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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 certified 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 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

  • 2015 Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI) Brochure (PDF: KB / pages)
  • Crop Management Information Form and Harvest Information Form (PDF:  KB / pages) 




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 ant tracked for payment and correspondence

As soon as participants register (through April 30th) The MDA will send out forms to participants with reminder about due dates. Contract Part 1 will be sent to both farmers and crop advisers.

Remember: Contract Part 1 needs to be returned prior to installing trials
June 30, 2015 - Field trials are installed and/or located
- Location map of trial area is submitted
- Crop Management Form along with invoice must both be submitted to MDA (required for payment)
$500 farmer payment
$250 crop adviser payment 
August 2015 Aerial imagery of field with strip trial is obtained 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
- Aerial imagery summary
- Harvest Information Form (submit after harvest)

Remember: Contract Part 2 needs to be returned prior to harvesting trials
December 1, 2015 - Field trials are harvested
- Harvest Information Form is submitted
-  Contract Part 2 has already been submitted for each farmer and adviser
$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