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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 field

The Minnesota Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI) assists farmers and crop advisers in evaluating nutrient management practices on their own fields.

Participating farmers can 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 receive a summary and analysis of their results.

  • Participating farmers are compensated $800 and crop advisers are compensated $400 for each field trial.
    • Due to state contracting policies, individual participant payments will come in two payments (June & December).
    • Crop adviser and farmer must enroll in NMI separately in order to receive full payment. Deadline for enrollment is March 15th.
    • Due to limited program funds, the maximum number of field trials per farmer is one. The maximum number of field trials per crop adviser is ten.
  • Additional compensation is available for farmers and crop advisers participating in Advanced Rate Trials.
  • NMI is for corn grown for grain only (wheat is acceptable in the northwest region). Wheat growers in northwest or west central Minnesota are encouraged to participate in the Minnesota Wheat Growers on-farm research network. Contact Lauren Proulx at 218-556-3174 or lauren1@gvtel.com for more information.


  • 269 on-farm trials established statewide since 2015
  • Great participation from crop advisers statewide, many have hosted winter meetings to discuss results with participants
  • Crop advisers used NMI to promote new management strategies and equipment that is available to boost yields and fertilizer efficiency for farmers
  • Results from the additional advanced nitrogen rate trials will help guide current nitrogen rate recommendations and will be used in the nitrogen rate calculator
  • Advancements in technology have helped to make field trials easier to install and harvest, minimizing the time commitment

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.
  4. Highlight advanced nutrient management practices farmers and crop advisers are using to improve economic and environmental outcomes.

Individual results will be kept confidential. Statewide results will be summarized for outreach purposes to highlight and promote existing farm practice advancements and BMP adoption in Minnesota.

NMI Protocol & Forms

Thank you for your interest in the NMI program. Registration is closed for 2017. Please contact staff listed below if you have questions or would like more information. 

MDA Contact

Ryan Lemickson
16 Minnesota Avenue West
Glenwood, MN 56334
(612) 209-9181

Spencer Herbert
422 Belgrade Avenue, #104
North Mankato, MN 56003
(507) 327-0266

Southeast Minnesota
(Goodhue, Wabasha, Olmsted, Winona,
Fillmore and Houston Counties)

Dawn Bernau
3555 Ninth Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 206-2881


Northwest Region Northeast/Central Region Southwest Region South Central Region Southeast Region