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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Clean Water Fund > On-Farm Projects > Nutrient Management Initiative

Nutrient Management Initiative Program in Minnesota

Tractor attached to a Fast rig in a corn fieldThe Minnesota Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI) was developed to assist farmers and crop advisers in evaluating alternative nutrient management practices on their own fields. Participating farmers work with a crop adviser to set up field trials on their own farms. After completing plot harvest and submitting the required forms, farmers and crop advisers are reimbursed for their time and will receive a summary and analysis of their results.


  • Participating farmers are compensated $1,000 and crop advisers are compensated $500 for each field trial.
    • Due to state contracting policies, individual participant payments will come in two payments (June & December).
    • Payment limitation is $5,000 (5 sites maximum per farmer, 10 sites maximum per adviser)
    • Crop adviser and farmer must enroll in NMI separately in order to receive full payment. Deadline for enrollment is April 15th.
  • Guidance Protocol for Minnesota Farmers and Crop Advisers (PDF: 559 KB/7 pages)

Results and information from these field trials will:

  1. Assist farmers and crop advisers in evaluating current nutrient management practices versus an alternative practice they would like to try on their farm.
  2. Provide an opportunity to compare different nutrient management practices and evaluate economic outcomes.
  3. Assist participants in evaluating practices which can help reduce nitrate-nitrogen losses from fields. 

Individual results will be kept strictly confidential. Statewide results will be summarized for outreach purposes only to highlight and promote existing farm practice advancements and BMP adoption in Minnesota. Example of a plot layout for the Nutrient Management Initiative program

Examples of field trials available in 2015

Forms and Additional Information


Signing up is Easy... Enrollment Deadline is April 15, 2015

Farmers and crop advisers can use the Nutrient Management Initiative Registration Form to sign-up online or contact one of the MDA representatives listed at the bottom of this page. Sign up today for the 2015 growing season. Sign up for the 2016 growing season opens July 1, 2015.

By filling out the registration form, you have expressed interest in the program. You will be contacted by an MDA representative, either by phone or email.

  • To ensure payment, participants will be sent required paperwork including a contract to be filled out and returned prior to completing any plot field work. All participant's identity is kept confidential.
  • The Nutrient Management Initiative is now offered entirely through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The program is available statewide.

Timeline for 2015 Program

Important Dates Requirement for Payment Payment Amount
April 15, 2015 Complete initial sign up to verify interest at the Nutrient Management Initiative registration page 

Basic contact info and trial information are filled out and tracked for payment and correspondence

The MDA sends out a W9 tax form to be completed and mailed back to the MDA. (This process is only required once to input participants information into the MDA payment system)

As soon as participants register (through April 30th) As soon as the completed W9 form is returned, the MDA will send out forms to participants with a reminder about due dates.

- Contract Part 1 will be sent to both farmers and crop advisers. (Simple two page form for signature)
- Self-addressed and stamped envelope to return as soon as possible and before beginning any field trial work
April 15 - May 1, 2015  The MDA will send out a Crop Management Information Form to interested participants with a reminder about due dates. Also, the MDA will email or send a hard copy of an aerial map to outline location.
- For GPS and map assistance contact an MDA representative
June 30, 2015 - Field trials are installed
- Location map of trial area is submitted
- Crop Management Form must be submitted to the MDA (required for payment)
$500 farmer payment
$250 crop adviser payment 
August 2015 Obtain an aerial imagery of field with strip trial  (limited to approximately 11,000 acres) no cost to participants
September 1, 2015 The MDA will send out forms to participants with a reminder about due dates.

- Contract Part 2 for both farmers and crop advisers (for second payment and needs to be returned prior to harvesting trials)
- Aerial imagery summary
- Harvest Information Form (submit after harvest)
December 1, 2015 - Field trials are harvested
- Harvest Information Form is submitted
$500 farmer payment
$250 crop adviser payment
January - February 2016 Field specific summaries are sent out to all participants  

If you are interested in viewing NMI results form previous years, please contact Ryan Lemickson (information below).

MDA Contact

Ryan Lemickson
15325 Babcock Avenue
Rosemount, MN 55068
(612) 209-9181

Spencer Herbert
422 Belgrade Ave, #110
North Mankato, MN 56002
(507) 327-0266

Aaron Janz
16 MN Ave West, Suite 101
Glenwood, MN 56334
(320) 634-4038

Southeast Minnesota
(Goodhue, Wabasha, Olmsted, Winona,
Fillmore and Houston Counties)
Dawn Bernau
3555 9th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 206-2881