Improving fertilizer management is an important strategy to both improve nutrient efficiencies and protect water quality. There are a number of tools to assist with the timing of application and a number of resources to learn new strategies. Assistance may be available to those that would like to conduct their own on-farm trial.

Managing nutrients is of even greater importance near our drinking water sources. Resources are available to understand the locations of these areas and the probability of contamination.


Practice Evaluation & Demonstration

  • Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI)
    The Nutrient Management Initiative is designed to help farmers and crop consultants evaluate management decisions using the farmer's actual field conditions. On-farm trials allow farmers to compare different practices and evaluate their outcomes.
  • On-Farm Demonstrations
    A number of On-Farm projects are in place to evaluate agricultural practices under conditions that are typical in an area. Projects are designed to monitor trends over time, demonstrate and evaluate management practices and provide farmers an opportunity to see how a practice works in their "backyard". 

Online Tools

  • Six-Inch Soil Temperature
    In areas of the state where fall nitrogen fertilizer application is appropriate Minnesota's nitrogen fertilizer best management practices recommend that fall application be delayed until soil temperatures are below 50 degrees F. This interactive map provides real time soil temperatures across the state.
  • Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast
    In joint partnership, the MDA and the National Weather Service have developed a tool to help farmers and commercial applicators with the timing of manure application. The system uses the most current forecast information to predict the likelihood of runoff in coming days. Runoff can remove freshly applied nutrients from the targeted field.
  • Source Water Protection Web Map Viewer- Minnesota Department of Health
    "Source water" is the approved surface and groundwater that supplies a public drinking supply. This interactive mapping application allows users to understand where their drinking water comes from and the probability to which it may be impacted by potential contamination.