Purpose: A farmer-led program to advance soil fertility research, technology development, and education.
Mission: To fund research and education on agricultural fertility that is environmentally and economically sound.
The Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) consists of twelve members who are either farmers or provide agricultural professional services such as crop retailers or consultants.
The Minnesota Legislature established the funding mechanism for the program by raising the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) fertilizer tonnage fee from 30 cents per ton sold to 70 cents per ton sold starting July 1, 2009. Each year, MDA announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects using funds generated from fertilizer sales.
Though dependent upon the previous year’s fertilizer sales, a maximum of $1,100,000 has been awarded annually since 2017.
The enabling legislation establishing the governing Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (referred to as “AFREC” or “Council”) are Minnesota Statutes 18C.70, 18C.71, and 18C.80.