitted in response to the Request for Proposals in this advertisement must be received 3 printed sets and 1 disk/jump drive with a complete set of the required forms in both WORD and PDF format no later than 3:00 P.M., Central Time, December 2, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered. Fax and email proposals will not be considered.