Nutrient Management Initiative Program in Minnesota

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. Participating farmers are compensated $1,000 and crop advisers are compensated $500 for each advanced rate field trial.
  • 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 on-farm research network. Contact Lauren Proulx at 218-556-3174 or for more information.


  • 389 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

2018 Guidelines for Minnesota Farmers and Crop Advisers 
Harvest Information Forms will be posted here at a later date.